Rheumatology Reflections 2020

I wanted to do something a little different in this blog which looks back at some different things I have learned in Rheumatology but also what I have learned about messaging and promotion which I hope helps a few people along the way. We have the return of the now recurrent features “legend of the blog” and all the way at the end the musical accompaniment. In other news there is now a Rheumatology.Physio Facebook page! Go follow there for updates and news!

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As usual feedback is greatly appreciated and any further reading for me please send it my way!


Legend of the Blog

This weeks legend is Michael Schumacher (not the F1 driver but his websites are just as fast…). He took my frankly embarrassing website and made it into the one you are reading this blog on. He has also been heavily involved with PhysioMatters and TherapyLive smashing websites and marketing without breaking a sweat… Not only that but you can get a cheeky discount if you leave your details here! (see image)



I learned a lot in 2020 (I think we all did). A lot of Rheumatology, myself and also promotion/messaging. I have written some of the reflections here and hopefully there are some things to learn to elevate your own projects.

We will cover:

  • Women compared to Men in AxSpA
  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica
  • Posting Regularly
  • Spending Money

Women Compared To Men in AxSpA

You can read the full blog here

For as long as I can remember I have known that men and women are different (in the context of AxSpA…). It is however, one of those things that was just intuitive knowledge, I saw any patients in clinic and made that conclusion. I never then really did anything about it. It was only when I started teaching and bright spark MSK therapists called me on the lack of detail provided that I realised the depth of my ignorance…

Luckily a few things went my way, first it turns out that this is also much of the Rheumatology communities position as well so work was underway to improve. Second, there was a webinar set up with the title “Women and AxSpA”. It was truly excellent and added some real detail to the differences which enabled me to write the above blog and create a new section in my courses. Result. I have said it a few times but I am so grateful to ARMA and their presenters, Thanks!

Here is a summary of that blog as a slide…

axspa women men

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

You can read the full blog here

This blog is here because it marked the first time I think I saw results of posting regularly. It was the 7th in 7 weeks and I was beginning to struggle with motivation and ideas. Fortunately Professor Dasgupta’s webinar was 11/10 good and I pushed myself to write the blog to get it out on schedule.

The promotional tweet alone reached 15000+ accounts and coincided with an increase in course bookings through my shop. This relit the fire in my brain that if I kept up providing good information that therapists wanted I can keep the lights on and feed myself with CPD materials…

This hasn’t always been plain sailing. I have had to cancel courses through COVID restrictions, and more embarrassingly remote courses because no one booked on. I like to think my work is of sufficient quality so certainly something else was the barrier to this. I suspected visibility was the issue…

Posting Regularly

I made the decision to post a blog every week once my new design website (courtesy of Michael) was up and running for a few reasons. Mostly I wanted to increase visibility of my work to maximise the number of people who learned from it but of course so that more people would land on my site and hopefully find their way to the shop… (shameless plug, go to the shop, it genuinely keeps the lights on…).

An unexpected benefit of this regular posting is that it has reignited my enjoyment of seeking out learning opportunities, writing and engaging on twitter about clinical topics. No longer is it a chore each week. In fact, I was a little irked at taking a week off writing for Christmas!

The regular posting has generated a little following of regular readers, supporters, retweeters and engagers which is really awesome. Not everyone creates learning materials and such and I don’t know if they are quite aware of the impact a “Thank you” or tagging a colleague/friend has on the creator. It really is fantastic to receive the feedback and do more and do it better. Thank you to anyone who engaged, shared or feedback in 2020!

Spending Money

Free CPD is rife these days, I should know I am involved in creating an absolute heap of it (PhysioMatters, TherapyLive, this website…) and it is very easy to bounce from free webinar to free webinar. A few things that I noticed when I pay compared to attend for free. It focusses the mind, I tend to drift if its free, I don’t seem so invested which is ridiculous because of course cost does not necessarily reflect quality. More than that though it makes me feel supportive of the creator/presenter, I have resolved to engage with paid content after attending a free event where possible leading me to have spent not an insignificant amount of money on CPD in the last few months!

The other aspect to this section is the website, I really think I was hampered by my crappy website before. Spending the money investing in it has propelled everything I have done since in a way I absolutely had not anticipated. Up the google page on searches, an INCREDIBLY improved user experience and saving me so much time keeping it updated. If I could make one suggestion to anyone wanting to increase their impact, its get Michael and the HMDG Team to rebuild your website. It is worth every damn penny.


I hope this gives some insight into some reflections of mine over the last 12 months, I would be fascinated to hear from anyone who has had a similar journey so we can all learn from each other.

Please do provide feedback so that I might grow and improve and see you on the next blog!

Music Choice: Drenge – “We Can Do What We Want”

We put our name in the course

We put our lives on the line

We can do, we can do

We can do what we want

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