New Dean and ABPM Diplomate, Dr. Kathleen Satterfield, takes charge at critical time for WesternU’s College of Podiatric Medicine

ABPM Diplomate, V. Kathleen Satterfield, DPM, FACFAOM, MAPWCA

ABPM Diplomate, V. Kathleen Satterfield, DPM, FACFAOM, MAPWCA

Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Podiatric Medicine is trying something unprecedented in podiatric medicine – having its students sit for the same licensing exam as osteopathic (DO) and allopathic (MD) students.

To provide stability during this critical juncture, WesternU has tapped CPM Associate Dean and ABPM Diplomate, V. Kathleen Satterfield, DPM, FACFAOM, MAPWCA, as the College’s new dean, effective May 1, 2019.

“Dr. Satterfield has been an integral part of the College of Podiatric Medicine from its early days. She is uniquely qualified to lead the College as a seasoned academic podiatric physician and surgeon,” said Daniel R. Wilson, MD, PhD, President of Western University of Health Sciences. “She will ensure that the high standards of performance and accomplishment set by the College over the past decade will continue to be met, indeed, surpassed, even as our students enter a new era for podiatry at WesternU and beyond.”

Satterfield has worked at WesternU since September 2010 and provides leadership continuity as she succeeds Founding Dean Lawrence Harkless, DPM, who retired in June 2017, and Executive Associate Dean Lester J. Jones, DPM, MSEd, who has served as interim dean and retired at the end of April.

“Our college is going through some growing pains,” Satterfield said. “I was afraid if I stopped now maybe somebody with a different goal would come in. We’re trying something very ambitious here in California and that is a change in our license, in a way.”

Satterfield had planned to retire before being asked to consider becoming a candidate for dean.

“Dr. Satterfield brings a wealth of academic and personal experience to the position of dean. She was one of the founders of our pioneering curriculum, integrating podiatric education with that of the other health professions, and our outcomes demonstrate the correctness of our approach,” said WesternU Provost and Chief Operating Officer Gary M. Gugelchuk, PhD. “Now she brings that wealth of background to propel the College to even higher levels of achievement.”

The reason Dr. Satterfield decided to take on the task: CPM students

“I love our students,” she said. “We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for our students, and they have the potential to treat so many more people than one person can.”

CPM students are now more than 90 percent embedded with College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific students, taking much of the same curriculum and tests.

“Because we asked ourselves a few years ago, ‘When does an orthopedic surgeon become an orthopedic surgeon? In his or her residency,’” Satterfield said. “Why should it be any different for podiatric physicians and surgeons? We want our students to be excellent doctors first, and then trained to be podiatrists.”

CPM is moving toward having its students earn a Physicians and Surgeons Certificate, which will require approval from the Medical Board of California, the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Medical Association, and the American Podiatric Medical Association.

In preparation, WesternU CPM students will sit for the Comprehensive Basic Science Examination beginning this year and for the next two years, as a preliminary testing process to identify readiness to sit for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) steps 1, 2 and 3.

“Once we prove our students are passing the same tests that their DO and MD colleagues do with success, we have a good argument that we have reached parity,” Satterfield said.

One concern emanating from others in the profession is whether CPM students would concentrate on becoming physicians at the expense of becoming good podiatrists.

“Our students have proven that to not be the case,” Satterfield said. “They have the highest rate of residency placement of any school in America. Our students have a 100 percent pass rate on their clinical skills physical exam and ultimately on their boards part 2, which is all podiatry. I think we have proven that you can be a good physician first and then trained to be a podiatrist.”

Dr. Satterfield is the person best suited to take over the as the next CPM Dean, Jones said. She understands CPM’s highly comprehensive and rigorous curriculum, the complex nature of regional and professional accreditation standards and requirements, and has the highest degree of integrity, diligence, intellect and resilience to failure, which places the College in good hands.

“It is my belief that she possesses a feeling of a calling to maintain the highest standards that are the fundamental building blocks that gave rise to the Western University of Health Sciences College of Podiatric Medicine,” Jones said.

Career switch from a Journalist to a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine

Dr. Satterfield, who became a podiatrist as a second career, never imagined she would be dean one day. She first learned about podiatric medicine while working as an investigative journalist at the El Paso Times. She was investigating a medical doctor with questionable practices on the El Paso-Juarez border, and in the course of her undercover work met podiatrists who were in the same building as the subject of her investigation. They specialized in diabetic limb salvage and wound care, which she found interesting. She continued to visit them to learn more about their profession long after her investigative series was over.

“I had always been interested in the medical field,” Satterfield said. “In podiatry I saw that patients would come in with a problem and a procedure would be done for them, whether it was an injection or wound care, and they all seemed to be happy going out. I thought that would be really fulfilling and satisfying. You’re helping somebody and actually making a living doing it. It was so very different than investigative journalism work where I had to ask people questions they really did not want to answer and I had a lot of doors shut in my face.”

Satterfield earned her Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree from the College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery at Des Moines University, and completed her podiatric medicine and surgery residency at Yale University School of Medicine Clinical Campus/West Haven Veterans Administration Medical Center. She became Board Certified with the American Board of Podiatric Medicine (ABPM) in 1996.

She first met Harkless as a podiatry student, and he would have a tremendous influence on her career. He recruited her to work with him at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and then, after he came to WesternU, convinced her to come to Pomona during the College of Podiatric Medicine’s early years.

“He hired me first as a consultant, and then I came out as a faculty member and associate professor, and then rose through the ranks. It’s been a wonderful adventure,” Satterfield said. “I really have enjoyed it. I have a lot to thank Dr. Harkless for in my life.”

Now as dean she will focus the College’s recruitment on Pomona and the surrounding areas, which have a lot of top-quality students interested in a surgical career. A large number of CPM students come from UC Riverside and UC San Diego. CPM will increase recruiting at those schools and all University of California branches.

“If you go into medical school as an MD or DO student you’re not guaranteed that you will have a surgical career,” she said. “If you go into podiatric medicine and surgery, you are guaranteed you will come out as a surgeon (from) your training.”

She also wants to raise the profile of podiatric medicine as a whole.

“Our profession is one of the best-kept secrets in the world,” Satterfield said. “Once a student shadows a podiatrist at the hospital, or they go into the operating room, or they see patients in the clinic, they love it. They ask, ‘Why didn’t I know about this?’”

Podiatric medicine is a small profession, with about 15,000 practitioners in the U.S., far too few to take care of everyone with diabetic foot problems, sports injuries or other needs that podiatrists are trained to address.

“There is a great need, but we have difficulty filling our class with qualified students,” Satterfield said. “The University has been absolutely wonderful about not forcing us, as some institutions have, to fill a class with students that may not be able to make it. We fill our class with students we know can make it. That is my first goal — to get qualified people into the seats so we fill our classes.”

Dr. Kathleen Satterfield and Dr. Lawrence Harkless were honored as a master during the American Professional Wound Care Association (APWCA) Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pa. in April 2011. (Jeff Malet, WesternU)

Drs. Kathleen Satterfield and Lawrence Harkless were honored as a master during the American Professional Wound Care Association (APWCA) Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA. in April 2011. (Jeff Malet, WesternU)

Source: WesternU News, Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Podiatric Medicine

ABPM Spotlight! Meet Director, Mitchell Shikoff, DPM

Mitchell Shikoff, DPM

Dr. Mitchell Shikoff has been a Diplomate of the ABPM since 1989 and has served on the board since 2009. Dr. Shikoff has several roles as a Diplomate of ABPM; he is currently the Vice President, Chair of the Case Document Review Committee, Chair of the Credentials Committee, serves on the Speakers Bureau, and formed the Marketing Committee on which he is extensively involved. Dr. Shikoff is also the ABPM representative to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery (ABFAS) and the Joint Committee on the Recognition of Specialty Boards (JCRSB), where he has served as the Chair. He represents both the ABPM and the ABFAS as a residency program reviewer for the Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME).

“My time serving as a Director of the ABPM for the past ten years has been challenging and rewarding. I’ve been able to be part of a transformational process of the ABPM and witness astounding growth in membership and Diplomate value. I am proud of the significant changes and encourage all residents to attain certification promptly. Finally, get involved with the Board on one of the many committees and run for a position as a Director. It will keep you at the forefront of your chosen profession.”

Originally from Northeast Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he completed his Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts undergraduate degrees at the Pennsylvania State University in 1979. Dr. Shikoff received his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine in 1983 from the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. He completed his post graduate surgical training in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Shikoff has offices in Bensalem, PA and Feasterville, PA since 1985 and continues to take advanced training in various aspects of Podiatric Medicine, Surgery, and Wound Care which most recently includes new biologic wound dressings and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Dr. Shikoff has served as a residency director of a three year PMSR program, and thoroughly enjoys training residents at the hospitals where he is an attending.

As a dedicated husband and father of two, Dr. Shikoff has many interests outside of Podiatry. He enjoys bicycling, skiing, scuba diving, fishing, traveling, and spending quality time with the family.

Outpatient vs. Inpatient Workup of Diabetic Foot Infections

By: Marisse Lardizabal, DPM,

Diabetic foot infections (DFI) are both challenging and common amongst all podiatrists. Treatment of DFI’s require a level of comfort and training as well as resources available to clinicians. ABPM has traditionally been a great source of information for podiatrists which makes the board certification by ABPM paramount.  Like many podiatrists, you may encounter these types of patients initially in the clinic/outpatient setting, where you can catch the potential signs and symptoms of a diabetic foot infection waiting to happen.

First, nothing can substitute a thorough History and Physical Exam on a patient.  A complete NLDOCAT will give one a lot of information as well as develop a story as to why the patient is presenting with a diabetic foot infection.  For example, time frame of the ulceration, how well the patient’s diabetes is controlled, and any prior and/or current ulcerations will help you formulate a treatment plan. This may also foreshadow how compliant a patient will be with their recovery.  A thorough physical exam is of significant value when looking for classic clinical signs of infection, as well as the status of the neurovascular structures. Does the patient have enough circulation to heal an ulcer? Is a referral to a vascular surgeon necessary? Obtaining radiographs and necessary labs (CBC, CMP, ESR, CRP) should be obtained for a complete work up.

The Infectious Disease Society of America Diagnosis and Treatment of DFI, also known as IDSA Classification, is one of the most helpful guidelines that should be utilized by clinicians who treat DFI routinely. This guideline classifies DFI based on severity of the infection, clinical signs, and constitutional symptoms presented. IDSA also makes recommendations of what the appropriate treatment course should be.  For example, consider a patient who presents with erythema <2 cm around the ulcer with 2+ signs of infection. According to the IDSA guidelines, the patient’s infection is classified as “uncomplicated soft tissue infection” or Mild DFI. Therefore one may feel comfortable sending the patient home with oral antibiotics, local wound care and offloading as well as a 3-5 day follow up to see if the signs of infection have resolved.

Moderate DFIs (erythema > 2cm with 2+ signs of infection present) are the most challenging to classify and treat. Without close observation, these patients can potentially get worse and can be very much considered as admitting criteria depending on presentation of the infection.  At times, these patients can benefit from a decompression of the infected foot in the clinic setting, while making sure wound cultures are obtained prior to discharge. If patients are discharged home, close follow up and monitoring is essential. If symptoms do not improve, the safest course of treatment may be hospital admission for IV antibiotics and possible surgical interventions.

 

Lastly, severe DFIs are complicated local infections in conjunction with the patient endorsing constitutional symptoms as well as presence of SIRS criteria. These are the patients that will be admitted to the hospital for surgical management of the infection due failure of conservative treatment.  The IDSA guidelines are key elements to be familiar with as they will guide your treatment and tell you which patient will need a higher level of care.

Once the patient is admitted to the hospital, inpatient work up of DFI is very much similar to the outpatient setting.  If admitting the patient under Internal Medicine, it is important to communicate necessary labs, imaging, choice of IV antibiotics, NPO status as well as plan for surgical intervention to the service for an efficient and effective hospital course.  One may consider advanced imaging, such as an MRI (preferably prior to surgical intervention), whether there is concern for osteomyelitis or abscess in the foot.  The advanced imaging should by no means delay surgical intervention if it is considered emergent.

This brief overview of triaging DFIs can hopefully streamline how DFIs are treated in one’s practice.  Effective treatment of DFIs is our expertise and it will benefit our patients to have a standard of how it is treated.  Being board certified by ABPM, I feel confident in treating DFIs with the knowledge and background that I continually use in my daily career as a Podiatrist.

 

References:

Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 54, Issue 12, 15 June 2012, Pages e132–e173, https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/cis346

Dr. Charles C. Southerland – In his own words: Why not Med School?

“During the first year of my fellowship, I encountered a patient, a beautiful young woman in her early 20’s with a burgeoning career as a model in Miami, who was experiencing intense heel pain.  She had been treated by other physicians for Plantar Fascitis and tendonitis without any resolution. I diagnosed her with Tarsal Tunnel syndrome and confirmed that with a neurology consultation for NCVS and EMG.  The patient was taken to surgery for a Tarsal Tunnel release.  During the course of the procedure, we encountered a tumor pressing on the posterior tibial nerve. The tumor was removed and the pathology report defined the tumor as a Synovial Sarcoma, Stage 4.

The patient was sent to Sloan Kettering Cancer institute in New York, along with lab results and 35mm slide photographs of the tumor. The Sloan Kettering team confirmed the diagnosis and recommended that the patient undergo a below the knee amputation with follow up chemotherapy.  During the chemotherapy, she lost her hair, and the surgical site on the stump of her leg dehicsed.  She dropped to about 60 pounds from an original weight of 120 lbs.  However, in the end, she survived both the chemotherapy and the cancer.  She kept in touch with me throughout the entire process. I developed a close relationship with the patient and her parents. After arriving back from New York, the patient related to me that the Sloan Kettering team had kept the 35 mm slides I had sent with her (in those days, it was not so easy to make photographic duplicates). When she explained that a podiatrist had made the diagnosis, they told her that podiatrists did not make diagnoses for cancer and that she should credit the neurologist who caught the abnormality on the nerve conduction study. The patient asserted to them that she credited the podiatrist with saving her life. The folks at Sloan Kettering told her that podiatrists were “not real doctors” and so had no real part in the process of treating her cancer. She later related to me that she found them to be arrogant and egotistical.

I remember being very much offended by what she told me, frustrated at being recognized as “only” a podiatrist. At the time, I was reading a book by Victor Frankl, “Man’s Search for Meaning”. Victor Frankl was an Austrian Neurologist and Psychiatrist during World War II.  He was Jewish and became a concentration camp prisoner by the Nazis during the war. He was tortured and emasculated by his captors. One day, as he hung helpless before his tormentors he came to an amazing realization. In order to do what they were doing to him, they could not help but to hate a fellow human being. In a moment of remarkable clarity, Victor Frankl realized that while they could not choose to not hate him, he could choose to NOT hate them back. In this seemingly small thing, he had power over them to determine how he would react to the terrible things they were inflicting upon him. They could not choose mercy, but he could.  In reviewing this, I came to a nexus moment question:  “If I could do it all over again, would I choose to have encountered this beautiful young woman as an MD or as a DPM?”  Two MD’s had treated her before  I saw her, one an orthopedist, the other a general surgeon, and both missed the diagnosis. IF I had chosen to attend St. Louis University School of Medicine, instead of podiatry school, and encountered this patient, would she have lived or died because of this tumor? I realized at that moment, that I was totally, completely, absolutely content to be a podiatrist. If the only thing I would ever accomplish as a podiatric physician was to catch this diagnosis and intervene in a way that saved this young woman’s life, it was all worth it – four years of college, four years of podiatry school, one year of residency training and two years of fellowship. What a wonderful lesson, one that has caused me to be very happy in the practice of Podiatric Medicine for over 30 years now. By the way, my patient returned to her modeling career as a poster model for lower limb amputee snow skiers. She could be found in a number of ads for outrigger ski poles and single limb skiers. To this day, she has lived a good life and remains a good friend.”

Practice Profile: Charles C. Southerland, DPM

Dr. Southerland and studentWhile serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War era, Dr. Charles Southerland was a Special Forces Medic, a role that helped him develop a deep appreciation for the practice of medicine. Later, while on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he met a team of podiatrists who were caring for migrant farmers in the San Joaquin Valley in California. He was impressed with their work ethic and lifestyle – he saw that they were practicing medicine and enjoying the satisfaction that comes with delivering patients from pain, disease and deformity. Then, while an undergrad at Brigham Young University, he applied to podiatry and medical school. After being accepted to both, Dr. Southerland chose podiatry, a decision that he says has led to “lifelong contentment.” (Click here to read Dr. Southerland explain, in his own words, the experience that caused him to be very happy that he chose to practice Podiatric Medicine, instead of going to medical school.)

Dr. Southerland attended the California College of Podiatric Medicine, where he worked as an audio visual technician for his class during the day. At night, he worked as a security guard, a job that allowed him to study 6-8 hours during his shift, while getting up for 10-15 minutes every hour to make rounds and punch a Detex Clock.

After completing a first year podiatric surgical residency at Southeastern Medical Center, he completed a two year fellowship with Dr. Stephen Spinner. Toward the end his fellowship, Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine was starting its clinical program and Dr. Southerland was invited to be one of the first clinical faculty members at the school. He has been a professor at the Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine since 1987.

Through periodic sabbaticals – a privilege he says is one of the great perks of being a full time educator – Dr. Southerland has had the opportunity to expand his view of podiatry and appreciate how podiatric medicine fits in to a worldwide collaborative of providers for foot and ankle pathologies. Dr. Southerland’s diverse educational experiences include fellowship training with AO International in Switzerland, Podopediatrics at Hadassah Hospital System in Israel, Ilizarov Training at the Russian Ilizarov Scientific Center in Russia, and Ponsetti technique training with Dr. Ignacio Ponsetti at the University of Iowa.

When he looks back at his training, he credits hard work, carefully balanced finances and an active interest in technology as laying the groundwork for his approach to Podiatric Medicine. He’s also grateful for the privilege of working with some of medicine’s great minds and believes those experiences helped make him the podiatrist and educator he is today. His mentors include Dr. Stephen Spinner, Dr. Dock Dockery, Dr. Mary Crawford, Dr. Dan Hatch, Dr. Ignacio Ponsetti, Dr. Terrance Barry, Dr. Kieth Kashuk, Dr. Russel M. Nelson, Dr. James Stelnicki, and Dr. Eric Stelnicki.

Dr. Southerland originally sat for the boards when they were the ABPO boards in 1988. He then recertified with ABPOPPM in 1998 and most recently with ABPM in 2016. He also certified with what is now ABFAS in 1987 and has reassessed every ten years to keep his foot and ankle certification current. Over the years, he has served as an item writer, observer and oral examiner for the ABPM.  He feels they have always set high standards for certification and offer a very worthy confirmation of academic excellence.

Dr. Southerland’s advice for residents is to “get the most you can out of your training – even if it means long hours and little sleep. Just remember it is an investment in a lifetime of practice to follow.” He also says that residency is the time to build a foundation for the person you would like to be, and recommends prioritizing family and faith. He also feels that taking good care of your patients will result in them taking good care of you.

When he reflects on his career, Dr. Southerland feels great pride in his former students/residents that go on to noteworthy achievements.  He is also very proud of his accomplishments as the founder and program director of the Yucatan Crippled Children’s Project.  Through this work, Dr. Southerland has seen many of the program’s beneficiaries grow up to be productive, capable members of their society – many of whom might have otherwise been prevented from attending school or obtaining jobs.  Dr. Southerland feels strongly that no one can stand taller than those who will bend over to help a child.

In addition to the Yucatan Crippled Children Project and helping educate more than half the practicing podiatrists in the state of Florida, Dr. Southerland has served as elected Chair of the National Council of Faculties for the AACPM, and a local television medical commentator for first few months after 9/11/2001. Dr. Southerland was also among the first group of Podiatrists to go to Kurgan, Russia in October 2001 and learn Ilizarov technique at its source. He was also part of a group of physicians that attended to victims in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

On a more personal level, Dr. Southerland participates in the Everglades 300 challenge every year, a 300 mile kayak race on the west coast of Florida. However, his favorite hobby is being married to his wife Suzanne for more than 40. They have five “nervewrackingly wonderful” children and five grandchildren.

The Honor of our Life Derives from this
To Have a Certain Aim Before Us Always
Which Our Will Must Seek Amid the Peril of Uncertain Ways
Then, Though We Miss the Goal
Our Search is Crowned with Courage
And We Find Along Our Path
A Rich Reward of Unexpected Things
~ Henry Van Dyke

ABPM Spotlight! Meet ABPM Director, Coleen Napolitano, DPM

Coleen Napolitano, DPM

Coleen Napolitano, DPM

The ABPM welcomes Dr. Coleen Napolitano as the newest member of the ABPM Board of Directors. Dr. Napolitano has been a Diplomate since 1994 and has been active with the ABPM for the past 15 years, primarily with the Examination Committee, where she is the current Chair of the certification exam (Part 2) sub-section.

“I am quite familiar with the ABPM’s past and present and have witnessed first-hand the significant strides it has made in the medical community, said Dr. Napolitano.  “I look forward to contributing to the future of ABPM and believe that ABPM certifies specialty skills that represent the majority and the best of podiatric care, witha focus on medicine and podiatric orthopedics.”

Dr. Napolitano did her undergraduate at Florida International University on a running scholarship.  She obtained her doctorate and Bachelor of Science from Dr. William Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine and completed her residency training at Hines Veterans Administration Hospital in Illinois.  Dr. Napolitano followed her certification with the ABPM by becoming ABFAS certified and encourages podiatry residents to recognize the benefits of dual certification.

She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation in the Section of Podiatry at Loyola University Medical Center and is the Program Director for the podiatry residency training.

Clinical Presentation Skills: Communication with your Patients

Faith A. Schick, DPM

Faith A. Schick, DPM

By: Faith A. Schick, DPM

The ability to communicate with your patients is integral to successful outcomes.   This is an important practice skill that should be developed and mastered prior to graduating residency.

As a resident, I recall spending time shadowing multiple physicians.  After a period of time, I was able to know what the physician was going to say before the words came out of his/her mouth.  This wasn’t because I was getting smarter at understanding how I was supposed to treat a specific condition,  but because I became familiar with the conversation the attending was going to have with the patient.  As time went by, and after many experiences, I was able to synthesize different versions of what I was hearing, and have specific treatment plans I would share with my patients when the time came.

Developing this organized thought process helped to ease the transition from resident to attending.  When the time came I was ready.  I knew how I wanted to treat my patients and what supplies I needed to perform an appropriate physical examination and render care.  Being board certified with ABPM and though my experiences I knew I could handle any situation. I was able to walk into the treatment room with confidence and explain to my patients what I thought their condition was, and how we were going to manage it without faltering.  I knew what I wanted to say before I said it, similar to the physicians I had observed.    This confidence reassured my patients.

Realize that just because what you are saying makes sense to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is going to make sense to your patients.  During residency you are surrounded by peers who easily communicate using medical terminology.  Once in practice this changes, and your audience becomes your patient population.  Language needs to become more simple; you need to still speak intelligently, but use words that your patient will understand.  For example, instead of saying “calcaneus”, explain by saying “heel bone”.  While it may make sense to you that a patient should sleep in their CAM boot, you need to very clear with patients giving them instructions.  Make sure to ask if your patient has any questions before leaving the room.

Think about the message you are trying to convey.  How do you sound?  What does your posture look like?  Are you making good eye contact?  As time has gone by, I have come to appreciate the value this has on my office workflow.  I am able to review my chart notes with ease knowing that there is an organized thought process as to how I treated my patient during their last visit, and depending upon their outcome how I plan to proceed with care.  My staff is able to anticipate my needs and the needs of my patients.  Appointments are scheduled in an organized fashion based upon the diagnosis.  With the advent of electronic health records, I have been able to develop templates that facilitate my documentation process.  Patients are able to leave the office with organized instructions explaining their diagnosis and plan of care.

This level of organization assures that I do not miss any step in my patient’s treatment.  By the time the patient has completed their visit to the office they have an established diagnosis with plan of care, all questions have been answered, necessary studies having been ordered, medical supplies have been dispensed, and a follow up appointment has been made as needed.  This limits my liability and the chance that something gets overlooked or forgotten.  All too often physicians are multi-tasking throughout the day and a simple distraction can lead to error.  Having an organized treatment algorithm keeps things on track to make sure nothing gets missed, and communication with your patients is of utmost importance.

 

Congrats to Western University, CPM’s Class of 2019!

Western University, CPM

Message from ABPM Past President, Lester Jones, DPM:

I want to send congratulations to the members of the WesternU College of Podiatric Medicine Class of 2019 who recently learned that they achieved a 100% pass rate on both the APMLE Part 2 written exam and the Clinical Skills Performance Exam. This stellar outcome represents the diligence and hard work that are hallmarks of the students at CPM. You are a class apart!

This is the second year in a row that the fourth-year class has scored 100% on both of these board examinations. The College leads the nation in residency placement as well as with a five-year history of 100% placement of all graduates into some of the best hospitals in America for their three-year residency programs.

I also want to thank the WesternU community of faculty and staff who work hard to make this College and University such an outstanding place for learning. Strong work all.

Lester Jones, DPM, Interim Dean, WesternU College of Podiatric Medicine

Source: PM News, Online

Meet ABPM President, Dr. Gina Painter

Dr. Gina Painter, ABPM President

Dr. Gina Painter, ABPM President

Current ABPM President Dr. Gina Painter has been a diplomate of the ABPM since 1998 and a member of the Board of Directors for the past five years. She currently serves on the Examination Committee and the Speaker’s Bureau. Past committee involvement has included  Credentials, Budget, Bylaws and Case Review.  Dr. Painter also represents the ABPM as a site-evaluator for the Council on Podiatric Medical Education and is the Board’s liaison to the APMAIn November she was inducted into the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. Dr. Painter is a graduate of the Temple School of Podiatric Medicine and practices in Great Falls, Montana.  Her practice experience is extensive and has included solo practice, partnership in a multi-specialty group, where she served as Chair of the Executive Governing Board and, most recently, as a hospital-based physician.

From Dr. Painter:

Podiatric Medicine has evolved as a whole, with increased integration into hospitals and health networks. Along the pathway toward parity within the framework of the health care delivery system the role of podiatric medicine will rely increasingly on the medical aspect of podiatric care and care of the diabetic foot.

ABPM has a strong presence in the podiatric community.  We have recently escalated our informational efforts to hospitals and insurance panels regarding the value of ABPM certification.  Within the next month new documentation will be provided on the website to members.

The ABPM will continue to act as a staunch advocate for our current and future members.  We hope to be a unifying force within the Podiatric Medical community.  The practice of Podiatry is “diagnose and treat the diseases, disabilities, and deformities of the foot by physical therapy special shoes and other mechanical devices, pharmaceuticals and surgery.”  Let us all excel at it!

Clinical Presentation Skills: Owning and Operating a Successful Private Practice in Today’s Healthcare Climate

By: Daniel T. Hall IV, DPM

With the ever-mounting changes in healthcare and how physicians practice, I wanted to share my experience as a young owner of a private practice. While this may seem like a distant goal, you may be contemplating this type of practice structure. In today’s day to day work environment, it is imperative to know the obstacles you may face. The number of today’s solo practitioners are dwindling in favor of hospital-based employment, multi-specialty groups and/or larger podiatry groups. This could be due to the vast amount of responsibility put upon the doctor. Choosing your electronic medical record subscription, obtaining insurance prior authorizations before office and hospital procedures, navigating treatments around high patient deductibles, and increased in-office overhead expenses could all become daunting tasks. It is no wonder we are seeing reports of physician burn-out at an all-time high. So how does one successfully manage all of these variables and still provide the highest quality of medical care to our patients as a solo practitioner? The answer is simple. Evolve.

Let me explain a bit further. As my father used to tell me, “You can’t know where you are going, until you know where you have been.” As with any practitioner who is seeking advice on how to successfully own a private practice, I always begin with a few questions.

1. How are you generating new patient referrals? Furthermore, how are you keeping your current referring physicians?

There has never been a more competitive time to practice medicine, most notably as a specialist such as podiatry. And many other fields, namely family medicine and internal medicine are feeling a similar burden. The number of hospital-based physician employees and hospital-owned practices are at an all-time high. As a result, some of our best referral sources eventually may no longer be sending us patients if a podiatrist is employed within the same healthcare system. Nurturing referral sources is an important aspect of private practice.

2. Do you have a strong online web presence with positive physician reviews?

Let me give you an example. You are traveling to New Orleans for a conference and a friend recommends a great restaurant in the French Quarter. How many of us are going to search that restaurant on our phones or tablet before making a reservation? Nearly all of us. What if the restaurant had several bad reviews? Would we still go? Some of us probably would not despite our friend’s glowing recommendation. And today’s healthcare climate is no different. In fact, according to Practice Builders, nearly 80% of patients will change their mind about a medical practice after reading a bad review. Patients today are having to pay more money out of pocket for their medical treatment as deductibles rise. It is understandable for patients to be more selective with their physicians moving forward.

3. Do you have active social media engagement (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) that is highlighting the strengths of your practice?

The internet has changed the way we all experience healthcare both as physicians and patients. We must evolve and adapt to keep pace with the current digital world. Without a strong online web presence, your practice is going to suffer the consequences. Being active in social media will strengthen the presence of your practice.

4. What criteria are you using to hire your staff, and how are they trained?

“Behind every great physician, there is a great staff.” How is your office staff greeting patients? How are they handling uncomfortable patient situations? Are they courteous and empathetic? Is your software “staff-friendly” regarding scheduling appointments and handling balances?

These are all important questions that every solo practitioner and their staff should be able to answer. Attending podiatry conferences and utilizing the multitude of online resources available will help one stay abreast to the changes that directly affect the practicing podiatrist. The American Board of Podiatric Medicine also serves as a excellent resource and offers access to a vast network of board certified podiatrists that are dedicated to uplifting our profession and offering guidance for private practitioners.

 

 

 

The American Board of Podiatric Medicine
1060 Aviation Blvd., Suite 100
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254