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08/24/2013    Brian Kiel, DPM

I Want to Work as a Podiatrist (Sarah Montgomery, DPM)

I write this opinion with great hesitation, but
I think it must be said. The letter
from "Sarah", who has been trying to get a
residency since 2010 was quite depressing in
several ways. Obviously it is sad that someone
has put in the time, effort and expense to
attain a DPM degree and is unable to use it. It
is also very sad that she is not an isolated
case. However, there is another issue that must
be faced. Perhaps being a podiatrist is not the
right profession.

I have to question what is the issue when
someone cannot get a position after 3 years of
applying. Is there a personality issue, is there
a competence issue, is there a some unrealized
issue that has prevented her or anyone else in
her position from attaining a residency? She and
others have obviously had multiple interviews
and there must be a reason for the overall lack
of a positive response.

I am not involved with any institution such as a
school or residency, but it seems from my
observing various letters in this forum that the
schools are taking almost anyone who applies and
can pay by whatever means the tuition. Without
some sort of "quality control", this situation
will obviously occur repetitively and not only
will our reputation as a profession suffer but
if someone unqualified is to receive a license
the public will suffer as well.

I am not trying to simplify or reduce the
critical nature of this problem. I am not trying
to insult or demean any individual. I just think
that there is more to this issue than a mere
shortage of spots for residents.

Brian Kiel, DPM, Memphis, TN, footdok4@gmail.com

Other messages in this thread:


08/28/2013    Philip Larkins, DPM

I Want to Work as a Podiatrist (Sarah Montgomery, DPM)

I offered a medical assistant job to Sarah here
in San Diego, and unfortunately, it could not be arranged. I truly hope that this doctor gets into the podiatry
field soon, as I told her in my e-mail. I truly
feel saddened and have a kindred heart with this
colleague. Sarah, you were wronged by your
profession and the proletariat group that formed
this cluster of nonsense that is known as
a "podiatry residency standard". This is obviously
a group of intellect devourers living and dining
in a white, ivory tower.

You and the rest of the unmatched podiatry
graduates have been long coming, and I am sorry
that no administrator or educator or fellow
student warned you of this. I saw this horrible
cloud of unmatched residents looming on the
horizon back in year 2000, as I was an unmatched
soul looking for an out back then as well.

Somehow, I scrounged up a paltry program that
should have had a flame thrower taken to it many
years before, but this got me a foot in the door
for a real residency program the following year.
Sadly, this option is no longer available to you
because of the impetus for podiatry to streamline
their education profile.

Here is what I have to say to you, Sarah; do not
despair, do not give up. Think about the times in
school that you were the force, the guiding
light. Your fellow students for sure relied on
you many times for their educational lives during
their time, and now, the deed will be repaid in
spades. Please do not forget nor exaggerate the
fact that you are a doctor, and are able to
dispense the full armament of knowledge that a
physician has at the helm. Expand your mind,
forget about podiatry in the purest sense, work
on humanity and the care it requires, it is still
medicine.

Podiatry has abandoned you and your unmatched
colleagues, and I stand by you all, and any
future endeavor you may have in the wheelhouse.

Philip Larkins, DPM, San Diego, CA,
larko33139@yahoo.com

08/27/2013    Robin Myers, DPM

I Want to Work as a Podiatrist (Sarah Montgomery, DPM)

Do I feel bad for this young person who can't get
a residency? Sure. But she should get in line!
For 2 years during my senior year and after, I
attempted to get a surgical residency
unsuccessfully. This was 14 years ago. I felt at
that time that getting a surgical residency, ANY
surgical residency, was critical to my being able
to perform at my maximum capacity as a
podiatrist. I felt cheated that there were any of
us who wanted a surgical residency and were not
able to get one, but that year there were
somewhere around 90 people who were unable to get
a surgical residency. A friend had been trying
for 3 years to get a surgical residency.

I have struggled ever since! Most of the job
opportunities state they want a 2-3 year surgical
residency-trained applicant. Many of the
hospitals require a surgical residency to be
allowed on staff even to do a referral to trim
toenails. The list goes on. I am pretty much
relegated to doing nails and calluses. My average
taxable income ranges around $22,000 per year.

I do not have any staff, cannot afford to hire
anyone. I do all my own scheduling, filing,
billing, etc. Is this fair? NO! I did not
anticipate my life would be like this when I
started my 4 years of medical school hell which
resulted in my owing student loans in excess of
$100,000!

One respondent implies that perhaps some people
should not have gone into medicine. Is he trying
to imply that he is superior to those of us who
could not get surgical residencies? I don't
believe that! My background is medicine. My
mother was in the medical field, I started as a
nurse, my ex is a doctor. My career assessment
test showed results practically off the charts
for any profession related to the medical field.
I finished my undergrad program with an average
3.7 GPA.

As a medical student I was in the top 25% of my
class, often getting dean scholarships for
grades.

When they started the new residency plans 1-2
years after I graduated, I thought things would
be different for the new graduates, but
apparently not. It should be a requirement that
ALL graduates be given residencies. It should
have been a requirement that all graduates from
previous years be grandfathered in and given
future residencies as well.

It is deplorable that the medical school
administrators are making huge salaries and
driving fancy cars. The administrators' main
concerns seem to be meeting the admission quotas
and maintaining the public appearance and
reputation of the school. They have little or no
concern as to the student's future in the
podiatry world.

Any pre-med student I meet during my daily
activities will get a lecture from me as to the
reasons why NOT to go to medical school.

Robin Myers, DPM, Tucson, AZ, lauri3rkc@aol.com

08/26/2013    Don Peacock, DPM

I Want to Work as a Podiatrist (Sarah Montgomery, DPM)

There are more than a few reasons that we have a
deplorable number of unmatched doctors this
year. One rationale has to do with the way
residencies are scrutinized by the approval
process. I was fortunate to realize my training
in the Memphis surgical residency program. This
program had been in existence for more than 20
years when I was a resident there. The residency
was hands-on, high volume (1,200 cases per year)
with lots to do for the two residents there.
Regrettably, increased rules and regulations in
the residency approval process lead to the
closing of the Memphis residency several years
ago.

Additional issues also remain in the way of our
equals getting trained. An unmatched doctor
could easily get surgical training by simply
coming to work with me. In spite of this, in
North Carolina you cannot be licensed without a
one-year residency program. I appreciate that
many of these rules were made to advance our
profession. Sadly, rules can harm.

We have to remember that we are actually talking
about doctors, not students. The schools are
only responsible for making them doctors. Our
profession is responsible for training them. We
are the ones at fault. The rules need to be
flexible so that we can accommodate these
doctors. I suspect there are numerous podiatric
physicians who could teach these doctors more
than they would ever comprehend in a residency.

In our search for perfection, we have created
imperfection. Training does not have to be
perfect. It does not have to be in approved
residency program. In trying to make our
training perfect, we have in fact become
obsessed with the imperfect.

Don Peacock, DPM, Whiteville, NC,
peacockdpm@gmail.com

08/24/2013    William Deutsch, DPM

I Want to Work as a Podiatrist (Sarah Montgomery, DPM)

How is this situation different from any other
scam? Enroll into a school to get a degree, then
find you can't get a license or insurance
because the implied continuation of that
education, a preposterous three year residency
requirement, is illusory. The length of the
residency is preposterous for performing most of
what podiatry care comprises.

The 3-year residency requirement has become an
educational but more a political solution to
counter the lack of acceptance by allopathic
medicine. But does any podiatrist really think
an orthopedist is going to respect a podiatrist
more because of a three year residency? A
podiatrist isn't an MD regardless of the years
of training and that won't change even with a 5
year residency.

For years podiatrists practiced successfully
with either no residency or a year-long
residency. The short term solution is to secure
at least a one year residency to all graduating
students. The APMA will have to backtrack and
certify this is as sufficient training for
licensure and offer two or three year programs
to those who want to continue their education.
But at least the specter of impoverished ghosts
wandering about with a worthless degree won't
haunt podiatry and embarrass the profession. In
the meantime efforts can be made to increase the
number of 3-year programs. There was obviously a
rush to mandate a 3-year residency requirement
without consideration that the demand exceeded
the slots. And I doubt schools will voluntarily
limit class size since it isn't in their
interest.

The profession has made a mess of things and
it's up to the profession to rectify it.
Otherwise, lawsuits will propel podiatry into
further embarrassment. If I were a graduate with
a worthless degree I would be hunting for a good
lawyer. At the present time the only remedy for
this poor podiatry school graduate is a
lawsuit.

William Deutsch, DPM, Valley Stream, NY,
woollfy1@yahoo.com
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