Category Archive: Uncategorized

Dr. Charles C. Southerland – In his own words: Why not Med School?

“During the first year of my fellowship, I encountered a patient, a beautiful young woman in her early 20’s with a burgeoning career as a model in Miami, who was experiencing intense heel pain.  She had been treated by other physicians for Plantar Fascitis and tendonitis without any resolution. I diagnosed her with Tarsal Tunnel syndrome and confirmed that with a neurology consultation for NCVS and EMG.  The patient was taken to surgery for a Tarsal Tunnel release.  During the course of the procedure, we encountered a tumor pressing on the posterior tibial nerve. The tumor was removed and the pathology report defined the tumor as a Synovial Sarcoma, Stage 4.

The patient was sent to Sloan Kettering Cancer institute in New York, along with lab results and 35mm slide photographs of the tumor. The Sloan Kettering team confirmed the diagnosis and recommended that the patient undergo a below the knee amputation with follow up chemotherapy.  During the chemotherapy, she lost her hair, and the surgical site on the stump of her leg dehicsed.  She dropped to about 60 pounds from an original weight of 120 lbs.  However, in the end, she survived both the chemotherapy and the cancer.  She kept in touch with me throughout the entire process. I developed a close relationship with the patient and her parents. After arriving back from New York, the patient related to me that the Sloan Kettering team had kept the 35 mm slides I had sent with her (in those days, it was not so easy to make photographic duplicates). When she explained that a podiatrist had made the diagnosis, they told her that podiatrists did not make diagnoses for cancer and that she should credit the neurologist who caught the abnormality on the nerve conduction study. The patient asserted to them that she credited the podiatrist with saving her life. The folks at Sloan Kettering told her that podiatrists were “not real doctors” and so had no real part in the process of treating her cancer. She later related to me that she found them to be arrogant and egotistical.

I remember being very much offended by what she told me, frustrated at being recognized as “only” a podiatrist. At the time, I was reading a book by Victor Frankl, “Man’s Search for Meaning”. Victor Frankl was an Austrian Neurologist and Psychiatrist during World War II.  He was Jewish and became a concentration camp prisoner by the Nazis during the war. He was tortured and emasculated by his captors. One day, as he hung helpless before his tormentors he came to an amazing realization. In order to do what they were doing to him, they could not help but to hate a fellow human being. In a moment of remarkable clarity, Victor Frankl realized that while they could not choose to not hate him, he could choose to NOT hate them back. In this seemingly small thing, he had power over them to determine how he would react to the terrible things they were inflicting upon him. They could not choose mercy, but he could.  In reviewing this, I came to a nexus moment question:  “If I could do it all over again, would I choose to have encountered this beautiful young woman as an MD or as a DPM?”  Two MD’s had treated her before  I saw her, one an orthopedist, the other a general surgeon, and both missed the diagnosis. IF I had chosen to attend St. Louis University School of Medicine, instead of podiatry school, and encountered this patient, would she have lived or died because of this tumor? I realized at that moment, that I was totally, completely, absolutely content to be a podiatrist. If the only thing I would ever accomplish as a podiatric physician was to catch this diagnosis and intervene in a way that saved this young woman’s life, it was all worth it – four years of college, four years of podiatry school, one year of residency training and two years of fellowship. What a wonderful lesson, one that has caused me to be very happy in the practice of Podiatric Medicine for over 30 years now. By the way, my patient returned to her modeling career as a poster model for lower limb amputee snow skiers. She could be found in a number of ads for outrigger ski poles and single limb skiers. To this day, she has lived a good life and remains a good friend.”

Practice Profile: Charles C. Southerland, DPM

Dr. Southerland and studentWhile serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War era, Dr. Charles Southerland was a Special Forces Medic, a role that helped him develop a deep appreciation for the practice of medicine. Later, while on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he met a team of podiatrists who were caring for migrant farmers in the San Joaquin Valley in California. He was impressed with their work ethic and lifestyle – he saw that they were practicing medicine and enjoying the satisfaction that comes with delivering patients from pain, disease and deformity. Then, while an undergrad at Brigham Young University, he applied to podiatry and medical school. After being accepted to both, Dr. Southerland chose podiatry, a decision that he says has led to “lifelong contentment.” (Click here to read Dr. Southerland explain, in his own words, the experience that caused him to be very happy that he chose to practice Podiatric Medicine, instead of going to medical school.)

Dr. Southerland attended the California College of Podiatric Medicine, where he worked as an audio visual technician for his class during the day. At night, he worked as a security guard, a job that allowed him to study 6-8 hours during his shift, while getting up for 10-15 minutes every hour to make rounds and punch a Detex Clock.

After completing a first year podiatric surgical residency at Southeastern Medical Center, he completed a two year fellowship with Dr. Stephen Spinner. Toward the end his fellowship, Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine was starting its clinical program and Dr. Southerland was invited to be one of the first clinical faculty members at the school. He has been a professor at the Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine since 1987.

Through periodic sabbaticals – a privilege he says is one of the great perks of being a full time educator – Dr. Southerland has had the opportunity to expand his view of podiatry and appreciate how podiatric medicine fits in to a worldwide collaborative of providers for foot and ankle pathologies. Dr. Southerland’s diverse educational experiences include fellowship training with AO International in Switzerland, Podopediatrics at Hadassah Hospital System in Israel, Ilizarov Training at the Russian Ilizarov Scientific Center in Russia, and Ponsetti technique training with Dr. Ignacio Ponsetti at the University of Iowa.

When he looks back at his training, he credits hard work, carefully balanced finances and an active interest in technology as laying the groundwork for his approach to Podiatric Medicine. He’s also grateful for the privilege of working with some of medicine’s great minds and believes those experiences helped make him the podiatrist and educator he is today. His mentors include Dr. Stephen Spinner, Dr. Dock Dockery, Dr. Mary Crawford, Dr. Dan Hatch, Dr. Ignacio Ponsetti, Dr. Terrance Barry, Dr. Kieth Kashuk, Dr. Russel M. Nelson, Dr. James Stelnicki, and Dr. Eric Stelnicki.

Dr. Southerland originally sat for the boards when they were the ABPO boards in 1988. He then recertified with ABPOPPM in 1998 and most recently with ABPM in 2016. He also certified with what is now ABFAS in 1987 and has reassessed every ten years to keep his foot and ankle certification current. Over the years, he has served as an item writer, observer and oral examiner for the ABPM.  He feels they have always set high standards for certification and offer a very worthy confirmation of academic excellence.

Dr. Southerland’s advice for residents is to “get the most you can out of your training – even if it means long hours and little sleep. Just remember it is an investment in a lifetime of practice to follow.” He also says that residency is the time to build a foundation for the person you would like to be, and recommends prioritizing family and faith. He also feels that taking good care of your patients will result in them taking good care of you.

When he reflects on his career, Dr. Southerland feels great pride in his former students/residents that go on to noteworthy achievements.  He is also very proud of his accomplishments as the founder and program director of the Yucatan Crippled Children’s Project.  Through this work, Dr. Southerland has seen many of the program’s beneficiaries grow up to be productive, capable members of their society – many of whom might have otherwise been prevented from attending school or obtaining jobs.  Dr. Southerland feels strongly that no one can stand taller than those who will bend over to help a child.

In addition to the Yucatan Crippled Children Project and helping educate more than half the practicing podiatrists in the state of Florida, Dr. Southerland has served as elected Chair of the National Council of Faculties for the AACPM, and a local television medical commentator for first few months after 9/11/2001. Dr. Southerland was also among the first group of Podiatrists to go to Kurgan, Russia in October 2001 and learn Ilizarov technique at its source. He was also part of a group of physicians that attended to victims in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

On a more personal level, Dr. Southerland participates in the Everglades 300 challenge every year, a 300 mile kayak race on the west coast of Florida. However, his favorite hobby is being married to his wife Suzanne for more than 40. They have five “nervewrackingly wonderful” children and five grandchildren.

The Honor of our Life Derives from this
To Have a Certain Aim Before Us Always
Which Our Will Must Seek Amid the Peril of Uncertain Ways
Then, Though We Miss the Goal
Our Search is Crowned with Courage
And We Find Along Our Path
A Rich Reward of Unexpected Things
~ Henry Van Dyke

ABPM Spotlight! Meet ABPM Director, Coleen Napolitano, DPM

Coleen Napolitano, DPM

Coleen Napolitano, DPM

The ABPM welcomes Dr. Coleen Napolitano as the newest member of the ABPM Board of Directors. Dr. Napolitano has been a Diplomate since 1994 and has been active with the ABPM for the past 15 years, primarily with the Examination Committee, where she is the current Chair of the certification exam (Part 2) sub-section.

“I am quite familiar with the ABPM’s past and present and have witnessed first-hand the significant strides it has made in the medical community, said Dr. Napolitano.  “I look forward to contributing to the future of ABPM and believe that ABPM certifies specialty skills that represent the majority and the best of podiatric care, witha focus on medicine and podiatric orthopedics.”

Dr. Napolitano did her undergraduate at Florida International University on a running scholarship.  She obtained her doctorate and Bachelor of Science from Dr. William Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine and completed her residency training at Hines Veterans Administration Hospital in Illinois.  Dr. Napolitano followed her certification with the ABPM by becoming ABFAS certified and encourages podiatry residents to recognize the benefits of dual certification.

She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation in the Section of Podiatry at Loyola University Medical Center and is the Program Director for the podiatry residency training.

Clinical Presentation Skills: Communication with your Patients

Faith A. Schick, DPM

Faith A. Schick, DPM

By: Faith A. Schick, DPM

The ability to communicate with your patients is integral to successful outcomes.   This is an important practice skill that should be developed and mastered prior to graduating residency.

As a resident, I recall spending time shadowing multiple physicians.  After a period of time, I was able to know what the physician was going to say before the words came out of his/her mouth.  This wasn’t because I was getting smarter at understanding how I was supposed to treat a specific condition,  but because I became familiar with the conversation the attending was going to have with the patient.  As time went by, and after many experiences, I was able to synthesize different versions of what I was hearing, and have specific treatment plans I would share with my patients when the time came.

Developing this organized thought process helped to ease the transition from resident to attending.  When the time came I was ready.  I knew how I wanted to treat my patients and what supplies I needed to perform an appropriate physical examination and render care.  Being board certified with ABPM and though my experiences I knew I could handle any situation. I was able to walk into the treatment room with confidence and explain to my patients what I thought their condition was, and how we were going to manage it without faltering.  I knew what I wanted to say before I said it, similar to the physicians I had observed.    This confidence reassured my patients.

Realize that just because what you are saying makes sense to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is going to make sense to your patients.  During residency you are surrounded by peers who easily communicate using medical terminology.  Once in practice this changes, and your audience becomes your patient population.  Language needs to become more simple; you need to still speak intelligently, but use words that your patient will understand.  For example, instead of saying “calcaneus”, explain by saying “heel bone”.  While it may make sense to you that a patient should sleep in their CAM boot, you need to very clear with patients giving them instructions.  Make sure to ask if your patient has any questions before leaving the room.

Think about the message you are trying to convey.  How do you sound?  What does your posture look like?  Are you making good eye contact?  As time has gone by, I have come to appreciate the value this has on my office workflow.  I am able to review my chart notes with ease knowing that there is an organized thought process as to how I treated my patient during their last visit, and depending upon their outcome how I plan to proceed with care.  My staff is able to anticipate my needs and the needs of my patients.  Appointments are scheduled in an organized fashion based upon the diagnosis.  With the advent of electronic health records, I have been able to develop templates that facilitate my documentation process.  Patients are able to leave the office with organized instructions explaining their diagnosis and plan of care.

This level of organization assures that I do not miss any step in my patient’s treatment.  By the time the patient has completed their visit to the office they have an established diagnosis with plan of care, all questions have been answered, necessary studies having been ordered, medical supplies have been dispensed, and a follow up appointment has been made as needed.  This limits my liability and the chance that something gets overlooked or forgotten.  All too often physicians are multi-tasking throughout the day and a simple distraction can lead to error.  Having an organized treatment algorithm keeps things on track to make sure nothing gets missed, and communication with your patients is of utmost importance.

 

Congrats to Western University, CPM’s Class of 2019!

Western University, CPM

Message from ABPM Past President, Lester Jones, DPM:

I want to send congratulations to the members of the WesternU College of Podiatric Medicine Class of 2019 who recently learned that they achieved a 100% pass rate on both the APMLE Part 2 written exam and the Clinical Skills Performance Exam. This stellar outcome represents the diligence and hard work that are hallmarks of the students at CPM. You are a class apart!

This is the second year in a row that the fourth-year class has scored 100% on both of these board examinations. The College leads the nation in residency placement as well as with a five-year history of 100% placement of all graduates into some of the best hospitals in America for their three-year residency programs.

I also want to thank the WesternU community of faculty and staff who work hard to make this College and University such an outstanding place for learning. Strong work all.

Lester Jones, DPM, Interim Dean, WesternU College of Podiatric Medicine

Source: PM News, Online

Meet ABPM President, Dr. Gina Painter

Dr. Gina Painter, ABPM President

Dr. Gina Painter, ABPM President

Current ABPM President Dr. Gina Painter has been a diplomate of the ABPM since 1998 and a member of the Board of Directors for the past five years. She currently serves on the Examination Committee and the Speaker’s Bureau. Past committee involvement has included  Credentials, Budget, Bylaws and Case Review.  Dr. Painter also represents the ABPM as a site-evaluator for the Council on Podiatric Medical Education and is the Board’s liaison to the APMAIn November she was inducted into the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. Dr. Painter is a graduate of the Temple School of Podiatric Medicine and practices in Great Falls, Montana.  Her practice experience is extensive and has included solo practice, partnership in a multi-specialty group, where she served as Chair of the Executive Governing Board and, most recently, as a hospital-based physician.

From Dr. Painter:

Podiatric Medicine has evolved as a whole, with increased integration into hospitals and health networks. Along the pathway toward parity within the framework of the health care delivery system the role of podiatric medicine will rely increasingly on the medical aspect of podiatric care and care of the diabetic foot.

ABPM has a strong presence in the podiatric community.  We have recently escalated our informational efforts to hospitals and insurance panels regarding the value of ABPM certification.  Within the next month new documentation will be provided on the website to members.

The ABPM will continue to act as a staunch advocate for our current and future members.  We hope to be a unifying force within the Podiatric Medical community.  The practice of Podiatry is “diagnose and treat the diseases, disabilities, and deformities of the foot by physical therapy special shoes and other mechanical devices, pharmaceuticals and surgery.”  Let us all excel at it!

ABPM Board of Directors Announces Additional Pathway for Certificate of Added Qualification in Amputation Prevention and Wound Care!

The American Board of Podiatric Medicine has announced a third pathway for its diplomates to achieve a Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ) in Amputation Prevention and Wound Care.  Now ABPM diplomates who have an office-based practice can be eligible to sit for the CAQ exam by submitting 10 wound care cases for review by the committee.  Previously, the only way to be eligible to sit for the CAQ exam was to either have completed a CPME-approved fellowship in limb salvage or wound care, or have documented 1000 hours of wound care experience in a hospital setting.

Lee Rogers, DPM and Chair of the CAQ Sub-Committee, stated “This new pathway gives ABPM Diplomates the opportunity to demonstrate their limb salvage and wound care knowledge by obtaining a CAQ”.

Diplomates should be mindful of specific deadlines associated with the third pathway.  To allow for the full case submission process, those diplomates interested in testing in this cycle using the case review pathway should submit their applications and cases no later than November 20, 2018. For those not submitting cases, the application deadline is December 14, 2018. 

For more information regarding the ABPM CAQ in Wound Care and for all deadlines, examination dates and applications, please visit https://www.abpmed.org/pages/exam-info/caq-amputation-prevention.

Note: The CAQ in amputation prevention and wound care is issued solely by the ABPM to its diplomates.  The Joint Committee on Recognition of Specialty Boards (JCRSB) of the Council on Podiatric Medical Education recognizes the certification process of the ABPM but has not developed a recognition process for certificates of added qualification.  Therefore, at this time the ABPM’s recognition by the JCRSB does not extend specifically to the CAQ

The American Board of Podiatric Medicine (ABPM) offers a comprehensive board qualification and certification process in podiatric medicine and orthopedics. Increasingly hospitals, surgical centers, managed care organizations and insurance carriers require board certification. ABPM is the only board recognized by the Joint Committee on the Recognition of Specialty Boards, under the authority of the American Podiatric Medical Association to certify in podiatric orthopedics and primary podiatric medicine.

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.

Clinical Presentation Series: Forming a Differential Diagnosis

By: Dr. Nicole DeLauro, Director, ABPM

A healthy 30 year old male presents with right forefoot pain present for two weeks. The patient is an avid runner, and runs approximately 3 to 5 miles a day. He describes the pain as aching and throbbing. The pain continues throughout the day. He does have relief when resting. He has tried to abstain from running and admits to changing his shoes. He has had minimal improvement. He denies any other treatments.

What is your diagnosis?

As physicians we are forced to be investigators. We have to ask the correct questions regarding the complaint, form a diagnosis, and provide a treatment plan. To do this, we need to formulate a “differential diagnosis.”

The differential is a list of potential diagnoses compiled based on the complaint. It is important not only to determine the best treatment plan but also to treat patients in a timely fashion. The differential helps to narrow down more than one probable cause for the patient’s pain. Your differential can be based on the well known acronym, “NLDOCAT.” What is the nature and characteristic of the pain? Is it burning, shooting, aching, dull, etc? This helps you determine if it’s arthritic, neurological, vascular or musculoskeletal in nature. Once we know which system in involved, focus on the location. What structures are in the area? What nerves, tendons, ligaments, bones, and/or joints are located there? Does it radiate to any surrounding area? The duration of the pain helps decipher if it is an acute complaint secondary to potential trauma or chronic in nature. What makes the pain better or worse? Is it aggravated by activity or rest? Better in or out of shoes? Worse at the beginning or end of day? Does shoe gear alleviate or aggravate the pain? What treatments has the patient tried and has there been any improvement?

Once you have the answers to these questions, the differential is easy to devise. This methodical approach will help you avoid pitfalls and provide better care for your patients. Based on this approach, what differentials do you have in mind? You should be thinking about stress vs. occult fractures, bursitis, metatarsalgia, tendonitis, sprain, and even neuroma. The symptoms can also be aggravated by the patient’s foot type, biomechanical gait pattern,  and even improper shoe gear.  Further questioning, clinical examination, and diagnostic studies will help to lessen the amount of differentials and ultimately attain a definitive diagnosis.

As a young physician, you have the tools to alleviate complaints based on your final diagnosis and gain a patient’s trust and confidence in your care. Your patients will have done their own research before they walk through your door, and expect a certain quality of care. In order to constantly exceed these expectations, you must maintain the highest level of expertise and excellence within the profession. Having  a methodological approach towards your evaluations, and being board qualified and/or certified upholds this level, and informs your patients that you have been tested and challenged extensively within your specialty. This message, when conveyed to patients will solidify their confidence in you as their physician and create a lasting doctor-patient relationship.

Meet New ABPM Executive Director, Dr. James Stavosky

James Stavosky, DPM

James Stavosky, DPM

“Enjoy what you do every day. Be quick to listen, and slow to talk and anger.” These are the words that Dr. James Stavosky, the new Executive Director of ABPM, lives by. He enjoys golfing, fly-fishing and playing tennis with his two sons and his wife (who he refers to as his best friend.) Another thing Dr. Stavosky enjoys? His career in podiatry.

In his 35 years of experience in podiatry, Dr. Stavosky has built an impressive career focusing on wound care. Besides running his own private practice in Daly City, California, he is also the Chief of Podiatric Surgery at Seton Medical Center, the Medical Director of Wound Care at Seton Medical Center, and a Professor of Podiatric Medicine at California School of Podiatric Medicine.

How he found podiatry and how his career took surprising turns

Dr. Stavosky didn’t always know he was destined for a thriving career in wound care. He was first introduced to podiatry during graduate school at The University of the Pacific, where he worked as a student trainer. His advisor at the time “introduced me to her podiatrist, and he set me up to meet and work with some very progressive DPM’s in the area.” From there, he set on a course to study sports medicine.

Later, as a doctorate student at the California School of Podiatric Medicine, Dr. Stavosky got even more involved in the profession. “I volunteered to work on Saturday free clinics every week, and I was a TA for classes,” he says. “Plus, I attended all CME education seminars put on by CSPM—I even volunteered to work AV at those seminars.”

During his residency, even though he initially set out to work in sports medicine, Dr. Stavosky discovered his true passion was elsewhere. “I also developed an interest in foot and ankle surgery, but then found my calling in wound care,” he says.

After completing his residency, Dr. Stavosky worked in academic medicine as a volunteer until he was hired full-time as a professor. He began his career in a full-time position at the Seton Medical Center, teaching four days and tending to private patients two half-days per week.

His career took a turn for the better when he was given the opportunity to take over the wound care department. “No one else wanted to do it, but it put me on the map nationally,” he says. So, from 1987-1998, he was the Department Chair and professor at the Seton Wound Care (Medical) Center.

In 1998 Dr. Stavosky was appointed Chief of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery and opened a full-time private practice.

Board Certification

 Dr. Stavosky was a founding member of ABPM (then ABPOPPM), in 1993. Sitting for this certification was highly important to him, “first for academics, and later for medicine and wound care.”

He is also certified with ABFAS, which he pursued because he “was teaching in the surgery department at CCPM, but in the process realized just how important podiatric medicine was.” He went on to become Chair of the podiatric medical department as a result.

Although the sequence of Dr. Stavosky’s board certifications began with ABFAS, he notes “I would now do it the other way around.”, and advises his students and residents as such.

Teaching the next generation

 In addition to helping patients through his work in wound care, Dr. Stavosky notes that he’s most proud of his experience teaching.

His advice to aspiring podiatrists: “Enjoy what you do, it’s the greatest job in the world. If you don’t want to spend time in a particular facet of podiatry, such as surgery, there’s a tremendous amount elsewhere that our specialty offers, like wound care or sports medicine.”

Along with his academic position he does his best to stay involved in the podiatric community. “I volunteer as faculty for residents and students for both ABPM and ABFAS and am, or have been, on each of their Board of Directors.” He’s also on the Board of Directors at the alumni associations of the California School of Podiatric Medicine and The University of the Pacific. Plus, he lectures on wound care around the country.

What he plans to bring to ABPM

 Dr. Stavosky doesn’t take his latest honor and challenge as the Executive Director of ABPM lightly. He looks forward to “taking our organization, ABPM, to yet another level in the future.  He plans to “guide the ABPM Board of Directors and continue to grow our membership,” along with “getting even more young practitioners involved at the committee and director levels.  With our significant increases in membership, especially over the past five years, we’ve experienced a demographic shift.  We’re getting younger.”

He has ambitious plans, but if Dr. Stavosky’s career proves anything, it is that he is capable of achieving some impressive goals.

 

 

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