Meet a Member | Simon Vella

Our 2020 PhD Scholarship participant Simon Vella is a chiropractor, PhD research candidate and casual tutor in the Department of Chiropractic at Macquarie University. Simon completed his Master of Research Program through Macquarie University on lumbopelvic and lower limb biomechanics in 2020. He is currently a PhD candidate focusing on emergency and paramedic healthcare for low back pain through the Institute for Musculoskeletal Health at The University of Sydney. Working in clinical practice at Coastal Chiropractic and Sport Rehabilitation on the Central Coast of NSW, in his practice, Simon has a strong emphasis on active care, rehabilitation and education, and an interest in managing sport injuries.
“I became a chiropractor to help people and promote the active care paradigm which promotes progress, without ignoring any parts of patient care”
After completing high school, Simon explored the option of both physiotherapy and chiropractic care. Following spending some time onsite at his uncle’s chiropractic clinic, Simon decided the path of chiropractic healthcare was a good fit for his future. Later studying and becoming a qualified chiropractor, Simon’s clinical career has been driven by a desire to focus on holistic patient care and promoting the active care paradigm in his Central Coast chiropractic and sport rehabilitation clinic. Simon is now working part-time in patient care at his clinic while he completes his PhD studies.
“Due to COVID, my role as a clinician pivoted to becoming an educator, that provided resources and reassurance to my patients during this unprecedented time”
Due to the COVID restrictions imposed in March 2020, Simon made the difficult decision to close his Central Coast NSW practice for three months and focus on his online university teaching and Master of Research studies. With his practice based in a location with an ageing population, it was important for Simon to get clients back through the doors and provide accessibility for treatment once restrictions lifted, whilst ensuring patients remained mindful of new COVID practices. The transition after COVID measures were put in place was a challenging one, with many of Simon’s patients delaying treatment for lower back pain due to the uncertainty that COVID placed on the community. Simon’s solution for providing essential patient information post-COVID has been a regular monthly newsletter sharing COVID-safe measures from the NSW Health website and providing regular tips and practical resources for hygiene and reducing COVID risk to patients on his mailing list. In addition, Simon continues to provide education on musculoskeletal conditions, and management strategies in his newsletters. New communication methods via email and digital mediums have provided great peace of mind for patients and enhanced confidence for face-to-face chiropractic appointments.
“My advice to new chiropractors is to keep learning by exploring weekend courses, seminars, conferences, and further university education.”
One of the critical pieces of advice from Simon for new chiropractors is the importance of continuous learning and ongoing education. Whether it is weekend courses, professional development, conferences, networking with GPs and other allied health professionals (i.e. physiotherapists), higher education, or seminars – Simon feels any additional form of learning is a fantastic way to broaden a clinician’s knowledge-base and improve patient care. Simon believes chiropractors should continually work to consistently optimise and improve their communications with patients as well as other professionals in allied health – understanding personal scope for each medical area and focusing on evidence-based treatments and holistic care for patients.
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As a featured guest at the 2021 Chiropractic Australia Summit Online, Dr Andrew Vitiello delivered a timely and insightful presentation about overcoming internal and external roadblocks that can arise throughout the CPD process. Dr Vitiello shared a number of key insights into how to avoid overwhelm and uncertainty on the learning journey, as well as how to apply a metacognitive approach to shifting our perspective to see CPD as an exciting and transformative opportunity to grow; rather than merely a necessary obligation to fulfill our requirements as registered healthcare professionals.
After graduating from RMIT University in 1994, Dale spent three months at the Royal Saskatoon Hospital, Saskatchewan, Canada before returning to Australia in 1995, Dale commenced work as an associate at the Heidelberg Chiropractic Clinic and took over as principal in 2000. Dale’s practice focuses on general chiropractic practice and incorporating evidence-based practice with low tech rehabilitation. Through his position on the Chiropractic Australia board, Dale has been integral in the development of compliance issues for chiropractors and their clinics across Victoria.
With registration renewal process opening shortly for chiropractors, Chiropractic Board of Australia Chair – Dr Wayne Minter AM – has provided a summary of key topics and guidance regarding the annual requirements; from covid-safe CPD opportunites, to first-aid training, financial hardship and compliance with advertising regulations. At renewal, you will be asked important questions about how you are meeting the Board’s registration standards including criminal history, professional indemnity insurance, recency of practice and continuing professional development.

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