Team Member Spotlight: Bruno Rebello

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Physiotherapist Bruno Rebello has covered a sizeable chunk of the globe in his journey to POGO – a tick over 14,000km from his starting point to be exact.

The 36-year-old clearly remembers his first contact with a physio as a teenager in his home town of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil when his mum had problems with her neck.

But it wasn’t until he injured his knee at martial arts training that he had need for one himself and that’s when his career path crystalised.

“I wasn’t sure which direction to go at university and I had four options in my mind – vet science, dietician, PT and physiotherapy,” Bruno says.

“I hurt my knee while at brazilian jiu jitsu training, had an operation on my meniscus and from there the specialist told me ‘you’re all fixed, go away’ but never directed me to have any physio or anything like that.

“Even though I was young and fit I struggled for a good three months and was on crutches for a month which was ridiculous for that type of injury I had.

“I spoke to mum’s physio one day who said ‘if you had come to see me I could have made your life much easier’. I just didn’t know.

I thought that would be a cool thing to do so that’s when I decided to become a physio. @pogophysio Click To Tweet

“I thought that would be a cool thing to do so that’s when I decided to become a physio.”

Bruno’s first job was offered to him as an extension of his last year clinical placement and as a result of his high achievements at a multi-million clinic owned by soccer “phenomenon” Ronaldo and his physiotherapist Nilton Petrone, then went into partnership inside a specialist clinic and in 2008 decided with wife Kamila, who is also a physio, that their future lay in Australia.

“Australia was always in the back of my mind. I wanted to do my Masters here because Australia has a very strong reputation in the physiotherapy field,” Bruno says.

“We were on the Gold Coast for two-and-a-half years, then headed down to Tasmania and spent almost five years working in a sports practice in Launceston.

“We could have bought into the business and stayed but we passed up the opportunity. The drive for the move was Kamila wanting to pursue further education which she couldn’t do in Tasmania.

“We decided to come back to the Gold Coast because we were familiar with it.”

Bruno picked up some part-time work at two different local practices specialising in sports and rehab but his passion for sports, particularly jiu jitsu and surfing, together with his drive to explore better ways of delivering physiotherapy care meant it wasn’t long before he was searching for other options.

As it turned out Brad Beer and the team at POGO were advertising, Bruno was a good fit and after being in the job for just four weeks he took leave to return to Brazil, fulfil a long-held ambition and work at the  Rio 2016 Olympic Games in his home town, an experience he recalls with pride.

“I was with weightlifting for the nine days of competition and then I went into the polyclinic inside the athletes village for three days,” he said. “It was a great experience.

“It was the biggest event I’ve been to, and busy, the physios were treating an average of 80 athletes a day in the clinic.”

Bruno’s arrival at POGO came around the time the practice was about to launch its unique Finish Line Programs and he did not need convincing as to the effectiveness of the model.

“I’ve had experience with something like this before. Not this terminology and model exactly but my first job out of uni in Rio was full access …” he says.

Bruno explains a unique partnership between the university where he studied and Ronaldo resulted in a massive teaching facility which employed 23 fulltime physios and had access to as many as 80 senior year students in their clinical placement.

Physios could spend as much time as was required with each client who had total access to the 3000sq metre facility.

“We were able to do what was necessary for each client, sometimes 2-3 hour consults and sometimes more than one consult with the same person in the day.

“In all my experience at clinics since, I’ve never found anything close to that … until the Finish Line Programs which is the closest thing to full access for clients.”

Bruno believes the two-week Fast Track Program, six-week Complete Recovery Program and 12-week Into Performance Program give him the best shot at the ultimate job satisfaction and client outcomes.

He says guiding a client through their treatments and watching them complete their program and be back at their best is the essence of physiotherapy.

“That is as good as it gets and that’s what motivates you to go into the uni course in the first place,” he says.

“The opposite is also true. What frustrates you the most is knowing you could get so much done for a particular person but for whatever reason that doesn’t happen because they may not be totally committed. And to be honest that could be for a number of reasons.

“Someone in the Finish Line Program who is committed … you can focus 110 per cent on the person in their clinical management. That’s the part we train for and that’s what we enjoy doing.”

Neale Grundy


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