When your podiatrist decides to run a marathon just to understand the possible injuries better, you know they are passionate about their profession. Meet Dr. Katherine Dux.
“I was a volunteer at the Chicago Marathon for several years and I had patients that would come in with concerns after training or running a marathon,” explained Dux. “And while I had been to probably every different boutique fitness class in the Chicago area, and was active, I had never run a marathon. I thought, I can do this. “I always want to better understand how my patients get injured or the pain they are experiencing, so I can provide the best care. It helps me understand the shoes, the warm-ups, the training and overall movement. Running a marathon made sense.”
How the passion started and where it took her
Dr. Dux was first drawn to podiatry when she was 17 years old. “I had bunion treatment at that time and truly enjoyed the experience I had with the podiatrist and his office. I ended up working there in high school through my second year of college. I was able to get a good sense of the profession, shadow the doctor and see the real day-in-the-life of a podiatrist.”
Dr. Dux attended Loyola University as an undergraduate and podiatry school at Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine. “I am from the Midwest and so after undergraduate and podiatry school, I thought I wanted to venture out west. Yet I felt so at home as a student rotating through the Loyola/Hines program, and so enjoyed teaching junior residents, I jokingly told my mentor and residency director, Dr. Ron Sage, I never wanted to graduate residency, so I wouldn’t have to leave the Loyola program,” said Dux.
As luck would have it, during Dr. Dux’s senior year, a position opened for an attending podiatrist at Loyola and she was hired just two weeks after completing her residency. “It was quite the transition from being a resident to an attending, but I have enjoyed every minute of it over the past seven years!”
Dr. Dux is currently an attending podiatrist and assistant professor with the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at Loyola University Medical Center where she also did her residency. She is also a consultant to the Department of Surgery, Division of Podiatry at the Hines VA.
Getting and staying involved
During podiatry school Dr. Dux continued to work for the podiatrist on holidays and breaks and became involved with as many student organizations as possible. She was Vice President of the Illinois Podiatric Medical Association and planned the annual midwinter seminar at the Rosalind Franklin University. She was also involved with the APMA at Scholl College and attended the APMA meeting in Florida during her third year. “My involvement in the different organizations enabled me to meet many practicing podiatrists and learn about different aspects of podiatry,” explained Dux.
Dr. Dux continues to remain active in her profession. She is a member of the Annual Scientific Conference Committee for ACFAS and the Cognitive Exam Committee for the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. She is a journal reviewer for JFAS, judge for the International Post-Graduate Research Symposium at the Midwest Podiatry Conference, on the Rapid Response Committee and an Ambassador for ABPM. She encourages residents and especially young practitioners to get involved. “Use every moment, especially as a resident, to experience, learn and grow. Involve yourself in your profession – especially in your areas of interest both so you learn what you like, and you meet mentors to help you in developing as a professional.”
Dr. Dux is dual board certified in medicine and surgery. “I sat for the ABPM board in 2012, the last year case submissions were mandatory. This required a lot of work but was a learning experience because it required me to review some of my first cases as a practicing podiatrist. The ABPM certification has been invaluable to me. It has allowed me to gain staff privileges at multiple facilities and has provided proof to my patients that I hold certification in the specialty of medicine. I think it is essential for all podiatrists to demonstrate their knowledge of the medical aspect as a foundational certification. The ABPM certification shows I know medicine and biomechanics and will look for the best ways to treat patients conservatively first. I am also certified with ABFAS. I am a huge proponent of achieving both credentials because it shows your patients you care about and are well-versed in primary podiatric medicine and podiatric surgery.”
Dr. Dux also believes in creating balance. While she is passionate about her work, she reminds residents especially, to remember to pursue other personal interests in addition to your profession. “Make time for yourself, your family and your friends – it will make you a better practitioner,” she explains. In addition to exercise, Dr. Dux can be found working on her golf game, learning about and collecting wine and traveling internationally – especially France. As for that marathon, Dr. Dux says she learned a great deal training for, and participating, but she confesses, “I probably won’t do it again any time soon.”