Practice Profile: Dr. Nicole Freels
Dr. Freels has been the owner of her own practice, Lexington Podiatry, for eight years. “I went straight into private practice shortly after completing my residency program at James H. Quillen VA Medical Center, in Atlanta, and after spending a year studying with renowned podiatric surgeons and pioneers, Drs. Douglas H. Elleby and Alan Shaw, and leading wound care specialist and podiatric surgeon Dr. Michael K. Bednarz in Atlanta, Georgia, ” stated Freels.
“While I have surgical training, my practice and my passion is for exhausting all conservative treatments before considering surgical corrections. Because many lower extremity problems stem from underlying biomechanical issues, I specialize in evaluating these issues through detailed biomechanical and gait analysis and treating my patients accordingly,” explains Freels.
For Freels, a graduate of the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, Cleveland, ABPM Certification was vital to her practice. “Because I take a very conservative approach to treating the foot, it was important to me to demonstrate my specialized knowledge in medicine,” explained Freels.
Freels is honest about the upsides and downsides of having a private practice. She says ownership is tough, but rewarding.
“Besides the obvious patient care, you have to be willing to spend time worrying about mundane but maddening things like why the lobby lights dim randomly from time-to-time and who’s going to fix that to how to juggle the overhead and morale of your team. It’s definitely not just a clock-in clock-out mentality, but it can be so worth it!“
Freels has built a practice based completely on the comprehensive treatment of feet that includes a beautiful PedSpa that has earned local news coverage. In addition, she created an all-natural, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory, spa-quality foot care line called Doc Kelly’s Apothecary . Freels’ long term goals for her practice includes working two to three days a week, so she can expand the line. “The name of the line and the philosophy around the line honor the memory of my grandfather, the late Dr. Arthur O. Kelly. I ‘grew up’ in his podiatry practice and his memory motivates me to this day.”
When not managing her foot care line and her practice, she and her husband Rob are always looking for their next adventure. “We have made a commitment to try new and different sports and activities. We’re taking up golf and have loved getting outdoors for long weekend hikes this spring already,” explains Freels. She also shares she has a heart for animals. “While my mind is always thinking of the next port-of-call, my heart is also on animals. I have a soft spot for animals in need and am drawn to charities and organizations that care for lost, injured cats and dogs.”