Alumni Magazine #5_July 2020_single pages web

Tayla Zurfluh: Changing the world ONE FOOT at a time Faculty of Health Sciences Faculty Prize for the Most Prestigious Student in Undergraduate and Honours for 2019

entails, nor realise our impact in the medical field as well as the community. We need to educate the public on the importance of foot health as well as the vital role podiatrists play in common general medical conditions, prevention of lower limb injury, and treatment of all foot and ankle ailments.” She says that podiatry is vital in the prevention and correction of deformities and injuries. “Keeping people mobile and active, relieving pain and treating infections. Many people take their feet for granted – and we forget that our feet are what keeps us moving. Podiatrists are there to keep all South Africans on the go.” With the help of podiatry, Zurfluh hopes to see more people able to live life “with a spring in their step” thanks to proper care. Zurfluh says that she has a love for people – whether she is treating them or cooking for them. “I am passionate about cooking. My mom’s dad was Italian, and his love for cooking flows through me – and whenever I have time off, I find myself planning dishes. I also find so much joy in cooking for the people I love.” She hopes to use the experience gained during her degree studies to one day run her successful practice while creating public awareness about the true importance of foot health. “In 10 years, I want to see

Tayla Zurfluh knew that she wanted to pursue her studies in the medical field as someone passionate about working with and helping people. But at first, she didn’t know that podiatry was an available career choice. She is a recipient of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Faculty Prize for the Most Prestigious Student in Undergraduate and Honours for 2019 and hopes to use her advantage and knowledge to make a difference to the world. “Podiatry is still very much developing in South Africa: I chose it because of the various opportunities to follow once qualifying.” She has succeeded in other achievements, too. “I was invited to be a Golden Key member after my first year of studies.” It only applies to the top 15% of students based on academic achievements, and only upon invitation. “I was also nominated for the UJenius Club in 2017.” It was knowing that she might have an impact on a patient’s everyday quality of life that finally inspired her to follow podiatry. “Many of us unknowingly take our feet for granted and knowing that I can have an impact is highly rewarding.” Zurfluh says that part of her future goals involves spreading awareness. “Many people do not know what being a podiatrist

my practice fully established and bustling with feet as the best podiatrist that I can be.” She credits her parents as one of her biggest inspirations to become a better professional. “My dad has always taught me to give everything I have when doing something – and my mom, that I can always come back stronger.” The prize, she says, allows her to stand out in an already competitive industry with limited opportunities. “It’s important to stand out from the crowd.” She adds that the prize also reflects her key characteristics, such as good work ethic, commitment, self-discipline, and motivation to achieve success. “This took a lot of hard work, dedication, discipline, and sacrifice. It’s easy to get distracted during varsity, and therefore it’s important to remind yourself what your end-goal is,” she says. “By setting

personal goals and pushing yourself, you will always push yourself to be better.”



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