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07/06/2020    Steven Kravitz, DPM

Which area of your practice has been MOST adversely affected by the pandemic?

The recent PM News poll reflected that wound care
was by far the least impacted aspect of podiatric
practice by the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Surgery was affected nearly 60%, routine foot
care nearly 30% affected, but wound care less
than 2% affected. Additionally, I continue to
have numerous contacts with multiple podiatrists
in private practice and wound healing centers
throughout the country.

My personal general impression is that the
majority report 75 to 80% of the pre-COVID-19
patients returning, and an increasing number
indicating the return approximating 100%. Most
recently a new funding is that some practices are
reporting is much as 120% pre-COVID-19 because
they picked up patients from surrounding
practices have been closed or otherwise patients
referred to them.

These observations exclude demographic areas
heavily hit by COVID-19 with stay-at-home orders

A number of podiatrists are now considering
adding wound healing to their practice or
becoming involved in wound healing center. I have
embraced wound healing patients for more than 30
years and have always found it extremely
rewarding. But those new to this consideration
should also consider that it’s more than likely
that one year from now the impact from COVID-19
for podiatric practice will hopefully have passed
and practices will be booming with patients that
previously did not have care and have increased
problems. This includes surgery, biomechanics,
general foot care and all aspects of the doctor’s
practice. So close consideration is due before
making this jump into wound healing.

I’m not discouraging but do keep in mind the
fact that wound care patients require special
appointments; they often have odor, and this
affects other patients or the office. It is best
to have special patient scheduling accordingly.
Hours are demanding with call for ER and OR 24/7.
There are many aspects the podiatrist needs to
investigate before they get involved.

In short, don’t simply decide on a “knee jerk”
response due to a decrease in current income and
reflected patient volume. But think about total
practice, the years that you intend to maintain
involved and the general type of practice you
currently have before jumping into wound care.
Last but not least, visit wound healing centers
and definitely join a wound healing society.

Steven Kravitz, DPM, Winston-Salem, North

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