Hi! My name is Morgan Balsam and I’m the newest member of ESP Physio! I recently moved to Edinburgh from the United States after falling in love with this country during a solo backpacking trip last summer. So far, I can say that I love haggis, hate black pudding, and enjoy being called “hen”. And yes, I somehow like the cold, rainy weather.
Before moving here, I worked as a travel Physical Therapist in the U.S., which means I took short-term contracts in different settings and in different states. I wanted to expose myself to different demographics, conditions, and impairments so that I could gain well-rounded knowledge to help me become a better clinician.
In the U.S. I received a Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2022 and a Bachelor’s of Exercise and Sport Science & Minor in Spanish in 2018. I chose this path early on for a few reasons. Aside from having in interest in sports my whole life, I found a love for health and fitness while taking an Olympic Weightlifting boot camp class.
During this class, I noticed I had abnormal physiological signs and frequently became dizzy, nauseous, and sometimes lost consciousness. I went to many doctors, cardiologists, and neurologists, but nobody could figure out what was wrong. As frustrating as this was, I was determined to continue with my exercise program after doing plenty research.
I found what I have is an autonomic disorder called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), and it wasn’t until many years later that I received my official diagnosis. Ironically, many patients with POTS are referred to physical therapy for safe and effective exercise that won’t leave them fainting left and right.
Having this personal experience has made my passion for exercise and physiotherapy much stronger, and makes me more confident in treating people at any physical level.
I have been asked a few times how physiotherapy in the U.K. differs from physical therapy in the U.S. It’s hard to generalize it but based on my experience I have noticed that here there is much more clinical autonomy and time with patients is more valuable.
In my previous jobs, physical therapists are encouraged to see patients multiple times a week for at least a month. Each session lasts about an hour long, but we were usually only allowed to give 15 minutes of hands-on treatment due to insurance reimbursement policies. Many outpatient clinics scheduled 2-3 patients at a time for each therapist, making it difficult to give the same level of care as therapists do here with one-on-one treatment.
I found that I have much more freedom and time to spend listening to patients and providing more efficient treatment. I’m so happy to be here and look forward to helping you get back on track!
Morgan Balsam, DPT
To book an appointment with Morgan, call our team on 01324 227 370 or book a physiotherapy appointment online here