Q&A With Damir Metljak

SEPA member, Damir Metljak has successfully completed the Certified Sports Podiatry Pathway. Learn more about Damir’s career and his journey to certification as a sports podiatrist.

Damir Metljak
Damir Metljak

SEPA member, Damir Metljak has successfully completed the Certified Sports Podiatry Pathway.

Read more about Damir’s career and his journey to certification as a sports podiatrist.

Why did you choose a career in podiatry? 

I had quite a broad interest in subjects at school so during matriculation, I wasn’t sure what path I wanted to pursue. I was fond of the sciences, particularly physics, but I had a great love of English literature, as well as cooking and the outdoors. Ultimately, I think the curiosity and the enjoyment I found in physics and the human body sent me into podiatry.  

Tell us about your podiatry career so far. 

I played quite high level sport during my youth so I was naturally more interested in (and by extension studied harder at) the sport and exercise side of podiatry at university. Upon graduating it ended up being a culmination of great mentors, a good professional network, and right-place-right-time that found me taking on the podiatry role at one of Adelaide’s Sports & Exercise Medicine Clinics. I started off working two half-days a week, which slowly grew into more days, which led to teaching opportunities at the University of South Australia, which grew to the point now where I split my time between our Sports & Exercise Medicine Clinic, University, and a bi-monthly rural sport & exercise podiatry clinic.

What made you decide to begin the journey to becoming a certified sports podiatrist? 

I had been working for nearly 10 years, all of which was in sport & exercise podiatry, I thought this would be the best and most natural extension for my career. 

Which pathway did you choose to become a certified as a sports podiatrist? Why did you choose this pathway to certification?

I chose the Recognition of Prior Learning pathway. My current lifestyle (three young children, work etc.) meant the flexibility of this self-directed pathway was more suited to my family and I. 

Describe your journey to certification. What did you enjoy? Any key highlights? What was challenging? Any regrets? 

The thing I enjoyed the most was questioning and picking apart my rationale for doing things the way I did. Prior to undertaking the certification, my assessments, treatments and forward planning for my patients came from a combination of what I learnt during my university degree, conferences, workshops, and lecturing at university. So to then step back and systematically critique the current, best evidence for said treatment or clinical test, I found incredibly interesting and, gratefully, had the intended effect of changing my clinical practice.

What advice would you give to other podiatrists who are thinking about becoming a certified sports podiatrist? 

As others before me have likely said, the Recognition of Prior Learning pathway requires a certain level of intrinsic motivation so the more you put in, the more you will get out of it. I’d also encourage anyone who is about to undertake the certification to contact someone who has done it. I’d ask them to be a mentor or to at least catch up regularly for chats as having the ability to discuss things regularly with colleagues is an invaluable asset to helping you get more out of it.


Quick Fire Five with Damir Metljak

Favorite Food: Gorgonzola gnocchi with porcini mushrooms.

Favorite Book: The Art of Fielding – Chad Harbach.

Favorite Sport: To do: skiing. To watch: football (soccer).

Best Advice: Approach your own personal voyage and projects like Michelangelo approached a block of marble; willing to learn and adjust.

On the weekend, you will find me: With the family doing something or another.


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