Insights from Dr. Michael Munson, Assistant Professor Internal Medicine and Fellowship Program Director

Fellowship applications due: November 1, 2016 – contact Dr. Michael Munson for info at Munsonm@umich.edu

Over the last couple of years, the ABPM has featured the career paths of different podiatrists in our Practice Profiles section of our Residents newsletter.   While we will resume those profiles in future issues, we have been asked by many residents and members to also profile different CPME approved fellowship programs.   As more podiatrist consider pursuing careers at academic health centers or simply want to expand their knowledge in a concentrated area, there seems to be an increased interest in fellowships.

With this October issue, we launch a series of articles where you will get an in-depth understanding of a few different CPME approved residencies.  This month we focus on a research fellowship in limb preservation, wound care and diabetic lower extremity complications at the University of Michigan Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology, and Diabetes (MEND) in Ann Arbor, Michigan    This CPME fellowship is a two-year program designed to train podiatrists interested in a career in research, teaching, clinical medicine and surgery.

“The educational opportunities in this program are quite rare. We are aware of only a few training programs of this kind that seeks to produce highly trained wound care and limb preservation experts in academic medicine while also providing the fellow the opportunity to acquire the necessary skills for statistical analysis and research design. This new program would take advantage of the unique background and training of our podiatric physicians, our relationship with MEND and the Comprehensive Diabetes Center, as well as the University of Michigan Wound Care Center. We need to train new physicians in wound care and limb preservation to coordinate care in this multidisciplinary specialty.”

What are some key aspects of this Fellowship?

“While our focus is limb preservation, we will expose the fellow to a full spectrum of lower extremity pathology in clinic.” Some of the key areas include:

  • Neuropathy: “We have the unique opportunity to have the fellow train for 2-4 weeks in our neuropathy clinic with one of the world’s leading experts in neuropathy. As many podiatrists learn shortly after residency, we are on the front lines of treating painful peripheral neuropathy.  While we get some exposure in residency, it is our goal to provide our fellows the additional training needed to be an expert in the field of peripheral neuropathy.”
  • Limb salvage: “In addition to clinical and surgical podiatry, our fellows will get the chance to spend time with expert pedorthists and orthotists fabricating and adjusting braces and orthotic devices. Further, the fellow can also work with our ID specialists on our population at risk for limb loss.  “
  • Research: “This fellowship will likely be the only time in one’s career that they have the opportunity to write and conduct research with the benefit of six months of dedicated, protected time. Our research directors, James Wrobel, DPM a leading podiatric author, and Rodica Busui, MD, an endocrinologist, and the leading expert internationally in understanding the mechanisms of diabetic complications, particularly of diabetic peripheral neuropathy and cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy, will provide expert guidance. The University of Michigan has near limitless support for those who desire to publish their work. Researchers at University of Michigan have access to world-class facilities and services, comprehensive grant administration support and a variety of other resources. Our division, and indeed our entire university, provides opportunity to collaborate with world class faculty on research projects.”

How are candidates selected? What do you look for?

“While we are generally recruiting recent and current residents, we are open to accepting applications from anyone who is interested in a career in academic medicine.  Ideally, we are looking for someone who desires a lifelong career of clinical medicine, surgery, teaching, and research.  I believe this is most easily accomplished in a medical school or academic institution. The University of Michigan is ranked as the #1 public University for research, and as such offers a great deal of opportunities for support and collaboration on research projects. As post graduate training in Podiatry is new to our University, we want someone who will represent us proudly.”

“Podiatric physicians already receive training in internal medicine, infectious disease, vascular medicine, surgery, preventative diabetic foot care and wound care in their three years of residency. They are ideally suited to expand on this knowledge through fellowship training to become a highly-trained specialist in this field. This also serves to help expand the evidence base and produce more research-minded clinicians and clinician-educators.”

Interested Podiatrists may contact Dr. Michael Munson, Fellowship Director at Munsonm@umich.edu   Deadline is November 1, 2016.

NEXT ISSUE:  Additional insights in the U of M program.  Why the ABPM credential was selected as the certification of choice for University of Michigan fellowship staff. Thoughts on the increased interest in wound care and limb salvage.    If you have or know of a CPME fellowship program that you would like featured, please email admin@abpmed.org.