Our Story
Dylan Koh
Physiotherapist, SPD (formally known as Society for the Physically Disabled)
Published on 19/11/19
Meet Dylan Koh, a Physiotherapist whose volunteer experience with Singapore Disability Sports Council spurred his decision to seek out a career in social service. This is his story.


What sparked your interest in social service?

I had the opportunity to volunteer with Singapore Disability Sports Council, which was an eye-opening experience for me. I was impressed by the tenacity and capabilities of the athletes, which made me realise that individuals with disabilities are equally capable if they are given the opportunity. This experience inspired me to seek out a career that would let me work closely with people with disabilities, and empower them to lead active, independent lives in the community.

What is the driving force behind your decision to work in social service?

My parents and grandparents have been a strong influence in shaping my drive and desire to help others. Even though they are not working in social service, they readily lend their help to those in need. Their consistent acts of kindness spurred my decision to join social service.

Besides passion, what other qualities do you think are needed to work in this industry?

Empathy and flexibility. In social service, our key role is to empower people and drive positive change. Every individual’s needs are different, and there will be variations in the situations we encounter. We need to be able to manage changes in circumstances and be creative in problem-solving. The ability to understand and share the feelings of others is essential to make meaningful change.

What has your experience been like in the sector so far?

I had the opportunity to undergo a three-week internship at a Day Rehabilitation Centre for the elderly as a therapist assistant. I worked with elderly patients who were recovering from stroke and learnt from an experienced therapist. It was a fulfilling experience as it allowed me to better appreciate the concepts taught during my studies in university.

What do you like most about working in social service?

The powerful sense of camaraderie. As a Physiotherapist in the adult and elderly services, I work with professionals from different disciplines to instil purposeful changes and empower lives. The strong comradeship creates greater collaboration to help our clients overcome daily challenges.

Why did you choose to take up the Social Service Scholarship?

The overseas exchange programme allowed me to broaden my perspective on delivering healthcare services. Locally, there are also plenty of internship opportunities to help consolidate theoretical knowledge and gain practical experience.

What advice would you give to those who are considering the Social Service Scholarship?

Get involved with the community and volunteer your time at different social service agencies. In this way, you will be able to gain first-hand experience working in the sector and learn valuable insights through interaction with the professionals. I would also encourage you to go for internships so you can gain a better understanding of the work social service professionals do.

A physiotherapist is one of many roles in Social Service.  To find out more, read about a career in therapy.