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06/14/2013    Name Withheld

A Message to the Lost 92

I walk among you every day and I feel what you
feel. I am no longer young, but a middle-aged man
who graduated podiatry school 10 years ago,
harvesting only an RPR year from a 3-year PSR-12
program at NYCPM back in 2004.

Back then, DPM graduates found themselves
fighting over a limited number of surgical slots,
with the rest (majority) of us settling for
anything left over or looked for other programs
as I did. After moving to California for a PM&S36
program, I was denied a license to practice based
on a very old misdemeanor involving no small
amount of drinking dating back to 1990.

In spite of this, I was held on in the program
because of my record as an above average
resident. I successfully completed 2 years until
the residency was discontinued after a hospital
takeover by a foreign investor. For years after
the collapse of the California program and my
license denial, I fought unsuccessfully for my
podiatry license. I found myself without hope or
so I thought.

My continuing struggle eventually got me licensed
years later in three states where I now practice
general podiatry in a beautiful part of the
country as an associate DPM. My work is not
glamorous and my income is paltry but it's a
start for me.

To get where I am today, I had the help of up to
20 successful DPMs in various capacities. These
men and women gave me a hand up because it was
the right thing to do. Some of these same
podiatric physicians are working with me daily to
help me get what I earned so long ago, that being
my surgical residency credit. Together, we are
striving for me to sit for my boards, get
hospital privileges and work as a fully
functioning podiatrist. does this story help the recently
neglected 92 podiatry graduates left out in the
cold? Answer: I want all of you to know that
these same mentors and true leaders of our
troubled profession are fighting for you and me
behind the scenes quite valiantly on a daily
basis. While we must contend with the bitter, the
phonies, the incompetent, the cruel and the
corrupt on a daily basis, the time line also
shows steady increments of progress leading to
our goals as well.

While it is infuriating and unthinkable for the
recent graduates (and graduates before this date
not in the news) to have sustained such deceptive
abuse and neglect by those entrusted to usher
them into their final stages of education, one
tenet must remain intact. It is imperative for
all of us who have found ourselves in this
predicament to maintain our composure and dignity.
Actions are usually met with irreversible
consequences. Making the right decisions now will
be crucial in the correction of our current
podiatric political system.

It should be re-emphasized that there are actions
taking place right now to remove the poor
leadership within our mix. Our new leaders will
be held fully accountable from the start for
decisions affecting the lives of future podiatric
students and graduates. Our current graduates
will be accounted for and found GME credit to
practice as successful podiatrists.

I am writing this open letter to the 92 graduates
waiting for justice to let you know that you are
not forgotten, that the fight is on, that the
administrators responsible must go and will go.
You will be restored what you are due but you
will have to hold on, believe and stay cool. What
I am asking is difficult to be sure but
essential. You are almost there.

Respectfully, One of You

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Thera Band