Q&A with Tim Pain

Tim Pain
Tim Pain

SEPA wouldn't be where it is today without the contribution of its members.

Over the years, Tasmanian-based sports podiatrist, Tim Pain, has helped shaped SEPA into the organisation it is today.

Read more about Tim's career and his contribution to SEPA.

Why did you choose a career in podiatry and in particular, why sports podiatry? 

Podiatry was bit of a last-minute career selection for me. I did not know a lot about the podiatry profession but it did tick 3 key criteria for me:

  1. Health related: I wanted to work in the health field because I participated in multiple sports and I really liked that podiatry opened up the opportunity to work within the sporting sphere.

  2. Diagnostic: Podiatry was one of very few health professions that focused on diagnosis rather than just treatment. This enquiry and decision-making aspect have always been the most rewarding aspect of podiatry.

  3. Work Opportunities: The opportunity to work in both the public and private sectors, and also individually or as part of a larger health team, provides a broad scope of practice.

Tell us about your podiatry career so far. 

When I graduated in 1993, the employment opportunities weren’t what they are in 2022 for podiatrists. There were limited quality, full time positions available for new graduates. This meant that I had to make a decision to either remain in Adelaide and work in piece-meal podiatry positions, or look further afield for a job. I decided to take a position in Albury NSW and then went on to work in several regional Victoria regions before moving to Hobart, where I worked briefly at the Royal Hobart Hospital, before establishing a private practice.

What has been your career highlight to date?

I have been involved as a podiatrist at some large international sporting events. However, the greatest highlight for me is simply those rare clinical opportunities to solve a problem for a patient who has had a long-term complaint that has never been correctly diagnosed. These opportunities don’t arise very often, but they are extremely satisfying when they do.

What do you enjoy most about being a sports podiatrist? 

The best aspect of working with sports people is working with patients that are highly motivated to get better. Treatment compliance is also rarely an issue with this group of patients.

How did you get involved with SEPA (or AAPSM as it was formerly known)?

Someone once told me that, “You are who you associate with,” and because I had a desire to work in sports podiatry, I wanted as much exposure to education opportunities and access to experienced podiatrists in this area as possible. I subsequently have learnt a lot and have met some great people through SEPA.

What roles have you held during your time with SEPA? In terms of your contribution to SEPA, what are you most proud of?

I have previously been the State Trustee of SEPA which largely involved coordinating educational activities in Tasmania. Whilst in this role, I helped to broaden SEPA’s membership to all podiatrists with an interest in sports podiatry, rather than focusing primarily on those completing the SEPA Fellowship program. 

What do you love most about being a SEPA member?

The education and networking opportunities with podiatrists who have a similar professional interest is definitely the best thing about being involved in SEPA. 

Do you have any advice for students looking to embark on a career in sports podiatry?  

Get involved today – don’t worry about making mistakes because you will definitely make plenty of those. Those who came before might not admit it, but they made plenty of mistakes to get to where they are now. The best time to get started is today. 

Quick Fire Five with Tim Pain

Favorite Food: Lou Bak – Soy braised pork infused with Chinese 5 Spice.

Favorite Movie: Shawshank Redemption.

Favorite Sport: AFL Kangaroo supporter unfortunately.

Best Advice: When you make a mistake, let it be because of something that you did, rather than something that you didn’t do.

On the weekend, you will find me: Mount biking in the Meehan Range. 


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At the present time, SEPA memberships are processed through the APODA website. You will be directed to the APODA site to complete your SEPA membership signup.