Readers Share Their Views On Biomechanics Editorial

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I thoroughly enjoy reading Podiatry Today each month. It is an excellent learning tool for a student. However, upon reading the recent Editor’s Perspective column (see “Are Biomechanics Emphasized Enough In Podiatric Education?” page 18, August issue), I found your survey of the schools to be somewhat misleading.
Having just begun my third year at the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, I have already completed two semesters of biomechanics. I have also completed courses in physical therapy, sports medicine, padding and strapping, and have taken several practical biomechanical workshops. Additionally, I will complete an entire five-week rotation of biomechanics later this year. After completing this rotation, I will have seen and treated many biomechanics patients, made numerous plaster casts and orthotics, and performed countless gait analyses in the biometric lab.

Furthermore, each year the school sponsors a required day-long biomechanical workshop for students with noteworthy speakers and presentations. The school also has a formal biomechanics department that is staffed by two podiatrists solely devoted to the field.
My only problem with your article is its apparent conveyance that only the New York (NYCPM) and California (CSPM) podiatric schools provide a thorough and complete biomechanical education. In reality, the Ohio school has every feature mentioned for NYCPM and CSPM. While I am not aware of the biomechanics programs at the other schools, I have the utmost confidence in the education imparted to me by the biomechanics department at the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine.
— Drew Belpedio
Third-year student, OCPM
APMSA Delegate

I enjoyed reading your recent editorial. You expressed my thoughts but in a much better way. Yes, biomechanical knowledge of form and function should be an essential part of podiatric education.
My interest is in the part of biomechanics called mathematical morphology. I have a number of publications in this area pertaining to the foot. My special interest stems from the fact that I am the only podiatric physician with a PhD in applied mathematics.
My last paper, “Representations of Hallux Abducto Valgus Using the Shape of a Triangle,” was published in the International Journal of Podiatric Biomechanics in 2002. I am working on a new paper, “Morphometric Evolution of the Metatarsal Length Pattern: Biomechanical Implications.”
As an Adjunct Clinical Professor at the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine, I have some input into the cirriculum. I agree that more emphasis should be placed on biomechanics in podiatric education.
— Philip H. Demp, DPM, MA, MS, PhD
Pdemp@dca.net

I enjoyed reading your recent editorial. Biomechanics is of prime importance to all aspects of podiatry yet it hardly receives the attention and respect it deserves. As you stated, the emphasis in biomechanics at CSPM is the best. I was particularly glad that you mentioned the fellowship program there. I was the college’s last fellow from July 1999 to July 2000 and I learned a great deal from the biomechanical wizards there.
— Jack Hadad, DPM

I read your commentary with great interest. As a member of the biomechanics department at the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, I applaud you for many of your observations. However, I was curious as to where you obtained your information regarding how and in what ways biomechanics are taught at the various schools of podiatry. I might suggest you were not complete in your commentary and a little more information gathering on your part would be in order.
— Scott Spencer, DPM
Associate Professor
Orthopedics/Biomechanics
Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine

I read your recent column with interest. Integrating biomechanics and surgery is not a new educational strategy in podiatric medicine. As a direct result of our student outcomes assessment planning process, the College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery at Des Moines University has merged the biomechanics and surgery courses for several years. For over 15 years, our third-year problem-based learning curriculum has integrated principles of biomechanics and surgery.
— Robert M. Yoho, DPM, MS
Vice President for
Academic Administration
Dean, College of Podiatric
Medicine and Surgery
Des Moines University

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