What I Get Out Of Lecturing And What I Hope To Give Listeners
- William Fishco DPM FACFAS
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I was recently lecturing at a podiatry meeting and a colleague asked me “Why do you lecture?” I looked at him and said, “That is a tough question and I really don’t know what to say.” So I have been thinking about that and I want to share with you my thoughts on that.
I was the first person in my family to go into medicine. Just about everybody in my immediate family were teachers so I guess education is in my blood. After graduating from the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, I was fortunate enough to be selected for the Northlake Hospital residency in Tucker, GA. For the older generation reading this, that was the old Doctor’s Hospital. For the younger generation, the residency is now at the DeKalb Medical Center in Decatur, GA.
During my first day of residency, I was expected to become an educator of podiatry. E. Dalton McGlamry, DPM, started the legacy of teaching through educational seminars, educational videos and textbooks. His desire to share knowledge, illustrate proper surgical technique, and promote our profession was evident.
When I started private practice, I was the first Podiatry Institute-trained podiatrist in my state. To that end, I would receive what seemed like a never-ending stream of referrals for difficult cases. Whether it was complex reconstruction, trauma or revision, it seemed that on a daily basis I was dealing with patients who came in with bone scans, computed tomography scans, magnetic resonance images, nerve conduction velocity tests, etc. What I jokingly tell my colleagues now is that no one needs me anymore. Since our younger podiatrists are better trained, they can do all the things that I was trained to do. I still get an occasional referral for a tough case but that is not what my practice is like anymore. Not that I am complaining … I am like you and prefer ingrown toenails and heel pain.
Twenty to 30 years ago, I am sure plenty of people were lecturing to make a name for themselves or to obtain referrals. I do not think that is true anymore. Personally, when I lecture, the last thing I am thinking about or hoping for is referrals. All I really want to do is share what I know and give you my opinion on what works or does not work in my experience.
So for the past 15 to 20 years, I have been lecturing three to four times a year around the country. I have contributed to textbook chapters. I have been writing a monthly blog of Podiatry Today for the past five years. I do not get compensated for any of that. I can’t say that I like to do it but I do it.
The bottom line is that I love my profession and feel obligated to continue the legacy of Dr. McGlamry in my own way. I don’t particularly thrive being on the podium but I do it. The next time you are at a meeting, thank the speakers because chances are they have spent hours in preparation, traveled across the country, took time away from their family, are out of the office (not making any money) and are not compensated for their time and expertise other than travel expenses.
Next stop for me is the combined Podiatry Institute/Texas Podiatric Medical Association meeting in San Antonio in June. Hope to see you there.