Podiatry Management Online


Podiatry Management Online
Podiatry Management Online



Search Results Details
Back To List Of Search Results



RE: Why are We Being Underpaid for Our Services?

From: Burton J. Katzen, DPM


In the latest Becker’s Orthopedic Review surveying the average income of orthopedic surgeons, the median income for a foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon is $505,606 per year. The average signing bonus for a foot and ankle surgeon entering an orthopedic practice was $50,000, second only to a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon at $60,000. The average signing bonus of a general orthopedic surgeon is $35,000.


Though the recent PM survey has not come out yet, I would have to assume that podiatry, the profession that is best suited and best trained to treat foot and ankle problems, falls far short of these figures. So the question is why? Are we still not accepted by the public as “the foot and ankle specialists”? Are insurance companies undervaluing our services? Are we undervaluing our own services when negotiating with insurance companies or group practices? Have we become slaves to the insurance companies, accepting whatever they feel like they want to dole out to us and be grateful for it?


Certainly, the residents coming out of the majority of our programs have equal if not superior experience and training in foot surgery (and especially limb salvage) compared to the foot and ankle orthopedic surgeons. I long for the good old days when foot surgery was beneath orthopedic surgeons, and their cases we used to get in our offices to correct looked like they were done with a Black and Decker drill. 


Burton J. Katzen, DPM, Temple Hills, MD

Other messages in this thread:



From: Name Withheld 


A few years ago, a well-respected practitioner passed away in an untimely manner. He had a long standing practice that was busy from day until night, a modern office in a building affiliated with a top hospital and well-trained staff. His practice continued in the interim with help from volunteers, but when his family tried to sell it, they could not get a reasonable offer for the practice; not even an unreasonable one.


Instead, someone who purported to be “a friend” opened up a new office in the same building and poached the patients with a blitz of advertising. Setting up the new office and the professional marketing campaign cost maybe 20% of what he would have paid the family. Within a couple of months, he enjoyed the same busy practice, in a modern office, affiliated with a top hospital and with a well-trained staff. And he had paid pennies on the dollar.


I came to believe at that moment, after decades in this business, that a practice has no inherent value. It is no longer the “retirement account” waiting for us. If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t consider buying a practice. I would open one near an older practice and with marketing’s help become the newest, best-trained, most modern option available. Face it. Patients love the next new thing. Only our older patients look for long-term relationships, and they aren’t going to help sustain a practice. Patients these days look on Yelp for ratings to make their healthcare choices!


Name Withheld



From: Robert Fridrich, DPM


In late 1970s, I gave those flu shots due to an epidemic in Cleveland.


Robert Fridrich, DPM Retired, Green Valley, AZ



RE: PC vs. LLC vs. PLLC (Marianna Blokh, DPM)

From: Joseph Borreggine, DPM


I suggest you review these articles that I found through a simple Internet search: Article 1, article 2. And after reading them, then I would decide. But before you do so, know that President Trump’s new tax (law) makes an LLC more attractive than a PC by helping to reduce your pass through income in an LLC by 20%. The corporate tax rate has also dropped from 35 to 21%. 


This article helps explain the new tax rules for 2018 for pass through income: But, when all is said and done, a good CPA and tax attorney must be consulted to secure the best advice.


Joseph Borreggine, DPM, Charleston, IL



From: William D. Spielfogel, DPM, Vito J. Rizzo, DPM


This is an excellent initiative by NYSPMA and it is great that the Board of Trustees is being proactive in its advocacy for podiatry. They are an example of an organization advocating for its membership and trying to get a seat at the table.


William D. Spielfogel, DPM, NY, NY 


In our rapidly changing healthcare delivery paradigm, it is imperative that there be opportunities to help define what a particular category of healthcare provider can offer to contribute to the problems facing our population. Policymakers need to be educated on the facts as they relate to outcome statistics and verified cost factors. Many of these policy considerations are determined in a federal or centralized system. Podiatry’s first advocate should be the APMA. As experience has demonstrated, podiatry seems to be not permitted “a seat at the table”, and this profession is often caught needing to try to fix policy shortcomings after the fact. This has proven to be bad policy. 


I applaud the effort of the NYSPMA, which has been the leading advocate for progressive healthcare policy specifically as it relates to podiatry and to the communities we serve. NYSPMA led the charge, resulting in the Thompson Reuters Study which demonstrated the value of podiatry in the care of lower extremity manifestation of diabetes. NYSPMA has been trying for years to have care measurements developed specifically for podiatry, which could then force payers to better consider podiatry as a key partner in many healthcare scenarios. This effort in population health is the next phase of what has been a multi-year and ongoing effort to demonstrate the need for podiatry’s inclusion in a myriad of ongoing and pressing healthcare issues. The opioid crisis, fall risk, and the ever present concern with the ever rising costs of managing the effects of diabetes are areas where it has once again been shown that with podiatry on the team better outcomes and lower costs result. 


I encourage APMA, and all of its individual components, to carefully consider and then support the work of NYSPMA as a national effort. In the big picture, it will help podiatrists and their patients throughout the nation, and not just in New York.


Vito J. Rizzo, DPM, Bay Shore, NY



RE: Historical Perspective on Podiatry

From: Bruce Lebowitz, DPM


Since retiring, I have become a docent at a Johns Hopkins museum. As such, I have learned a great deal of history. When I entered classes at MJ Lewi Podiatry school, I learned that in 1912 organized medicine had ignored the foot. Dr. Lewi helped create the school in order to fill the gap. I’ve now learned more about the state of medical care in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


Johns Hopkins University and medical school were founded at the end of the 19th century as a result of Mr. Hopkins' will which allotted some 71/2 million dollars toward that end. Nevertheless, the U.S. economy took a fall at the same time, making it impossible to get the school off the ground. As it turned out, the Hopkins board found a donor willing to shell out the extra millions. Mrs. Garrett, a wealthy philanthropist, donated the funds with a couple of strings attached. One, women would have to be admitted every year. Second, there would have to be students accepted who had achieved academically in college.


She did this because she well knew the state of medical care in this country was awful. She knew too that there were American medical schools graduating doctors who could not read or write. So, podiatry began out of need around the same time as academic medicine did. How’s that for parity? 


Bruce Lebowitz, DPM, Baltimore, MD



From: Brian Kiel, DPM


First of all, if one is to publicly praise and justify the actions of Joseph McCarthy, why are you ashamed to let us know who you are. He was publicly disgraced and proven to be a liar and was the precursor to the same political hate game we are seeing today. This "withheld" person is looking for ghosts under every bed and is obviously a proponent of the extreme right wing political persuasion. I disagree with his basic premise, but he has every right to espouse it, just don't do it behind a curtain. What are you ashamed of if not your views?


Brian Kiel, DPM, Memphis, TN



From: Mike Kempski


I work on the insurance side of medical malpractice and have twenty five years of experience. In the early years of the Data Bank, the doctors had great concerns about entries against them. The concern was so intense that the carriers responded by changing their policy language as it relates to the settlement of claims. The change was the policies stated they won’t settle a claim without your consent to do so. However, I don’t think there was much reason to be worried. There’s very limited access to the Data Bank. For example, the general public (your patients) can’t access it. Medical malpractice insurance carriers can’t. Hospitals can. But they’re always very reluctant to revoke privileges. How has it hurt physicians?


Mike Kempski, Plymouth Meeting, PA



RE: Regulation for Power over Physicians and Surgeons

From: Michael M. Rosenblatt, DPM,


The abuse of physicians is clearly a byproduct of progressive liberal rule of the United States. Ostensibly, it is "couched" in regulation to raise the standard of care and "limit" damage by "incompetent or dangerous physicians." The regulations and their promulgators always say this is for the public good. It has nothing to do with the public good or protection. It is entirely regulation for POWER over doctors and professionals. It creates "boards of review" who are not qualified in most cases and also exposes physicians to "Star Chamber" procedures and accusations with absolutely no civil rights. 


Make no mistake: Regulation is for power. It has no intent or purpose otherwise. It also creates boards and employment for non-professional people and expands government into every aspect of our personal and professional lives. Physicians must be careful for whom they vote. Bigger government means lack of rights without improvement in opportunities. Marxism is a byproduct of big government. This country has been on a rolling slope toward cultural and professional Marxism with Democrats in control. 


The "members" of these various committees are fools if they believe they are on the "right side." It is only a short step, under accusation of another person who wishes to take away your rights, your profession, and your be ON the other side and become a target yourself. 


Michael M. Rosenblatt, DPM, Henderson, NV  



RE: Best Way to Study for 10-Year Forefoot Boards

From: Mark L Miller, DPM


I just recertified last year for the second (and last) time—the Goldfarb Board Review Course was all I needed. I took the class over a weekend and then took the test the next week. Everything was fresh in my head and the test was not bad at all. As one of the instructors in the course said, "the recertification test is testing what you do every day."


Mark L Miller, DPM, McLean, VA



RE: Rules of Evidence and Professional Practice

From: W. David Herbert DPM, JD


Anyone who is interested in determining who can do what to whom in a medical sense should review the appropriate licensing acts of all medical type providers in states like Montana, Alaska, and Minnesota. I also recommend that they review the scope of practice of naturopaths in states where they are licensed. Not too long ago, I was contacted by several state legislatures about the issue of nurse anesthetists obtaining hospital privileges on hospitals that only employed anesthesiologists. The unlimited scope of practice of nurse anesthetists was not the issue. Only the politics involving who was granted hospital privileges in the larger hospitals was the issue. In states where they are allowed to practice independently, many nurse anesthetists have larger incomes than many primary care physicians.


In a medical malpractice case in some states, nurses can testify against physicians and vice versa depending on the issue. In a lawsuit involving medical providers, it will be your malpractice carrier that will determine whether you are covered or not. How it is in Florida is not how it is everywhere when it comes to the practice of anything that might be related to medicine.


W. David Herbert DPM, JD, Billings, MT 



From: W. David Herbert DPM


I have two cousins who many years ago became dentists. Today, there are individuals called "denturists" in some states who can take dental impressions and make dentures without a dental referral. In a couple of states, dental hygienists can practice privately, and in one state can even fill a tooth without a dentist's supervision. In a number of states, a certified nurse anesthetist may practice independently without medical supervision. Also, in some states, a physical therapist does not have to have a doctor's referral to see a patient.


Any person rendering a service that can be construed as the practice of medicine will be held to a medical standard of care while so doing. This is true in all of the jurisdictions that I am familiar with. I still say it is more important that a podiatrist be defined as a physician than that he or she be granted an unlimited scope of practice. You do not find orthopedic surgeons delivering babies or ophthalmologists performing bunion surgery, even though it is in their technical scope of practice. They are limited primarily because of liability issues.


W. David Herbert, DPM, JD, Billings, MT



From: Don Steinfeld, DPM


Kudos to Brian Markinson. We should all remember that every interaction we have is an opportunity to promote podiatry as a profession and ourselves. What a positive outlook he has. It’s so easy to fall in step with negative thinking and negative thoughts. This is a great way for all of us to start the new year on a positive note. 


Don Steinfeld, DPM, Farmingdale, NJ



From: Janet McCormick


Every time I hear discussions about nurses taking over podiatry, I think of how wayyy-back-when dentists said to each other "hummm, this may happen." The difference between them and podiatrists is the dentists organized to make certain it didn't. Thus, was borne the dental hygienist (the legislation snatched it away from the potential of nurses doing this work without the dentists) who does the work the dentists do not want to do, are educated to do it correctly, and are legally the only ones who can (other than dentists). But these dental hygienists CANNOT under legislative law do so in any state (that I know of) except under the direct supervision of a dentist. And it was all put through by the state dental associations. I have discussed this with many podiatrists over the years, even suggested organizing and getting the restriction developed, but they never got it!! So, now, it is too late. 


Think about this: no patient can have their teeth cleaned, have x-rays, etc. EXCEPT in a dental office or clinic - wherever, they must have a dentist on staff. And the patients have no choice of where to have this work performed. Wouldn't you love that? But alas, you are too late, I fear.


Janet McCormick, Frostproof, FL



From: W. David Herbert, DPM


The posting about the scope of practice of nurses reminded me of what happened to a podiatrist I knew who went to medical school and became a board-certified family practice doctor. The hospital he had privileges at would not let him perform foot surgery or deliver babies. The problem primarily was that he was no longer a licensed podiatrist and also he was not an obstetrician. Also his malpractice carrier would not cover him for these activities. I think that is it more important that podiatrists in every state be able to refer to themselves as podiatric physicians. I believe it will not be possible for nurses to claim that they are physicians.


W. David Herbert, DPM, JD, Billings, MT



From: David N. Helfman, DPM


Having personally consulted and currently engaged with the VC/Private Equity (PE) world and founder of Extremity Healthcare, I would like to add some very important and direct points to Hal’s comments on podiatry and VC. Podiatry has always been a bit behind other specialties when you look at other healthcare consolidations. 


The main reasons that PE firms have not been able to really see value in podiatry as a platform investment is because the successful PE firms saw podiatry groups as too loosely affiliated, were concerned about integration issues, compliance issues, and the ability to... 


Editor's Note: Dr. Helfman's extended-length letter can be read here.



RE: ABPM Wound Certification

From: Randolph C Fish, DPM


Parity is here, why take a step backwards? Lately, I have seen several advertisements from the ABPM touting their new examination for certification in wound care. Since the ABPM is a CPME-approved board, I am concerned that someone will perceive that this particular certification is worth more than it is. This is not a board certification. It is, rather, recognition for demonstrating an added skill set called a “Certificate of Added Qualification” (or CAQ for short). There are several exams in the marketplace offering a similar certificate. Whereas the ABPM certificate is for podiatrists only, other groups offer podiatrists the same certification as allopathic and osteopathic physicians, giving parity to DPMs, MDs and DOs in the wound care field. 


The certification I prefer is through the Council for Medical Education and Testing (CMET). It is a non-profit, physician-specific examination that has certified DPMs, MDs, and DOs on the same level for the past 10 years. By numbers alone, it is the largest and most widely accepted certification of its kind in the United States. Selecting a certification process is important, and being certified by the same organization that certifies all physicians is a step forward. Anyone who recognizes the need for parity in the wound care arena will look to the APWH and CMET certification.  


Disclaimer: I have no financial  interest in either the APWH or CMET. 


Randolph C Fish, DPM, Tacoma, WA



RE: ABFAS Board Exam Pass Rate is Disparaging (Joseph Borreggine, DPM)

From: Don Peacock, DPM


The complaints regarding the ABFAS board certification process are completely unwarranted. I say this not to be elitist but to recognize that we all should strive to remain independent. I feel empathy for anyone going through the board certification process. I remember it well and it was challenging. However, I do not feel sorry for anyone complaining about it. The experience should be difficult and will make you more knowledgeable in the end. Complaining about it is silly and serves no purpose. You should prepare and do your best; and like a boxer, you need to be strong enough to give and take a punch. 


I will be taking the recertification exam in 2018 and I plan to study and pass it. If I do not...


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



RE: ABFAS Board Exam Pass Rate is Disparaging (Joseph Borreggine, DPM)

From:  Name Withheld


I am glad that there is some discussion about the ridiculously poor pass rate of the ABFAS Exam. The objective data posted comparing our pass rates with our orthopedic colleagues absolutely should be taken into consideration. I attended a great residency program where I obtained solid training, both didactically and practically, with surgical requirements more than tripled in all categories. I never had difficulty with any of the board exams taken through podiatry school. I have established myself in my community quickly and built up a practice with good referral sources and the respect of my fellow medical colleagues at the facilities I am an attending at. 


I passed 3 of the 4 ABFAS Part 1 exams on my first attempt, but had to retake the forefoot computer-based problem solving exam 5 times. In this period of time, I studied specifically for the format of the CBPS exam, spoke to the staff of ABFAS administering the exam (who to their credit was very responsive and open to helping in any ethical way they could). I am almost to the portion of submitting cases which, after hearing other examples of respectable surgeons who have failed this portion, makes me very nervous.


The system needs an overhaul which would absolutely cost ABFAS money since it did cost me thousands of dollars to even get to this point with the many retakes of CBPS. It's an excellent business strategy for ABFAS to continue to fail that many people, but unfortunately it is at the expense of the next generation of our profession. 


Name Withheld



From: Adam Siegel, DPM


Dr. Williams mentions that we must “not be inferior to that of our MD colleagues.” So I suppose the solution is to do what most podiatrists seem to do: overcompensate in an effort to unnecessarily prove something to an audience that does not exist. If orthopods see a suitable pass rate as 90%, podiatrists should aim to set our pass rate at a comparable level. After all, it is completely up to the board to determine what arbitrary score is considered “proficient.”


Adam Siegel, DPM, Lutz, FL



From: Name Withheld 


This certifying board is a bit of a monopoly that every podiatry student has to deal with to progress to the next level of their career. This certification process is exorbitantly expensive and arbitrary. The rules continually change which apply to everyone except those already certified? I passed all the written exams and (first time every exam) and interviewed well at the time the decision was made that new applicants would no longer be allowed to select their cases to submit for certification. It was at that same time the decision was made that applicants would log their cases as is done in residency. 


I played the game and paid the small fortune over the years only to be told that my cases that they selected were not up to their standards. I was told that I could pay more money next year and hope they pick better cases. I continually see plenty of cases from providers certified by this board which have resulted in suboptimal outcomes. I will often end up doing the revisions to improve the health and welfare of the public. There are other boards who value your dollar and I recommend that route for those who value their time and money. In closing, I have seen some excellent work from colleagues with many different certifications. I have no hard feelings toward ABFAS and I am happy that I chose a different certifying board.


Name Withheld 



From: Gary Docks, DPM


Being complacent and accepting criticism from this Orthopod is not the answer. My first thought it justified? If not, then I would go meet him and discuss it in person. If you’d rather hide behind your computer, then just inform him that two can play the same game. Obviously, he is an insecure doctor who is trying to boost his own ego by putting you down. This is probably not an isolated incident. Just remember, you encourage what you tolerate.


Gary Docks, DPM, Beverly Hills, MI



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