Podiatry was a mistake for me. I did not qualify for a residency and entered practice with a severe limitation on my scope of practice. I was not comfortable with attempting to learn surgery at the expense of my patients. I enjoyed wound care but my practice was dominated by geriatric palliative foot care which was terribly mundane and unfulfilling to me.
When I decided to leave practice and try to transition into health care-related businesses, my DPM degree, experience and board certification had no value. Recent graduates with either biology or business degrees easily trumped my DPM in the eyes of the corporate world.
The decision was mine. I failed to perform due diligence and assumptions about the profession that were inaccurate. Mea maxima culpa!!!
I graduated from Scholl in 1983 and have been in private practice for 26 years. I have never missed any of my childrens' musical performances or sporting events as they grew up. I have traveled with my family to Europe, Egypt and the Middle East 40 times.
My MD colleagues respect and refer to me regularly. I rarely am in the hospital making rounds. Instead I am home with my family or out doing something fun. All of this wishing you were an orthopedic surgeon. Why? So you could get called out of bed at 2 AM for a motorcycle accident with no insurance!! My practice is 100% private insured and no Medicare or Medicaid.
When the OR techs and circulators come to you - NOT the Orthopod - for their problems, you know that they know who the real foot specialists are. What a difference in public appreciation and understanding of who we are since 1983. It is wonderful. Most people know that you go to a podiatrist for your feet and an orthopod for all your other bones.
What a fantastic specialty of medicine. You get to help relieve pain and extend quality of life all the while being home for supper and rarely ever getting called out to the ER at all hours of the night. It is not as glamorous to be an MD as some of my colleagues seem to think. Oh and by the way, my practice, which I began from nothing 26 years ago, grossed over $1 million last year, not bad for a one-year resident.
This is a fantastic specialty of medicine. My daughter will follow me at Scholl this fall as a 1st year student. She will have a tremendous learning experience with all of the new advances as well as new surgical techniques and equipment. Twenty six years ago, only a few of us were trained in AO techniques. Now we all use locking plates, etc., and do marvelous rearfoot and ankle reconstructions in addition to being the BEST at HAV reconstruction.
I once sat in an audience and heard Stan Kalish, DPM, say it best: YOU ARE THE BEST IN THE WORLD AT WHAT YOU DO! Yes, I would make the same choice today. I'd have to be crazy to want anything else!
Overall, I have been satisfied. I would do it again if I decide to go into health care in general.
I enjoy my profession and would do it again.
However, I wish there were more opportunities for loan repayment such as there are for MDs/DOs.
Flexibility to move to other states without going through re-licensing.
More help from APMA, which they are finally attempting, to educate the public about our degree.
But I would choose it again because it has given me and my family a good lifestyle with time off to enjoy ourselves. But still, when asked what I do, I often say "I am a doctor" but I rarely say "I am a podiatrist" so I guess I am a little bit embarrassed by the degree.
I live and work in southeastern Pennsylvania where we have high overhead and low reimbursements. Approximately two-thirds of the health insurance in our region is controlled by just two insurance carriers, both of whom have podiatry services capitated for their HMO plans. Just pennies per patient each month for all services including surgery.
Poor reimbursement is one thing, but we actually lose money on many of these patients. Why do we do it? If you subtract out these patients and the referral patterns they generate, I would have a small, declining practice with no future.
I was fortunate out of school to have excellent residency training and good opportunities afforded me to ensure success. Unfortunately, the evolution of the health insurance in our area has crippled my practice and forced me to practice at a very basic level since their policies discourage the best and most comprehensive care.
After 29 years, I still enjoy treating my patients but I would not choose podiatry as a career again.
I love what I do. I have issues with insurance companies and how the public currently views physicians with distrust. I blame Medicare and insurance providers for this alienation between healthcare providers and our patients. I acknowledge that physicians have helped this problem develop, but beyond all this, I enjoy my limited license and I love being involved in the healing of my patients.
I have been practicing since 1992. Yes, adamantly, I would do it again. My license is only vaguely more limited than that of a plastic surgeon or a neurosurgeon. I doubt a cardiologist can fix a bunion any better than I could do a coronary bypass. No, my license is only limited by me. How can I expect others to respect me if I do not respect myself and what I do?
After 31 years, podiatry has been a disappointment. I look back and wonder what happened. I had no residency and no formal training as a small business man. Lack of recognition in the general medical community was a surprise. I came out of college so bright and full of hope, and excited to be going to podiatry school.
It has been a difficult road. You have to have a special personality type to prosper in this profession. If your feelings get hurt easily and you are not aggressive, good luck! I would never recommend podiatry as a career. I feel podiatry has been a mistake and a waste of talent for a lot of good people. I am leaving podiatry soon because I love medicine and I want to regain that brightness and hope that I know is still there. May peace be with you!
I have been a podiatrist for over 36 years. I graduated in 1974 when there were not enough surgical residencies available to meet the needs of all the graduates. Times have changed but the perception of podiatrists as doctors in contrast to MDs and DOs has not. We are still perceived as allied health providers and I am afraid that is not going to change in the near future.
Until uniformity in residency is ongoing, similar in curriculum to MDs and DOs, and recognized by them, things will not change. With all the changes in insurance claims and negotiated fee structures going on, I would not choose podiatry as a medical field of endeavor. My overhead kills me and net income is no better than a college professor. No, I would not pursue podiatry in today's world.
I have been practicing since 1992. When I started out without a surgical residency, it was tough but I made it. Now I work twice as many hours and make half of what I did 5 years into practice. I was never included in the podiatry surgical "elite" because I did not have a PSR. It bothered me a little but I did not care that much.
Soon after I stopped doing surgery, the reimbursements dropped too low and I could not do them in the hospital. I still enjoy treating patients but the insurance is hell! Surgeon MDs do not look down on the GPs. Why do surgeon pods look down on non-PSR pods? Because there were/are too many pods that have crappy to no training!
I love the things that I do and see in podiatry, but I would not go into medicine of any kind if I did it over again.
Battling with insurance companies and getting paid less and less each year would be enough to keep me away. I would go and get a PhD, and teach at a university.
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