Having had foot problems all of my life, I was helped by a family podiatrist as a runner, triathlon, bike trekker, and as a career soldier (reserve field soldier and then active duty as a podiatrist). The hours, scope of practice, liability, and time with family suited me to the proverbial 'T.' The market is ever expanding on all levels, in all age groups, but the fight to get into all areas of medical practice arenas continues. So let's keep on keepin' on even if we don't or can't seem to get the support we need from within when needed when the chips are down. /wg/WillTrekker/
Without hesitation. I find my work very rewarding and my patients very satisfied.
I get aggravated when we are slow in the office and aggravated when we are too busy. Sounds like I would be aggravated no matter what I did.
I would have become a general surgeon or orthopod. Residency is just as tough but make a bigger difference with more respect. Just my two cents.
We are still 2nd class doctors (sic Title 19). Knowing what I know now (and didn't know as a naive pre-med student), I'd skip podiatric medicine and become a M.D. Yes, I enjoy being a podiatric physician, but it has not been financially rewarding and our profession is wrought with problems due to our small size and under representation in the overall medical community. I generally don't recommend our profession to students I run into.
I enjoy my work and really like working with patients. I absolutely HATE dealing with insurance companies, government regulations, and staff! I would not enter ANY branch of medicine if I had it to do over again. When I started out, in 1983, it was a whole different world. While it was never easy, it was NOTHING like today.
What I find most frustrating and angering is that somehow this profession of podiatry has never been totally successful at educating the general medical profession which, as absurd as it sounds , includes orthopedics and the holistic nature and preventive nature of how we help people (mostly via orthotics).
I have spent 35+ years in practice and this has included teaching ,running a program for caring for the homeless, and private practice. I am currently finishing - and I stress the word finishing - working with a large orthopedic group who have been the absolute worst at referring patients who need care.
I can't help concluding that we as a profession are just not respected and the foot is and probably always will be misunderstood and under-treated for a variety of reasons, most of which are beyond our control.
I suppose if you are an academic type and get a well paying gig that does not depend on private reimbursements, you can be satisfied. Otherwise the profession has been a big disappointment. I should have gone to Mexico or Italy back in the early 1970s and gotten an MD. Of course much of what plagues podiatry is also true of medicine in general: a lack of holistic approach and a lack of preventive care models and methods that are VALUED.
For 32 years, I never went to work. It was more of a calling and extremely fulfilling. I loved what I did and garnered the respect of those who got to know me ... and I worked hard to get that respect from those in the medical fields and my patients. I learned early on that if you treated patients the way you would treat your own family, were sincere in your actions, and followed your heart, success would come both personally, and financially. There is nothing I would have rather done.
I love being a foot and ankle (leg in Florida) physician/surgeon but I would prefer doing all that I do as a full-fledged member of medicine — one recognized by peer, community, organization, media, legislative, legal and society. We have and continue to battle all of the above to do what we love to do.
While we've seen tremendous growth in our training, scope and utility, it continues to be a fight. From the days of being scorned by my own teacher as a 'peripheral podiatrist' for wanting to learn how to do an ankle stress study to being denied admitting privileges at one of my current hospitals plus fighting the orthopedists for ankle implant privileges — what really has changed?
I have to agree with many of the previous postings. While I love what I do and I take on head first the problem diabetic patients, my frustration remains high. I do get many PCP referrals and work closely with an endocrinology group in town. However, I am always aware that I am not a member of the MD "inner circle."
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