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Podiatry Management Online


Podiatry Management Online
Podiatry Management Online



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From: Arnold Ross, DPM, Burton J. Katzen, DPM


I enjoyed the three-year program. Unfortunately, the plan to have more grads was questionably calculated. In California, the old CCPM had approximately 100 students per class with a podiatric hospital and fully functioning orthotic lab. Now, we have two schools in California with approximately 100 students or less in total, and no hospital or orthotic lab in either.


Arnold Ross, DPM, Los Angeles, CA,


I cannot believe that anyone in our profession could possibly vote for the 3-year podiatry curriculum. Before I looked at the results, I thought the voting would be less than 1%. First of all, as one of my colleagues stated, there is way too much to learn for even four years. Also, for those of us who have been around for over 40 years, if you think we were looked down upon by our medical colleagues and the general public in the past, this would be a public relations disaster, not to mention a credentialing disaster for hospitals, etc.


One viable alternative would be a 6-year college/podiatry degree program like Hopkins and several medical schools have, or at least I know had in the past. This would especially be a viable alternative for schools affiliated with undergraduate schools like Temple. Also, we're the only profession that is trying to force every graduate into becoming a surgeon with a 3-year residency to even get a license in most states. This is extremely detrimental and costly to the students wishing to provide for patients needing other types of care, and for our profession in general.


Burton J. Katzen, DPM, Temple Hills, MD.

Other messages in this thread:



From: Hal Ornstein, DPM


Brad has been a gem for our profession for many years. It is safe to say that he is on top of the list of dedication to our profession as well as financial support. What’s most remarkable is his service to students and residents to support their initiatives on a local and national basis. The Rhett Foundation he has created will prove to help thousands and is so much a part of his DNA. You’re a great man Brad.


Hal Ornstein, DPM, Howell, NJ



From: Elliot Udell, DPM


I acknowledge Dr. Bakotic for all of his years of service to the academic podiatric medical community. There are dozens of dermatopathology labs that serve our profession but Brad distinguished himself in not only financially supporting every podiatric medical conference in America but lecturing at all of them. In so doing, he educated doctors on when to raise "red flags" and taught thousands of us how to do skin biopsies and remove suspicious lesions. We can be assured that there are patients alive today as a result of their doctors having taken skin biopsies in a timely fashion as a result of Brad's teaching. Thank you Brad.


Elliot Udell, DPM, Hicksville, NY



RE: Podiatrists Serving in the Military

I believe that most of our profession are not knowledgeable about the history of podiatrists who served in the military as podiatrists who were commissioned officers. Osteopathic physicians did not serve as officers until 1967. Some podiatrists served as commissioned officers in the Navy in World War II. In 1957, podiatrists were routinely commissioned in the armed services as podiatrists, but were not actually in the medical corps.

I believe that when podiatrists began serving as officers in the military and began working alongside physicians as fellow healthcare professionals that the image of our profession was improved considerably. I would like to see an article about some of these pioneers in our profession whom I believe have been overlooked. I had three of my four years of podiatric medical school subsidized by the military. I have always been grateful for the military podiatrists who came before me and played a part in making this possible.

W. David Herbert, DPM JD, Billings, MT



From: Harry Penny, DPM


CMET has the only physician-specific organization certifying all prescribing MDs, DOs, and DPMs. CMET is different from the other certifying bodies in that they do not certify physical therapists, CNPs, or nurses in wound care. CMET certification is well accepted and respected, and an important certification for hospital and wound center privileges. If you want, you can go to the website for the Academy of Physicians in Wound Healing and sign up for their review course before sitting for the exam. 


Harry Penny, DPM, Altoona, PA



From: Jengyu Lai, DPM


I took both CMET and American Board of Wound Healing exams. Even though both exams are for physicians, CMET questions are generated and beta tested by physicians - MDs/DOs/DPMs. Additionally, since CMET does not offer exams for mid-levels, nurses or allied professionals, you can wholeheartedly trust that this certificate is for physicians. It is not carved out from a pool of questions for all levels of professionals. It gives me the confidence when I present the certificates to other providers and patients.


Even though ABWH seems to be endorsed by the American Professional Wound Care Association and American College of Hyperbaric Medicine, those are two sister organizations. CMET is recognized by the Academy of Physicians in Wound Healing (the only wound care organization exclusively for physicians - MDs/DOs/DPMs), American College of Lower Extremity Surgeons, and the Israel Wound Care Society.


I don't think it would hurt to have more certificates. But if you plan to take only one exam in wound care, CMET should be the choice.


Jengyu Lai, DPM, Rochester, MN



RE: Excessive NBPME Exam and Reporting Fees

From: Name Withheld


National Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners (tax ID 44-0663070) in 2015: revenue $2,082,642, expenses $1,814,620, and total assets $7,728,152.


Source:  Click here for 2015 990 Tax Return



From: Judd Davis, DPM 


The city hospital in my town did this to a group of DPMs a few years back. We were on call there for years taking all kinds of pro bono and indigent cases. The burden became so large that all specialties finally demanded pay for call. The hospital decided to pay all specialties for call except for podiatry, and would not let us out of the call responsibility. Talk about discrimination! A lawsuit ensued which went for over a year, costing both sides a lot of money, and ended in a draw. We resigned our hospital privileges the next day and never looked back.


A year later, the hospital had to hire on two podiatrists to take care of their patients. I can provide no advice on negotiating as even our attorney got no where with them. You would think there would be some laws against discriminating like that, but apparently not. You should be prepared to find another hospital to work at and resign from that one if need be. Feel free to contact me if you want more info.


Judd Davis, DPM, Colorado Springs, CO



From: Bret M. Ribotsky, DPM


The brotherhood (sisterhood) of our profession is so amazing. Thanks to the closeness that PM News has created, we are a village. Paul Kesselman’s assistance to his fellow DPMs is yet another example of the value of this medium.  A special thank you to all members of the village we call podiatric medicine and surgery.  


Bret M. Ribotsky, DPM, Boca Rayon, FL



From: Elliot Udell, DPM


I have used them for several years and have been happy with their service. They always supply the forms I need for hospitals and insurance companies. It's like leasing a car. You have to shop for the best deal and that can change from year to year.


Elliot Udell, DPM, Hicksville, NY  



From: David P. Luongo, DPM


I have had Coverys professional liability coverage through Beneficial Insurance. I have had no problems at all. The rep is great.  


David P. Luongo, DPM, NY, NY



RE: Radiesse is Now Available for Podiatrists

From: Bret Ribotsky, DPM


As was first reported weeks ago in PM News, there was the inability of DPMs to purchase Radiesse to use for injections for pedal soft tissue temporary augmentation (PSTTA). This issue has been resolved. After meeting with the new CEO of Merz and his leadership team, what should have been a simple process became as difficult as walking through a minefield. It began with corporate compliance and federal regulations that were in place to make it unable to sell to a provider (DPM) where no FDA-approved indication existed within our scope of practice. 


This is behind us now. Any DPM who has received approved training, such as attending a DERMFOOT workshop, is now eligible to purchase this product. It is hoped that a series of training seminars can be done nationally to give this opportunity to all who are interested.


Bret Ribotsky, DPM, Boca Raton, FL



RE: Kudos to Chris Bryant, DPM

From: Craig Nilsen


During a recent sales trip to Kentucky (KY), one of my sales associates went for a jog in the morning and rolled his ankle during the jog. We went to KY to work a booth at the KPMA conference for Henry Schein. As he was hobbling around the exhibit hall Chris Bryant, DPM came into our booth and asked if he could have a look at my associate's foot. Upon removing his shoe, you could see his ankle was very swollen.


At that point, Dr. Bryan personally drove my associate to his office which was just a couple of miles away and gave him physical therapy, applied a compression bandage, put him in a CAM walker, and then brought him back to the meeting. Dr. Bryant really went above and beyond anyone's expectations. Thanks again, Dr. Bryant.


Craig Nilsen, Henry Schein Medical



From: Joel Lang, DPM


Everyone take a breath. People are going to be people and we are in the people business. Everyone has personal faults and events over which they have no control. That’s why some patients will miss their first appointments. Sometimes our schedule runs late and patients are inconvenienced. I don’t see any doctors offering to treat them for free to compensate them for their inconvenience. So let’s be realistic. Missed appointments will happen, but they are a very tiny fraction of our patient experiences. Don’t focus on the “small stuff”.


In the long run, those misses will have little effect on your bottom line and may give you an occasional “break” during the day, that you can probably use. If someone misses, forgive them as you would like to be forgiven for your lateness in treating them. Making everyone follow some rule or having patients give credit card numbers to doctors they don’t even know is an unnecessary intrusion. It punishes the many for the actions of the few.


Accept the fact that people are imperfect; accept their foibles and do the best for the patient in front of you. Success will follow. Expecting perfection will result in chronic disappointment – not a good way to conduct your life or practice.


Joel Lang, DPM (retired), Cheverly, MD



From: Paul Busman DPM, RN


"Those who refuse to give us a credit card do not get an appointment. This is a real simple solution."


This is not such a great solution. Believe it or not, there are still a lot of people who don't have credit cards at all! This includes many older potential patients who don't trust those newfangled things. There are also many individuals who, for various reasons, don't qualify for a card but who would otherwise be excellent, deserving patients. Shouldn't these people have access to quality footcare too?  


Paul Busman DPM, RN, Frederick, MD



RE: High Cost of Drugs (George Jacobson, DPM)

From: Kathleen Neuhoff, DPM

We e-prescribe and give each patient a written script also. This gives them a shopping choice and eliminates the weekend calls when the pharmacy cannot find the prescription! 

Kathleen Neuhoff, DPM, South Bend, IN



From: Donald R Blum, DPM, JD


The responsibility for controlling one's medical cost rests with the patient (beneficiary). For medications I use on a regular basis (90-day prescriptions), I research the cost. My sources are the website for my prescription plan and When I ask my doctor for a refill, I have the pharmacy where I want the Rx to go and make the request. Additionally, I have the app for on my phone just in case my doctor wants to give to me a new Rx so I can explore the "CASH" price prior to getting the prescription.


I also look up the cost of prescriptions. I am able to show the patient a cash price for that drug as well as the different prices at the different pharmacies in the area. The patient can then decide what pharmacy they want based on cost. I am a little surprised that the State of NY requires only ePrescribe; I thought that was related to CMS, not to the state.


Disclosure: I have no financial interest in There are also many discount Rx services.


Donald R Blum, DPM, JD, Dallas, TX



RE: High Cost of Drugs (George Jacobson, DPM)

From: Elliot Udell,DPM


Let’s open another can of worms with regard to the cost of drugs. In New York State, doctors are required by law to e-prescribe. My allergist e-prescribed some medication for me. I paid for it at the local pharmacy, only to find out that I could have saved a significant amount of money had I gone to another drug store. The way e-prescribing is set up with insurance companies is that the pharmacy will not give you the final price of the medication until they process the prescription. In order to price compare, I would have had to ask my doctor to send off the prescription to other pharmacies, which he cannot do using his program. This set-up is another example of how our government has set up prescription benefits in a way that does not help the consumer.


Elliot Udell, DPM, Hicksville, NY



From: Ira Baum, DPM


Dr. Jacobson's remarks were excellent. I applaud his comments and understand the work he put in to collect the data and analyze it to present this valuable information on the comparative costs of many medications. If he has this information available in an easy format, would he be willing to share it?


Ira Baum, DPM, Naples, FL



From: George Jacobson, DPM


Yes, it is absolutely ridiculous and scandalous. The light should be shined publically on the very examples discussed here. I study the costs and review the generic formularies at Walmart ($4 list), Publix (free list), Target...  Indomethacin, terbinafine, meloxicam, naproxen, flucinolone, and cephalexin can be purchased for $4 or less. This is especially advantageous for the uninsured and sometimes less than some co-payments. I also walk by and look at the OTC products at different stores near my office, so I know what is available and the cost.  


You can get 25% urea cream (Heel Balm) at Walmart for $4.99 and the same product is $9.99 at Walgreens. Clotrimazole 1% is $1.00 at most "dollar stores" which can cost $10-$15 at most pharmacies. I keep hydrocortisone 1% (also $1) and the clotrimazole 1% in the office and make 100% by charging $2.00. Patients appreciate that I am concerned about their medical expenses. By the way, the Walmart's "Antifungal Liquid" 1oz (30ml) is 25% undecylenic acid and costs $5.99. I have had patients purchase 25% undecylenic acid for $40 from their former podiatrist.


George Jacobson, DPM, Hollywood, FL



From: Paul Kesselman, DPM


While it is true that Medicare does not normally cover orthotics, the "read between the lines" implication of this proposal is that DPMs, MDs, and DO physicians are not trained to dispense foot orthotics. I can think of just a few things that a plaintiff's counsel might do with that at a trial where the patient alleges they were injured from your orthotic device. 


This is regardless of whether you care or don't care whether third party payers cover the device. Whether you agree with this philosophy or not, the jury just hearing this will...


Editor's note: Dr. Kesselman's extended-length letter can be read here.



From: Joel Lang, DPM


As a financial planner, I can state that it almost never is worthwhile to lease a car. Ownership, in the long run, is a far better financial choice. A car is a guaranteed depreciating asset. Leasing requires you to pay all the depreciation without the benefit of eventual ownership. I don’t know what you drive now, but if it is too old to fix, you apparently keep cars for a long time. Very smart. If the vehicle is otherwise sound, fix it and drive it for a few more years. If not, purchase another one; one that you like, not what your patient will admire. Purchasing a 2-3 year old car, perhaps one that just came off a lease, is financially smart because someone else just paid the major portion of the depreciation.


No one is impressed with the car you drive. In a recent discussion with a New York Mercedes dealer, I was told that 90% of their cars are leased, not purchased. That is because the customers who want them cannot afford the purchase and see leasing as a false saving – lower monthly payments; except the payments go on forever. Save the money you potentially waste on cars and take your family on a vacation – create memories. The wealthiest people I know do not flaunt their net worth. They live quiet, comfortable lives without regard to their “public image”.


Joel Lang, DPM (retired), Cheverly, MD



From: David S. Wolf, DPM, Philip J. Shapiro, DPM


I think the question should be...”Do patients judge us on what type of professional experience they have after leaving our office?” (Not what type of car we drive). Were they treated with real concern and acknowledgement, did the staff show empathy, will they recommend you to their PCP and friends?


David S. Wolf, DPM (retired), Houston, TX


Regarding Dr. Elliot Udell’s question about the car that we drive and what our patients might think of us for our choice, there was a time when that truly mattered. That time period began in the 1950s and represented the values of those doctors from that generation, as well as the perceptions of the general public until around 1980. By that time, I started to notice in the physicians’ parking lot at my hospital that the physicians (MD, DO, DPM) were driving everything from high-end luxury vehicles to economy-level vehicles. In my own private, solo practice, no one seemed to notice, or at least comment on what I was driving, and that ranged from high-end in the 1980s to mid-level by the 1990s. So, as the saying goes, drive what you like and like what you drive. Patients care how much you care about them, and not what you drive.


Philip J. Shapiro, DPM, Ormond Beach, FL



From: Don Peacock, DPM, MS


I am a strong advocate of epidermal nerve biopsies. They play a vital role in my clinical practice. The procedure has many advantages over traditional ways of monitoring small nerve fiber neuropathy. The procedure is minimally invasive and can give quantifiable empirical data to prove the presence of unmyelinated small nerve fiber neuropathy. It has the added benefit of greater sensitivity compared to  traditional nerve studies. The study is repeatable and can be used as a marker for instituting therapeutic modalities and monitoring nerve regeneration. I would not want to practice without the use of these studies. Our neuropathy patients are some of the most miserable patients with respect to their noxious pain levels. These patients need to be treated aggressively and completely. This absolutely includes the use of epidermal nerve biopsy. 


All procedures have potential risks, and we need to take into account certain health aspects that are potential contra-indications. Diabetics with adequate circulation should not be excluded from a minimally invasive epidermal nerve biopsy. If cellulitis occurs, treat the complication accordingly. For the majority of our neuropathy patients, the information received from the epidermal nerve biopsies represents a valuable aspect of treating them along with more aggressive interventions such as decompression surgery, etc. 


Don Peacock, DPM, MS. Whiteville, NC



From: Elliot Udell, DPM


Dr. Hurchik is correct. There is massive money to be made by not only podiatrists doing these biopsies but by numerous pathology labs that are promoting these tests at our conventions and in journal ads.


At a seminar I attended, there was a med mal defense attorney lecturing about a case he was defending where the podiatrist was sued for doing a nerve biopsy on a diabetic who subsequently developed a severe infection from the wound created by the test. One of the questions asked of the defendant was why he needed to do the test in the first place and could the information it provided have been acquired from lesser invasive tests. Could the patients clinical history combined with nerve conduction studies have provided the same clinical information?


There is a time and a place for these biopsies, but we must all ask whether the benefit of doing them on every diabetic patient with neuropathy and/or reduced vascularity outweighs the risk.


Elliot Udell, DPM, Hicksville, NY



From: Paul Stepanczuk, DPM


I have performed many punch biopsies for nerve status over the last several years. I have never had a cellulitis problem or even delayed healing. Betadine prep is utilized and patients are given instructions for daily care until the area is fully healed.


The reimbursement is low; the biopsy is not performed for reimbursement. Instead, I use it to see if something as potentially costly as Metanx would be warranted over an extended period of time.


Paul Stepanczuk, DPM, Munster, IN

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