From physio patient to physiotherapist

As an avid soccer player and track and field athlete, Jiggy Manivannan was a regular visitor to physiotherapists’ rooms in his youth.

“I always enjoyed talking with them about the treatments, and then I realised in secondary school that I was actually interested in physiotherapy as a career,” Jiggy says.

Born in Singapore and raised in Australia, Jiggy needed to travel to Singapore for national service after school. After completing his service, he returned to Melbourne to study for four years at Monash University. Four of his six placements were at Monash Health.

Jiggy joined the Monash Health Allied Health Early Graduate Program in January 2022 as one of 18 physiotherapist graduates. Like most new employees, Jiggy has only ever worked with patients while wearing a mask.

“Having to engage with patients while masked has required those of us who are new to the profession to be flexible and adaptable with our communication, and find new ways of encouraging and supporting patients,” he says. “It’s been a challenging, but interesting, time to start our careers.”

Jiggy has already worked in rehabilitation at Casey Hospital and in general medical wards.

“General medicine offers a wide range of patients, from older people who have had falls and functional decline, to people with respiratory and cardiac conditions,” he says. “A lot of the work is assessing patients’ mobility and what they need to achieve to be safely discharged.

“While I was studying, I thought I’d want to work in private practice, but after being exposed to so much at Monash Health, I realise I prefer public health.

“I have so many opportunities to work in different fields including acute, rehabilitation, and community. It’s incredible to get this chance so early in my career.”

Jiggy says his colleagues and managers are very supportive.

“There is a great emphasis on learning, and I feel I can approach anybody to ask a question. It’s a really positive environment,” he says.

This profile is part of a series spotlighting our Allied Health Early Graduate Program. We wish them all the best for their time with Monash Health. 

If you would like to join the team at Monash Health, take a look at our current vacancies on the Careers page.