WORD OF THE WEEK: Physiotherapist

Our word this week is physiotherapist/ˌfɪziəʊˈθerəpist/. It’s pronounced phys +i+o+the+ra+pist. You guessed correctly, it’s a noun and the name of a profession. Do you think you might want to be physiotherapist when you grow up? Wait. I haven’t told you the meaning of the word yet. Allow me. A physiotherapist is a doctor who treats people who are sick through physical methods like massages, heat treatments and exercises rather than drugs or herbs. And of course, they work in hospitals. These kinds of doctors treat sicknesses like; strokes, sprains, back pain, arthritis, strains, posture problems, sport injuries and so on.

The history of the word will give you more information. This is a relatively young word. It is made up of the combinations of physio which means ‘phyical‘ or ‘nature’ and therapy from Modern Latin therapia, from Greek therapeia which means “curing, healing, service done to the sick’ and ist which usually means ‘a person who practices something’. Thus ‘one who cures physically’. So you find ‘therapy‘ and ‘ist‘ in words like Chemist, dentist, psychotherapist, chemotherapist, and radiotherapist and so on (I will leave you to find their various meanings).

So if you have a grandma who has arthritis and goes to the hospital, one of her doctors is most likely going to be a physiotherapist. Does this profession interest you? If yes, tell me in the comments, if you answer is No, tell me about what you want to be in the future. I will be waiting!

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Article by Kofi Konadu Berko.Kofi Konadu Berko is passionate about education and youth development. He holds a B.A in Adult Education and Human Resource Studies from the University Of Ghana. His works have been  published in the historic Afroyoung Adult anthology titled Waterbirds On the Lakeshore, Adabraka: Stories From the Center Of the World, Tampered Press and the Kalahari Review. He blogs at obolokofi.wordpress.com