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What got me into Osteopathy?

Updated: Mar 4, 2021

Growing up at school I was told that being a Doctor would be a good career path for me. Coming from a humble middle class family, it had never occurred to me.

I was an enthusiastic learner, enjoyed science and engaged with extracurricular activities. But like most 16 year olds, I was unsure about my future career and this sounded like a reasonable and exciting prospect.

During my 6th form years my goal became to get into medical school. I did everything I needed to do. After applying twice over two years I got 1 interview at Keele University. I got no further than that.

As a back up, I applied and then attended the University of Southampton learning about human and biological sciences. In other words, I learnt how much we understand about the fine and minute details of the how the body works. Fascinating! Knowing this, we learnt about how we can manipulate it using drugs. Still fascinating and very clever, but never inspired me.

During my dissertation in my third and final year, I found myself at a loss. I had a lot of knowledge on how the human body worked but it became of no practical use to me. A career involved in genetic engineering or drug testing would have been sensible. But neither of these inspired me either.

It was when my Dad said to me one day when I must have been particular down-hearted ‘Have you ever considered Osteopathy?’

Of course, my initial response was ‘What is Osteopathy?’ like the majority of people I now find myself talking to!

I had never received much career advice from my Dad before. Apart from that he didn’t want me, or my brothers, to follow in his footsteps and take on the family fish & chip shop business! So I went to find out more. In doing so I observed my Dad’s Osteopath treat him and suffering from back pain myself, I also had a treatment.

It was a huge eye opener. An Osteopath could help people right there and then. It didn’t involve drugs. It was one-to-one. It didn’t involve working in a cold, dark lonely lab all day!

I finally felt inspired.

After completing my degree at Southampton, I got accepted onto a 4 year masters Osteopathy course in London and I started in September 2012.

The 4 years flew by and what I learned was beyond my expectations. I made lifelong friendships, graduated top in my year and won a prize for best Naturopathic dissertation. The topic of which was how Empathy influences health outcomes. What I suspected is for the most part true, the nicer you are the better people improve! Funny that! Perhaps I’ll touch on it more in a future blog.

Of course, being top of my year did not make me complacent as I think of the graph below. I’m still updating my knowledge and forever pursuing expertise...

Looking back on my suggested narrow career path by my good willed teachers. I now see how it didn’t fit my personality entirely. As an Osteopath now, I am able to make a real difference to people in pain where other interventions may have struggled.

Has this story inspired you to pursue a career in Osteopathy or other physical therapy? If you want to get in touch, look me up on social media at Nathan Bull Osteopathy or email me at

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