Category Archive: Practice Profiles

Flexibility is Key: A visit with Nicole Marie DeLauro, DPM

Dr Nicole DeLauro

Dr. Nicole DeLauro

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.


Profiles in Excellence: Laura Pickard, DPM

Dr. Pickard

Dr. Laura Pickard

A conversation with Dr. Laura Pickard about podiatric medicine and surgery provides an endless boost of energy. Even at the end of her long day, her enthusiasm for the profession, for the medical industry and the need for ongoing political advocacy and involvement is infectious.

Dr. Pickard is in solo practice at the Norridge Foot Clinic, a thriving practice in Chicago, which she joined in 1992 as an associate to Dr. Stephen Weiss who established the clinic over 45 years ago.  A 1990 graduate of the Dr. William Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, Dr. Pickard completed her podiatric residency program at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, IL.  Early in her career she started getting involved in regional and state podiatric committees and was always eager to know and stay on top of changes in the industry.

“Most of my involvement early on was my way of learning as much as I could about the industry and trends, just to survive!”  “I was always thinking ‘how can I make my practice stronger’.”   “Even today, I think it is critical for young physicians to stay on top of what is changing – know the pitfalls and what can affect your practice and plan accordingly.”

She states emphatically that knowing where to go with questions, ie. APMA, ABPM, ACFAOM, ACFAS, PICA, local or state legislature continues to be important.  “Know your industry.”

“When I started, there were not as many opportunities, especially to join a multi-specialty group. Podiatry, in fact, was still a little marginalized, a little unknown,” explained Dr. Pickard.  Today, she explains, things have opened and joining a group is more common. “There are very good reasons for joining a group such as the shared cost of EMR systems and other business costs, but also the enormous value of working side by side with other specialties.”

Dr. Pickard believes in a conservative approach to podiatry and emphasizes the importance of biomechanics and knowledge of medicine in her practice.  “Know your medicine! We are starting to see sicker and sicker patients so it is critical to know how to do histories and physicals so you can see and evaluate patients not only in your practice but also in the hospital,” she continued.   “I got ABPM Certified first before I even considered the surgical board,” she explained. “It’s a mistake not to demonstrate your knowledge to hospital and insurance panels by getting ABPM certified. More and more they are looking for podiatrists who know medicine.  It makes you more credible. Also, when I speak to students, I tell them, learn to look at the whole patient.  They want you to take care of them.”

“The other advice I give to residents is to get your Boards done early.  It gets harder as you progress in your career, have a family, etc.   It will bite you, “explained Pickard.

At the end of the day, Pickard says she is happy in her practice, loves what she does and continues to be an industry advocate.  I always figure if you give good affordable care, you, your payors and your patients are winners!”

Dr. Laura Pickard accomplishments:

  • Past president of the Illinois Podiatric Medical Association
  • Serves on multiple boards and committees for the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA)
  • Lectures at various conferences including Midwest Podiatry Conference, American Podiatric Medical Association Annual Conference, Illinois Podiatric Medical Association Annual Meeting, Illinois Podiatric Medical Student Association Midwinter Seminar
  • Alumnus of the Year Award in 2015 from the Dr William Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine
  • Fellow of the Faculty of Podiatric Medicine, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Glasgow, Scotland
  • Board certified with both the American Board of Podiatric Medicine (ABPM) and the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery (ABFAS)
  • Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Orthopedics and Medicine (ACFAOM) and the American Society of Podiatric Surgeons (ASPS)
  • Associate member of the Society of Vascular Surgeons (SVS)
  • Member of the American Public Health Association (APHA)



Practice Profiles: Dr. Daniel Evans, DPM and President American College of Foot and Ankle Orthopedics and Medicine (ACFAOM)


“I alwEvans Daniel DPMays knew I wanted to go into medicine and chose podiatry because I liked the idea of serving patients along the spectrum of life from the youngest children to geriatric patients.  I also liked the hands on nature of the practice and the ability to work closely one on one with patients,” stated Dr. Dan Evans.  Dr. Evans is currently a Professor at the William Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine and an attending physician at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Medical Center in Hines, Illinois.

A graduate of the Scholl College, Dr. Evans started a general podiatric private practice immediately after completing his residency at the Hines VAMC.  Shortly thereafter he was asked to join Hines Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) as a part time attending physician and soon after that asked to teach at the Scholl College.  “That was nearly 34 years ago,” explained Dr. Evans.

“I juggled that schedule, and those three careers, for 29 years before selling my private practice about five years ago.  Now I split my time between teaching radiology at the Scholl College and being involved in patient care and educating students and residents at Hines VAMC.”

“I love teaching because it is a challenge that never gets old.  It’s a magical moment when a student finally understands a complex concept and how to apply that information to accurately diagnose and treat a patient’s condition.   I also like teaching the discipline of our profession, which includes building trust with a patient by carefully and thoughtfully explaining possible diagnostic approaches or procedures to their patients.”

Dr. Evans is passionate about podiatry.  He has recently assumed the role of President of the American College of Foot and Ankle Orthopedics and Medicine, and is a member of the examination committee for the ABPM. He also lectured at numerous local, regional and national conferences.  “I feel that participating in my profession beyond my practice has given me not only added opportunity but it has also been extremely rewarding,” stated Evans.

He also feels credentialing is critical and stated that “ABPM Certification is important because they test in the areas that truly reflect the care we provide to our patients on a daily basis.”  “ABPM certification has enabled me to obtain hospital staff privileges, participate on various insurance panels and become a Fellow of ACFAOM. Even more importantly, it demonstrates to my patients and colleagues a specialized expertise in the field of podiatric medicine.”

After 34 years of practice, Dr. Evans has a seasoned perspective for residents.  “My advice for current residents is to enjoy your time as a resident. It is your time to take the knowledge you have from your podiatry college and apply it to patient care in a protected, mentored environment.  Be sure to maximize every opportunity while you further your skills and knowledge, and embrace the responsibility and trust given to you by your patients.”

When not busy with podiatry, Dr. Evans spends time with Jane, his wife and childhood sweetheart. He has three “awesome” adult children and is active in his church.  He explains that his faith has provided him with the foundation that sustains him through good times and bad, and has informed and influenced the way he teaches and practices medicine.

Practice Profile: Dr. Nicole Freels

dr.freels-300Dr. 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.”  

Practice Profile: Dr. Lee Rogers – Taking initiative to be successful

Dr. Lee Rogers is a podiatric physician specializing in the diabetic foot and amputation prevention in a private, hospital-based practice. Dr. Rogers began his career basically as an entrepreneur.

“None of the jobs I have ever gotten were there already; I had to create them for myself,” stated Dr. Lee Rogers, who is now the National Medical Director of the Amputation Prevention Centers of America, a division of RestorixHealth, Inc.

After graduating from Des Moines University College of Podiatric Medicine in 2004, Dr. Rogers completed a two year residency (PM&S-24) in foot surgery at St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center in New York under the direction of ABPM Past-President and Diplomate, Michael DellaCorte, DPM.  He went on to complete a fellowship in limb salvage and research, with David Armstrong, DPM, a world authority on diabetic foot complications, at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago.

“I knew early on that I wanted to specialize in the diabetic foot.  I saw that while many podiatrists see and treat the diabetic foot, few dedicate their entire career to this subspecialty. With a mortality rate of 68% within 5 years for those with an amputation caused by diabetes, doing everything we can to save limbs, is saving their lives.  And treating the diabetic foot encompasses a lot of surgery in order to achieve limb salvage,” explained Rogers.

After his fellowship Dr. Rogers was offered a job to start his own clinic focused on amputation prevention in Des Moines, IA at Broadlawns Medical Center.  For two and a half years, he collected data on a 6 step approach to treating the diabetic foot and was able to document a reduction in the rate of amputations by 72%.  “What we found was that a team approach can save more limbs than a unilateral or individual approach,” he said.  “And these teams encompass many other medical or surgical specialties.  But the podiatrist has the opportunity to lead this team.”

He then went on to found similar Amputation Prevention Centers in Los Angeles, California.  He founded the Amputation Prevention Centers of America, creating a network of like-minded specialists dedicated to limb salvage, and a couple years ago this network merged with RestorixHealth, Inc and Rogers now acts as the national medical director.

In 2011, Rogers was given the Rising Star award by the APMA for “outstanding national accomplishments,” and Podiatry Management has selected him as one of America’s Most Influential Podiatrists for several years.

Rogers attributes much of his early success to his mentor Robert Frykberg, DPM who helped him formulate a career plan focused on an area he was passionate about.  “I think finding a mentor is critical. Find someone you respect and want to emulate. Even though healthcare is changing, and practices are changing, there is still much to be learned from seasoned practitioners and the paths their careers have taken. ”

Dr. Rogers has been an ABPM diplomate since 2008.  “For most DPMs I would recommend obtaining certification in both medicine and surgery, but becoming board certified as quick as possible by ABPM can help young podiatrists become credentialed by insurances and obtain or retain their hospital privileges.  I am only certified with ABPM because I quickly realized I didn’t need another board certification. ABPM-only certification has never been an impediment to my work as a surgeon, since I completed a surgical residency and have demonstrated proficiency.”

Dr. Rogers also took some time to run for Congress, where endorsed by the LA Times, the Mayor of LA, the Lt. Governor of California, and 20-30 Members of Congress.  He came within 5% of winning in 2012 in the general elections and was narrowly defeated the new California open primary in 2014. “I definitely see politics in my future again, but am taking a break.  You can’t balance work, family, and running for office; the campaign takes over everything,” stated Rogers. “I  see tremendous opportunities to make improvements in federal policy.  With only about 20 doctors in Congress and one scientist, I think there is room to improve our federal government’s understanding of science and medicine, and restructure America’s priorities to advance in these important areas.”

The biggest take-away Dr. Rogers wants for residents is to “take control of your future”.  “One of my favorite quotes is by George Benard Shaw ‘Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.’  I encourage all residents and young practitioners starting out to decide what their perfect job would be and create it, if necessary. If you wait around to find a job posting for your perfect job reading the blogs and e-blasts, you’ll be waiting a long time.  Take the initiative and ‘create yourself’.”




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