Established DPMs To Teach Residents Online

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By Brian McCurdy, Associate Editor

Podiatric residents will have access to the expertise of a diverse range of established DPMs thanks to a new series of online lectures. Podiatry Online founders Alan Sherman, DPM, and Michael Shore, DPM, have created PRESENT (Podiatric Residency Education Services Network) Residency Courseware, which will bring lectures to all residency programs through the Internet. Podiatric residents will now be able to access 52 weekly hour-long lectures online, beginning August 1.
The goal of the program is to “equalize the access to high quality formal teaching materials by the nationwide community of podiatry residency programs,” says Jay Lieberman, DPM, the editor and director of content development for the courseware. “We need to achieve a higher uniform standard for didactic education in podiatric residency programs. We can look forward to the day that hospital credentials committees can review the application by a podiatrist for staff privileges and be truly confident that they know what he or she has been trained to do.”

Among the nation’s 295 podiatric residency programs, there are “enormous variations” in the amount and nature of formal teaching performed, according to Dr. Sherman. He also notes that a survey of residency directors found most directors have difficulty fulfilling their lecture responsibilities — one hour a week — and they assign many lectures to residents.
PRESENT helps residents fulfill the educational requirements of the Council on Podiatric Medical Education’s Document 320, according to the group’s Web site, www.podiatricresidency.com. The program has noted podiatrists on its advisory board and an editorial board composed of members of the Council of Teaching Hospitals (COTH) Executive Board.
“We have been successful in getting incredible lecturers,” says Dr. Sherman, noting most of the DPMs the group has asked have agreed to participate.

How Can This Program Help The Profession?
Douglas Richie, Jr., DPM, who will provide a lecture on adult-acquired flatfoot for PRESENT, says the program will be “a valuable asset to any residency training program.
“This will enable podiatric residents to have access to insights and opinions from clinicians outside of their own program,” comments Dr. Richie, an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Biomechanics at the California School of Podiatric Medicine at Samuel Merritt College.
“All too often, a residency program has a group of faculty or attendings who follow the same philosophy of practice. There may not be a lot of diversity or exploration of new treatment approaches in such settings,” says Dr. Richie. “With this new Internet-based education program, a large group of clinicians will participate with a wide variety of insights, experience and philosophies which can enable the resident-student to develop his or her own treatment pathways based upon a broad base of information.”
Dr. Richie says the online courseware offers busy residents the convenience of listening to lectures whenever their schedules permit.
Annual subscriptions cost $1,500 per resident and there are discounts based on the number of residents in a program. Dr. Sherman notes many residency directors are unaware of the generous government funding earmarked for educational services such as PRESENT. He notes the Council of Teaching Hospitals “has taken an active role in making residency directors aware that their hospitals have the funds to pay the fees and should be spending these funds on high-quality educational materials.” PRESENT has several corporate sponsors (led by Dermik Laboratories and Medicis) and Dr. Sherman says he expects all 52 lectures to be sponsored.
Dr. Shore says PRESENT may be a key step in achieving a higher common ground between the various podiatric residency programs. In speaking to residency directors at the annual meeting of COTH, Dr. Shore asked them to “look at PRESENT courseware as an educational tool that will form the building blocks for curriculum and standardization, to bring about equality between our training programs and those of the MDs.”

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