Flexibility is Key: A visit with Nicole Marie DeLauro, DPM
Ever since her teenage years, Dr. Nicole DeLauro knew medicine was her calling. But it wasn’t until she started volunteering at hospitals during high school that she discovered a passion for podiatry. “I was initially drawn to pediatrics, but after volunteering at a local hospital I was saddened with the hardship that the young patients were experiencing, and I requested to change departments,” Dr. DeLauro says.
After getting reassigned to the hospital’s new diabetic foot clinic, she was immediately impressed by the level of care the patients were receiving and the advancements they were making. “It was refreshing to see the patients receiving treatments and having immediate results. From that year on I knew podiatry was my career passion.”
Dr. DeLauro went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in biology from Lehigh University in 2002, and then her doctorate of podiatric medicine from New York College of Podiatric Medicine (NYCPM) in 2006. As an undergrad, she attended a summer program at the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine for young aspiring podiatrists, and spent summers and college breaks at a local hospital. During her time at NYCPM, she became involved in several activities, from assisting at the NYC marathon to fitting cadet boots at West Point.
After starting her residency, Dr. DeLauro stayed involved in outside opportunities, including numerous health fairs and local athletic events. “Gain as much experience as you can while you are in residency—spend the extra time to read, study, scrub, volunteer, and you won’t be disappointed!” she advises current podiatric residents. “This is the time to learn from your mistakes, and improve upon yourself. Never be afraid to ask questions, and always do the work to find the answers.”
She also reminds residents and young professionals to be flexible and open-minded with career paths. “At the time I completed my residency, New York state law still prohibited podiatrists to have a scope of practice outside of the foot,” Dr. DeLauro says. “Yet, my training in New Jersey provided me skills that exceeded the foot to include the ankle and lower leg. Because of this, I chose to work both in New Jersey and in New York.”
Dr. DeLauro is currently a podiatrist at the Foot and Ankle Center of New Jersey and in New York with her father, Dr Thomas DeLauro. She is a Diplomate with the ABPM, as well as the ABFAS in Forefoot and Reconstructive Rearfoot and Ankle Surgery. “I feel as a surgeon, the core of treatment is medically based, and that all surgeons should be board certified by the ABPM,” Dr. DeLauro says.
Dr. DeLauro credits her father as her biggest inspiration and most important mentor. “He has provided guidance, patience, and support throughout my life and now my career,” she explains. “I have had the opportunity first-hand to see his interaction with patients, his skills in an operating room, and his demeanor in an academic environment, all while fulfilling a constant quest to help others.”
In addition, Dr. DeLauro is fortunate to have a wonderful family who she loves and appreciates immensely. “Mostly, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Carl. He is my greatest supporter, and makes life an exciting adventure.”
Dr. DeLauro is part of the ABPM Speaker’s Bureau and available for presentations to residency programs, and podiatric student groups.