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ABPM Diplomate, Dr. Stephanie Hook, Elected to the NYSPMA Board of Trustees

Stephanie Hook, DPM

Stephanie Hook, DPM

“I have always had a heart for moving our profession forward. Being elected to the NY State Podiatric Medical Association Board of Trustees is a huge honor and opportunity,” said the newly elected Board of Trustees member, Stephanie Hook, DPM.

As a member of the Board, Dr. Hook will help their mission of supporting excellence in the practice of podiatric medicine and surgery by creating awareness of the profession’s role and value.  This includes supporting lobbying efforts for podiatric related bills, particularly those striving for parity in the medical community, and ongoing work to promote public understanding of podiatry, the level of training required, and specific expertise podiatrists can provide in overall health. She will also serve on the Insurance and Legislative Affairs committees and chair the Awards committee.

Dr. Hook has known since she was a teenager that she wanted to be a podiatrist. “I always knew I wanted to be a doctor, but after having a podiatric procedure when I was in high school and in observing what they did and learning about the profession, I knew then and there that I wanted to be a podiatrist. I know that is pretty young, but I just knew.”

She attended the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine (now called Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine) and did her residency at Sisters of Charity Hospital/Catholic Health System in Buffalo.  “I picked my residency pretty much based on the informal conversation I had with the residency director at the reception during the more formal interview weekend. I was the only one at the reception, which ended up being a great way for me to learn a lot about the residency led by Dr. Joseph Anian.  “I remember liking what he said both about the program and life outside the residency.”   For Dr. Hook it ended up being “a great experience.”   “We were part of the program for all residents and were not singled out as the ‘podiatry residents,’ which I have heard can sometimes happen at some institutions.”

Both in school and during residency Dr. Hook was involved in the State Associations and advocating for the profession.  “I think achieving parity and continuing to establish standards for all states is an ongoing process,” stated Dr. Hook, “but one that also needs ongoing attention and support.”

Dr. Hook worked in a podiatric practice for eight years before moving to Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists (SOS), an orthopedic practice near her home in Nelson, NY.   “I love my job,” she says.  “This is exactly the kind of practice I wanted to be part of.  It is collaborative, ethical, we provide our patients comprehensive care, and we treat our patients like they are family.  I love that I can refer cases to other in-house orthopedists and vis versa.”  One of the things Dr. Hook loves best is that this practice has opened her up to a variety of different cases ranging from sports medicine to diabetic foot care to being a part of the Acute Limb Salvage team at St. Joseph’s Hospital.  SOS is comprised of 31 orthopedic physicians and podiatrists, Dr. Hook was the first woman to become part of this practice.  “While I am proud to be part of the group, I don’t like to single out the gender piece, because I am just one of the team.”

Dr. Hook explains that her group is very active in the community providing trainers for local high school sporting events and tournaments, participating in local health fairs where she has been able to lecture about foot health, as well as sponsoring several community events and charities. “It was important to me to be part of an active and caring group,” she explains.

Shortly after completing her residency, Dr. Hook became ABPM certified. “I think it is really important that podiatrists get certified as early as possible because patients and practices are looking for that credential,” said Dr. Hook.  “Nearly every day I hear patients say, ‘I looked you up online and saw that you had your board certification, etc.’ – it’s not just a nice-to-have anymore.”  Dr. Hook selected the ABPM certification because she felt it was the most comprehensive. “In my opinion, it is much more well-rounded and demonstrates your understanding of biomechanics, medicine and surgery – not just biomechanics and medicine as it relates to surgery.”

While Dr. Hook sees the future of podiatry as very promising, she says she also knows there are pockets within all healthcare professions where financial gain can compromise integrity and optimum patient care. She wants to remind all those entering the field that if you do what you love (as cliché as it may sound) the financial rewards will be there – and be there honestly.   This is something she is very passionate about.   “Follow your heart, do what you love, and you will end up doing the right thing for yourself, your patients, your family and your lifestyle,” she shared.  “We are lucky to be in a profession where we can make choices about our day and the kind of life we want to lead.”

Dr. Hook enjoys sports, photography, travel and spending time with her husband, stepdaughter, and three dogs.  She is also proud to be a part of the DPM Mentors Network.  Enjoy more about Dr. Hook in one of the Syracuse Orthopedic Specialist videos.

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

Clinical Presentation Skills: History of Present Illness

By: Stephen Geller, DPM

Have you ever stepped in a hole and twisted your ankle? Well I recently had a 27-year-old female who was otherwise healthy accept for right ankle pain 3-weeks after a similar inversion injury. No other part of her foot or leg hurts. Her pain is sharp, graded 6/10, localized to the anterolateral ankle without radiation. Standing and walking aggravates the pain and there is still residual swelling and bruising in the area. Improvement has been noted with ice, rest, and ace wrap. She has no prior history of ankle injuries.

Presenting a case is no different than telling a story. Granted, storytelling is an artform itself, but if you can become a good story teller, your attendings will remember you and your medical records will stand out from the rest. In medicine it has become acceptable to use poor grammar, run-on sentences, and be plain old boring. It doesn’t have to be that way. I bring up documentation here because your presentation should reflect your note.

‘A 27-year-old female presents for right ankle pain. The patient states that she stepped in a hole 3-weeks-ago suffering inversion injury. The patient states that her pain is sharp. The patient grades her pain as 6/10. The patient states that her pain is localized to the anterolateral ankle. The patient states that walking and standing aggravate her pain. The patient notes that swelling and bruising remain. The patient denies prior ankle injuries or pain in other areas of her foot or leg. The patient has attempted self-treatment using ice, rest, compression in ace wrap without relief.’

Compare the two presentations. Which one do you think would catch your attention and keep you attentive for the rest of the complaint?

Story telling begins with a hook. You need something to grab your attending’s attention so that they will remain attentive throughout the rest of your presentation. One sentence that conveys the story that is to follow.

“Excuse me Dr. Jones, but my patient has a severely infected diabetic foot ulcer that will need admitting”. Ok, that one is easy. Everyone is going to pay attention as soon as you say severely infected and need admitting. Still you have cleared a path to tell the rest of the medical history.

“Mr. Smith returns for a noninfected venous leg ulcer fifty percent improved from last week”. Here is a rather mundane medical issue. The patient is doing fine and just returning for follow up care. It’s the 50% improvement that will grab the listener’s attention, so you can go on with the rather routine presentation.

Once you have your audience hooked, you must tell the story. If it were a real story you would want to demonstrate a personal tie to the problem or evoke an emotional response. Let’s face it, in medicine that is frowned upon. What your audience is listening for in medicine is the information needed to make the diagnosis. This is where you will demonstrate your medical knowledge. Regardless of which pneumonic you prefer, NLDOCAT or OPQRST, you can still make it more interesting. Success at this level will require a thorough understanding of the differential diagnosis, end-organ effects of systemic illnesses, and complications of prior treatments.

‘You know how you say that heel pain isn’t always plantar fasciitis? Well Ms. Johnson is here for left heel pain, but it’s not typical. One-week ago she began a new exercise program and developed 8/10 sharp shooting pain in the plantar left heel. No known injury is reported. This pain radiates posterior to the medial malleolus, up her calf, thigh and to the hip. She doesn’t have to be active to experience pain and there is no relation to time of day or shoe gear. Ms. Johnson has a history of low back pain but has never been worked up for this complaint. No history of joint swelling or stiffness anywhere in her body is reported. Since the heel pain began there has been no progression and slight improvement treating with ice, stretching, ibuprofen, and cessation of exercise.’

Heel pain is one of the most common complaints we see. The differential includes plantar fasciitis, nerve entrapment in the foot, tarsal tunnel, radiculopathy, systemic arthropathy, stress fracture, etc. The above history takes the listener through the differential diagnosis as told by somewhat of a story. There is enough information to have a pretty good idea of what you will find in the exam.

This is presentation of a history of present illness. If you become good at telling the patient’s story everything will flow. Apply this practice to your notes as well. Obviously, there is less leeway for a casual introduction to hook the reader but convey the information in full sentences. Try to start each sentence with a new subject such as pain, onset, treatment. It is not acceptable to begin each sentence with “the patient states…” This is the history, so it is assumed that anything in quotations is exactly what the patient states.

 

 

 

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