A Closer Look At The State Of Podiatric Residency Training

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Alan Catanzariti, DPM, FACFAS, and Robert Mendicino, DPM, FACFAS

   Residents need education on ways to develop a strategic approach to managing their debt. Residents must learn appropriate tax saving ways to apply for loan deferments, how to lock into reasonable rates of repayment, how to explore loan forgiveness programs offered by the federal government or individual states for public service, and how to search for new programs being offered by the government.

   For example, a new income-based repayment plan is under consideration that mixes loan forgiveness and a repayment plan according to your income. However, residents cannot be expected to gain this knowledge on their own. They have a large number of clinical and academic responsibilities that consume their time.

   We need to consider implementing an educational program during residency training to help them navigate through this cumbersome process in a timely manner. This could be a standard program offered through the Council on Teaching Hospitals (COTH) or some other similar organization. Otherwise, our graduating residents risk making uneducated financial decisions that will adversely affect their professional lives in later years.

In Summary

Our residency programs have made significant progress in clinical training. The entire profession has benefited from these advances in residency training. The future is bright for our graduates as they are better prepared and have greater employment opportunities than any previous generation of graduates from our residency training programs.

   However, they will face challenges in a competitive healthcare environment that can adversely affect their professional growth and the continued growth of podiatry. We need to consider implementing programs that provide greater business acumen, deliberately provide leadership skills, emphasize the need for research and provide direction and advice in dealing with student indebtedness. These changes will keep our residency training programs thriving in the future.

   Dr. Catanzariti is the Director of Residency Training in the Division of Foot and Ankle Surgery at The Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh. He is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

   Dr. Mendicino is affiliated with Pinnacle Orthopedic Associates in Salisbury, N.C. He is a Fellow and Past President of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.


1. Barske HL, Baumhauer J. Quality of research and level of evidence in foot and ankle publications. Foot Ankle Int. 2012; 33(1):1-6.

   Editor’s note: We encourage you to share your thoughts on this article. Please share your thoughts and comments at www.podiatrytoday.com or via Facebook at www.facebook.com/PodiatryToday.

   For related articles, see “Current Directions In Podiatric Education” in the October 2009 issue of Podiatry Today or “What Does The Future Hold For Podiatric Surgeons?” in the June 2010 issue. For other articles from the archives, visit www.podiatrytoday.com.

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