Profiles in Excellence: Laura Pickard, DPM

Dr. Pickard

Dr. Laura Pickard

A conversation with Dr. Laura Pickard about podiatric medicine and surgery provides an endless boost of energy. Even at the end of her long day, her enthusiasm for the profession, for the medical industry and the need for ongoing political advocacy and involvement is infectious.

Dr. Pickard is in solo practice at the Norridge Foot Clinic, a thriving practice in Chicago, which she joined in 1992 as an associate to Dr. Stephen Weiss who established the clinic over 45 years ago.  A 1990 graduate of the Dr. William Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, Dr. Pickard completed her podiatric residency program at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, IL.  Early in her career she started getting involved in regional and state podiatric committees and was always eager to know and stay on top of changes in the industry.

“Most of my involvement early on was my way of learning as much as I could about the industry and trends, just to survive!”  “I was always thinking ‘how can I make my practice stronger’.”   “Even today, I think it is critical for young physicians to stay on top of what is changing – know the pitfalls and what can affect your practice and plan accordingly.”

She states emphatically that knowing where to go with questions, ie. APMA, ABPM, ACFAOM, ACFAS, PICA, local or state legislature continues to be important.  “Know your industry.”

“When I started, there were not as many opportunities, especially to join a multi-specialty group. Podiatry, in fact, was still a little marginalized, a little unknown,” explained Dr. Pickard.  Today, she explains, things have opened and joining a group is more common. “There are very good reasons for joining a group such as the shared cost of EMR systems and other business costs, but also the enormous value of working side by side with other specialties.”

Dr. Pickard believes in a conservative approach to podiatry and emphasizes the importance of biomechanics and knowledge of medicine in her practice.  “Know your medicine! We are starting to see sicker and sicker patients so it is critical to know how to do histories and physicals so you can see and evaluate patients not only in your practice but also in the hospital,” she continued.   “I got ABPM Certified first before I even considered the surgical board,” she explained. “It’s a mistake not to demonstrate your knowledge to hospital and insurance panels by getting ABPM certified. More and more they are looking for podiatrists who know medicine.  It makes you more credible. Also, when I speak to students, I tell them, learn to look at the whole patient.  They want you to take care of them.”

“The other advice I give to residents is to get your Boards done early.  It gets harder as you progress in your career, have a family, etc.   It will bite you, “explained Pickard.

At the end of the day, Pickard says she is happy in her practice, loves what she does and continues to be an industry advocate.  I always figure if you give good affordable care, you, your payors and your patients are winners!”

Dr. Laura Pickard accomplishments:

  • Past president of the Illinois Podiatric Medical Association
  • Serves on multiple boards and committees for the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA)
  • Lectures at various conferences including Midwest Podiatry Conference, American Podiatric Medical Association Annual Conference, Illinois Podiatric Medical Association Annual Meeting, Illinois Podiatric Medical Student Association Midwinter Seminar
  • Alumnus of the Year Award in 2015 from the Dr William Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine
  • Fellow of the Faculty of Podiatric Medicine, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Glasgow, Scotland
  • Board certified with both the American Board of Podiatric Medicine (ABPM) and the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery (ABFAS)
  • Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Orthopedics and Medicine (ACFAOM) and the American Society of Podiatric Surgeons (ASPS)
  • Associate member of the Society of Vascular Surgeons (SVS)
  • Member of the American Public Health Association (APHA)



ACFAOM Announces Results of Elected Officers

Dr. Daniel Evans, re-elected president of The American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedics & Medicine (ACFAOM)

Dr. Daniel Evans, re-elected president of The American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedics & Medicine (ACFAOM)

The American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedics & Medicine (ACFAOM) has announced the election of the following officers: Dr. Daniel Evans was re-elected President, Dr. Jason Harrill was re-elected Vice President, Dr. Scott Spencer was elected Treasurer, and Dr. G. Javier Cavazos was elected Secretary.  

Newly elected to the Board of Directors were Drs. Jarrod Shapiro and John Tassone. Dr. Shapiro has been a faculty member at the Western University College of Podiatric Medicine, and has been the podiatric residency program director at the Chino Valley Medical Center since 2013. Dr. Tassone has been in full time private practice for 20 years, and has taught at the Arizona School of Podiatric Medicine since its inception in 2004. or at the Chino Valley Medical Center since 2013.

All doctors mentioned in this article are Board Certified with the American Board of Podiatric Medicine.

Dr. G. Javier Cavazos since 1998.

Dr. Daniel Evans since 1993.

Dr. Jason Harrill since 2002.

Dr. Jarrod Shapiro since 2016.

Dr. Scott Spencer since 1992.

Dr. John Tassone since 2002.

Source: PM News, Online

Bruce Pinker, DPM Organizes 9th Annual Shoe Drive for Homeless

Bruce Pinker, DPM (3rd from right) at the LUW Shoe Drive

Bruce Pinker, DPM (3rd from right) at the LUW Shoe Drive

Dr. Bruce Pinker of Progressive Foot Care in White Plains recently put his best foot forward in an effort to help the homeless. He invited his patients to donate their lightly used shoes and boots to support a shoe drive for Westchester’s men, women, and children in need. The patients responded by donating more than 360 pairs of shoes and boots in all shapes and sizes, many of them new.

The shoes were donated to Lifting Up Westchester (LUW), a local non-profit social services agency, for distribution to individuals from their Open Arms Men’s Shelter, Samaritan House Women’s Shelter and Soup Kitchen. This is the ninth year that Pinker has organized the drive.

Bruce Pinker, DPM has been Board Certified with the ABPM since 2016.

Source: Podiatry Management News, Online.

Stephen L. Barret, DPM Head of EHI Peripheral Neuropathy and Pain Center

Stephen Barret, DPM, Head of EHI Peripheral Neuropathy & Pain Center

Stephen Barret, DPM, Head of EHI Peripheral Neuropathy & Pain Center

Stephen L. Barrett, DPM, MBA has joined Extremity Healthcare, Inc.(EHI) – Village Podiatry Group, LLC and will head a new division. EHI is developing a multidisciplinary neuropathy and pain center in Atlanta, GA, the EHI Peripheral Neuropathy and Pain Center.

“Dr. Barrett, the author of Practical Pain Management for the Lower Extremity Surgeon, has fully recognized peripheral neuropathy and other debilitating nerve conditions as wide bandwidth conditions, in contrast with how peripheral neuropathy is currently being treated, usually in a very limited, and partial manner—usually with less than optimal results,” states Dr. David Helfman, CEO of EHI.
Dr. Stephen L. Barrett has been a Diplomate of the American Board of Podiatric Medicine since 1991.
Source: Podiatry Management News, Online

Lewis Sims, DPM, Holds a Shoe Drive for Vietnam Veterans

(L-R) Drs. Lewis Sims, Erik Sims and Mya Dubal at the shoe drive for Vietman veterans

(L-R) Drs. Lewis Sims, Erik Sims and Mya Dubal at Sims and Associates Podiatry Shoe Drive.

Sims and Associates Podiatry, including Lewis Sims, DPM, Erik Sims, DPM, and Mya Dubal, DPM recently conducted a shoe drive to benefit local Vietnam Veterans. More than 350 pairs of shoes were collected in their Poughkeepsie, Fishkill, and Pleasant Valley offices, as well as Mike Arteaga’s Health and Fitness Center, and MidHudson Regional Hospital. These were directly donated to the Vietnam Veterans of America (local Chapter #869), and will all be distributed locally at the Castle Point VA.

Lewis Sims, DPM has been Board Certified with the ABPM since 1978.

Source: Podiatry Management News, Online

Ben Fluhman, DPM Named “Best of the West”

Ben Fluhman, DPM

Ben Fluhman, DPM

Ben Fluhman, DPM of Grace Clinic Podiatry Center has been voted “Best of the West” by NewsChannel 11 viewers and users. 

Dr. Fluhman graduated from the Des Moines University College of Podiatric Medicine and completed a three-year foot and ankle surgical residency at Scott and White/Texas A&M Health Sciences Center in Temple. He has been an ABPM Diplomate since 2013.

Source: Podiatry Management News, Online

Stephanie Hook, DPM, Hired as First Female Physician at Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists

Stephanie Hook, DPM

Stephanie Hook, DPM

Stephanie Hook, DPM, was recently hired by the Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists (SOS) and is also the first female physician to be part of SOS. Dr. Hook, now part of the SOS Foot and Ankle Team, is board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Medicine and, is skilled in rheumatologic conditions, pediatrics podiatry, and diabetic foot care.

Prior to joining SOS, Dr. Hook spent eight years providing podiatry services in Central New York. She received her DPM from Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland, and was a resident at Catholic Health System in Buffalo, from 2004 – 2006, then served as Chief Podiatry Resident there from 2006 – 2007.

Stephanie Hook, DPM has been board certified by the ABPM since 2012.

Source: Syracuse Post Standard

AACPM Successfully Launched and is Enrolling Physicians in DPM Mentors Network

Dr. Kirk Geter, DPM Mentor at AACPM DPM Mentors Network

Dr. Kirk Geter, DPM Mentor at AACPM DPM Mentors Network

The American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine (AACPM) successfully launched a new, interactive DPM Mentors Network. Seeking to be an industry leader in the advancement of pre-health students’ understanding of careers in podiatric medicine, the DPM Mentors Network is a broad step forward in assisting the placement of pre-health students with mentors for shadowing opportunities.

Additionally, the DPM Mentors Network supports pre-health advisors and counselors from all universities and colleges with locating engaging and dynamic DPM speakers for on-campus student events. With this successful launch, the AACPM is now actively enrolling podiatric physicians around the U.S. to participate as mentors. “I encourage others in our profession to consider becoming a mentor; I truly love it. Giving back, that’s what it’s all about!” - Kirk Geter, DPM.

Dr. Kirk Geter has been a Diplomate of the American Board of Podiatric Medicine since 1994.

Source: PM News, Online


Professionalism in Practice: An interview with Paul Scherer, DPM, MS and CEO

“Never limit yourselves. We place these encumbrances on ourselves.  Diversification is the future.  Don’t limit yourself to private practice. Don’t limit yourself to surgery.  Sign up for different seminars, take different cases.  Keep learning something new,” explained Paul Scherer, DPM, MS and CEO of ProLab Orthotics in Napa and Health Plans Organization of California.

Dr. Scherer, who has been in the field of podiatry for nearly 45 years, attributes his success to his ongoing passion for the profession and for learning.  “I wish I didn’t get bored so easily, but at the same time I think it is important to continually change and evolve.”

Dr. Scherer a graduate of the California College of Podiatric Medicine in 1970,  where he later received his Masters of Science in Podiatric Surgery in 1972 stated  “When I graduated, there were only five, 2-year residencies and one 1-year residency at an accredited hospital.  I was lucky enough to get one of the 2-year residencies at the California Podiatry Hospital. Today, the opportunities are much greater with over 230 residency training programs across the country.   Dr. Scherer went on to a distinguished career that included teaching, private practice, chairing various podiatric departments, serving numerous academic and professional committee appointments, obtaining grants for research and publishing numerous scholarly articles and most recently a book entitled Recent Advances in Orthotic Therapy, which was reviewed and touted as “mandatory reading for all podiatric medical residents,” by Robert Phillips, DPM.

The podiatric profession, according to Dr. Scherer, has both exploded and retracted.  “There is tremendous opportunity in podiatry.  We have grown and have achieved parity with other medical specialties.  I have seen our profession evolve from providing anecdotal diagnosis to scientific evidence-based medicine, which has elevated the overall quality of care for our patients.”  On the other hand, he also sees that in expanding the curriculum to achieve that medical parity, some of the coursework, especially around biomechanics, has fallen out.   “Things we used to teach in the second and third year are now taught in residency, and some things taught in residency are now learned during the practice experience.”

Dr. Scherer has always been interested in biomechanics as an essential part of podiatry.  “There was a point early in my career when I had a chance to work with some of the leaders in our profession.   They began exploring the idea that there was a mechanical origin to the pathologies we were treating, rather than congenital.  This sparked a curiosity and intellectual pursuit that I have followed for the next 40 years.”

Oddly enough, despite the increase in understanding around the importance of biomechanics, there is a decline in the number of people trained in this area.  “We currently have two faculty positions in biomechanics that have gone unfilled,” he explained.  “In a time when I believe preventative and non-invasive approaches to medicine should be increasing, the lack of education in this area is leaving this gap.  It is a missed opportunity.”

Dr. Scherer is board certified by both ABPM and ABFAS.  “While ideally, in my opinion, these would someday be combined, right now it is not only important to obtain hospital privileges and insurance paneling, but it is also an important step in demonstrating professional competence, credibility and development,” he explained.  “Start with securing your ABPM certification and then work towards your surgical certification, if needed.”

As an entrepreneur, Dr. Scherer points out the DPMs have an opportunity many other MDs have long been attuned to, and that his “working in industry.”  This mean, starting companies or working with specialty companies in the industry such as orthotics, shoes, instrumentation, technology, etc.   “I see unbelievable opportunity for our expertise in this industry.”

According to Scherer, seeking opportunity must always be balanced with professional ethics. Being ethical and providing his patients with the best care has driven both Dr. Scherer’s practice and the companies he has founded.   “Dr. Robert Rutherford, often referred to as the father of podiatric surgery, shared something when I was a student that has always stuck with me. He said ‘Look to your left, look to your right, one of the three of you will be unhappy in your chosen profession because one of you isn’t going to do the kind of work you are capable of. You are going to cut corners, you aren’t going to care for your patients in the right way, and you aren’t going to do the right thing.’  I have remembered this wisdom and it has guided me in my professional career.”  “Lastly, if there is one thing I have found, it is that if you are good at what you do, the money will follow.”

For a complete CV and more information on Dr. Scherer, visit


Dr. Dan Margolin Launches “Take Back your Health Now” Healthcare Podcast

Dr. Dan Margolin

Dr. Dan Margolin

The Take Back Your Health Now Podcast with Dr. Dan Margolin is live for download on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. As a practicing podiatrist for almost 30 years, Dr. Margolin has observed an alarming trend among his patients: healthcare has advanced, but the overall health of his patients has declined.

Disease states like cancer, obesity, and diabetes have all been on the rise at a rapid rate. In response,Dr. Margolin has created the Take Back Your Health Now Podcast. On the show, he interviews top doctors, athletes, trainers, and entrepreneurs to try to find the real answers to health’s holy grail.

Dan Margolin, DPM has been Board Certified by the American Board of Podiatric Medicine since 1993.

Source: Podiatry Management News, Online



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