Timothy Ford, DPM
Reconstructive Foot and Diabetic Limb Salvage/Preservation Fellowship
Sponsoring Institutions: KentuckyOne Health Jewish Hospital and University of Louisville
In continuing our series about CPME-approved residencies and fellowships, this month we are featuring a one-year reconstructive foot and diabetic limb salvage/preservation fellowship at KentuckyOne Health and the University of Louisville. Below are insights about the program from Director, Timothy Ford, DPM.
ABPM: What are some key aspects of this fellowship?
Dr. Ford: This program is a mix of surgery and medicine – it offers the best of both worlds. Unlike being on one service, podiatry, our fellows are on a variety of services throughout their 12 months. These rotations include plastic surgery, ortho trauma, infectious disease, foot & ankle clinic and our fellows also take ER call at University of Louisville.
This fellowship offers a wide range of experiences, but it can also be customized. If our fellow is interested in a particular area, we work with them to ensure they get a little more time on that rotation. For instance, if a fellow is really interested in traumatology, we’ll give them a few more months on that service, and make sure the attending in that area is working closely with them.
Of course, there are certain requirements that must be met for a CPME approved fellowship. So, all our fellows have to complete ortho trauma, and plastic surgery rotations. In addition, they must take a micro vascular course and cover foot clinic. Otherwise, there is room to mold the experience.
ABPM: What sets this fellowship apart?
Dr. Ford: We think of our fellows as junior attendings. They are given a lot of autonomy, although there is always an attending nearby. This program is especially great for those who get out of residency and don’t feel that they have quite enough experience, or just want to learn a little more. Our fellows leave with at least a couple hundred procedures. This program forces fellows to grow a little more and gives them an opportunity to do things on their own. But at the same time, attendings are always there and available.
Also, because our fellows work with fellows in different medical subspecialties, there is an increased awareness of podiatry, and it builds a better understanding and respect for our medical specialty.
ABPM: What are the research requirements for this fellowship?
Dr. Ford: Research is encouraged, and there are a lot of research opportunities through the university that fellows can tap into. We also encourage fellows to partner in a research project with a first-year resident, who can continue the research.
While we don’t have strict research requirements, research is important for all podiatrists because it gives you a different perspective; it shows you how medicine evolves.
ABPM: Who is the ideal candidate for this fellowship? What are you looking for?
Dr. Ford: In general, CPME-approved fellowships are great for those interested in academic medicine, or those who don’t feel they got enough experience through their residency.
On paper, we’re looking for the same things as everyone else – good PRR logs, involvement in extra curricular activities, etc. But when it comes to the interview, we are looking for someone eager to learn and who can rise to the occasion. This fellowship is attached to a residency program, so our fellows get a lot of calls from residents – they become teachers. A good candidate for this fellowship won’t shy away from that aspect.
Most importantly, we’re looking for a candidate who knows what they are lacking and how this experience can fill that gap.
ABPM: What else do potential candidates need to know?
Dr. Ford: We send out a notice to all residency programs right after Labor Day. Applications should be submitted by the end of the year. But we do encourage interested residents to contact us anytime.
Also, because you’re required to be licensed by the state of Kentucky before you can start the fellowship, it’s important you plan ahead. The state exam is normally in April or May.
As dual-boarded DPM in academic medicine, do you have any other words of wisdom?
As insurance becomes more and more important, credentials will become more and more important. So, get dual-boarded. Get the extra wound care certification offered by ABPM. Get certified in whatever you can! In my opinion, it’s easiest to do all this right after residency, when everything is fresh in your mind. Sit for all of it – one right after the other.
For additional information about this fellowship, visit http://www.kentuckyonehealth.org/fellowship-opportunities-podiatry-program
Interested Podiatrists may contact Dr. Timothy Ford, Fellowship Director at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have or know of a CPME fellowship program that you would like featured in this series, please email admin@ABPMed.org