Residents often seek to enhance their learning during this critical time in their careers. What are their go-to resources and how might these differ from the training of residents in years past? With this in mind, resident panelists share their preferred supplementary educational sources and how they complement their day-to-day training.
Q: Outside of interpersonal educational experiences (in-person or virtual), what learning resources do you use to supplement your residency education? Which do you find the most helpful and why?
Textbooks rank highly for supplemental learning as each of the panelists cite McGlamry’s Textbook of Foot and Ankle Surgery as a vital resource in their residency education. All of the panelists cite the textbook as beneficial in enhancing their readiness for upcoming cases and being a reliable resource for board-qualification preparation.
Anna Stoupine, DPM also shares that she uses Easley’s Operative Techniques in Foot and Ankle Surgery.
“It provides a more modern approach to surgical techniques and multiple perspectives to the same surgical treatment,” notes Dr. Stoupine. “It proves that there is more than one correct way to successfully treat pathology surgically.”
Emily Khuc, DPM relies heavily on textbooks. She feels they typically have high-quality reference information and contain the perspectives of multiple authors. Dr. Khuc adds that she often discovers lesser-known but still high-yield texts on subspecialty topics by sifting through books on the shelves in podiatric offices she visits and by asking her attending physicians for recommendations. In her experience, this is especially beneficial for subspecialty and biomechanics texts.
All three panelists agree that videos are another essential supplemental educational option.
Sandra Farmand-Haider, DPM elaborates on her preferred sources for videos.
“I am definitely a visual learner so when it comes to resources, I prefer videos. I like to use videos on surgical techniques that are provided on the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) webpage as well as YouTube,” adds Dr. Farmand-Haider.
Dr. Khuc also relies on the ACFAS e-learning portal but both she and Dr. Stoupine point out that surgical hardware manufacturers often have step-by-step intraoperative videos on their websites or on YouTube that they find particularly informative.
Other than textbooks and videos, the panelists each have unique resources they find helpful.
“I search PubMed multiple times a day for articles,” says Dr. Khuc. “I also look through the latest Foot and Ankle International and Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery volumes to see what is new and conversation-worthy. The AO Foundation has good general reviews for approaching specific fracture types and patterns in the foot and ankle too.”
Dr. Stoupine lists Foot and Ankle Clinics and the PRESENT Podiatry online platform as reliable resources.
“Additionally, Board Wizards is an online review course that offers a comprehensive question bank in preparation of podiatric certification exams. The computer-based patient simulation (CBPS) practice portion is especially helpful for building diagnostic skills,” maintains Dr. Stoupine.
Q: Do you favor print learning resources over digital, or vice versa? What features of your favored medium make it preferable?
Dr. Farmand-Haider shares that she has always preferred print learning resources over digital reading material.
“I feel as though the print allows me to learn actively versus passively in terms of highlighting and handwriting side notes allowing me to recall the information from muscle memory,” explains Dr. Farmand-Haider.
Dr. Stoupine agrees. She adds that underlining important information and summarizing key points in the margins of print materials is especially effective for her. Dr. Stoupine notes she will reinforce what she learns through reading by viewing surgical videos when videos are available on a particular subject.
Every resident learns differently, however, as reinforced by Dr. Khuc.
“In general, I like digital versions of learning materials over print because they are most easily searched and saved in a format I can reference again later.” says Dr. Khuc.
Q: What do you feel is the role of social media in podiatric medical education? Do you obtain or engage with academic information in this format? Why or why not?
Dr. Farmand-Haider shares that social media in podiatric medicine and surgery education seems to be very beneficial and shares that she uses her Instagram page to promote awareness of the field of podiatry (@drhaider_dpm ).
“The amount of information shareable between students, residents and attendings is phenomenal,” points out Dr. Farmand-Haider. “Individuals can network with established physicians, and it provides students and residents a vast amount of information and resources. Social media makes it more accessible to engage with others in the field as well as spreading the word about our field.”
Social media is a surprisingly useful source of daily podiatric medical education, agrees Dr. Stoupine.
“Following podiatric accounts on Instagram creates a unified sense of community within an already small specialty,” maintains Dr. Stoupine. “Through social media, I connect with other residents to learn from one another about our experiences, opportunities and research. By following physician accounts, I am exposed to complex case studies, teaching points and practice management tips. It is also interesting and educational to appreciate podiatry on an international level by following podiatrists from other countries. Overall, social media allows for a generally safe and comfortable platform to ask questions, engage in conversation, and learn in a more informal, creative way.”
The role of social media in supplemental education likely varies based on what role social media plays in the individual’s life overall. Dr. Khuc does not heavily use social media in her personal life and accordingly does not consider it a primary option to obtain professional or academic information.
Q: Are there any new or emerging academic resources you’d like to share with readers that you or your peers have benefitted from?
“Recently, I discovered a great web resource called Foot and Ankle Surgery Academy,” says Dr. Farmand-Haider. “This resource is great in that it discusses the clinical diagnosis and physical examination, and then proceeds with high definition surgical techniques with step-by-step descriptions.”
Dr. Khuc shares that because of COVID-19, there is an increased frequency and quality of virtual foot and ankle meetings and events, most of which are free. She feels this is a great way to access expert lecturers and providers in other regions of the country, and hopes virtual meetings will continue, even after the pandemic.
“Overall, I think the best academic resources are the ones I have made for myself from what I read and experience,” adds Dr. Khuc. “There are always new tools available to help with this process. I use the Zotero program (a reference manager) to store interesting articles. I use Microsoft OneNote as a master digital notebook on surgical techniques and clinical information that I can access anywhere at any time. For in-training exams and board studies, I have Anki (a flash card app), which helps quickly self-test multiple topics.”
Podcasts are an emerging resource that Dr. Stoupine finds helpful.
“ACFAS on Demand is a podcast organized by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. The moderator and panelists engage in discussions about popular podiatric topics pertinent to students, residents, and practicing physician,” notes Dr. Stoupine. “The episodes are easy to listen to while commuting or even completing chores.”
Dr. Bernstein is the Director of the Podiatric Residency Program at Bryn Mawr Hospital in Bryn Mawr, Pa. He is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
Dr. Farmand-Haider is a second-year resident at Ascension Providence Hospital in Southfield and Novi, Mich.
Dr. Khuc is a second-year resident at St. Mary’s Medical Center – Dignity Health in San Francisco.
Dr. Stoupine is a second-year resident at Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital in Mount Vernon, N.Y.