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06/30/2021    Bryan C. Markinson, DPM

WA Podiatrist Trains Nurses in Medical Grade Footcare (Bret Ribotsky, DPM)

When I was a resident in 1981, an attending once
told me “never teach a non-podiatrist anything”
and further began to explain how they would steal
our expertise as echoed by Dr. Ribotsky in his
story about teaching an ER physician how to do a
toe block which ended nail consults from that
physician. My experience in teaching non-
podiatrists is the exact opposite. In 1982,
during a fellowship sponsored by NYCPM, I
attended patient care clinics/grand rounds in
several specialties. Two specifically come to
mind, rheumatology clinic at NYU/Bellevue and
Friday morning orthopedic oncology conference at
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (thanks to
Gene Potter, DPM, PhD).

The rheumatology attending and fellows not only
taught me without regard to any consideration
about turf, they were enthusiastic for the
opportunity and I was overwhelmed by their
interest in me teaching them about local
injection techniques in the foot, for which they
were totally appreciative. The Friday morning
bone tumor conference at Sloan Kettering was
moderated by the then world-renowned experts in
soft tissue pathology, bone pathology, and
orthopedic oncology surgery, all authors of the
most celebrated texts in the fields.

To my amazement, every Friday there was at least
one foot case. More to my amazement and deep
appreciation, they made sure I had a front row
seat and encouraged any and all questions and
concerns. Finally, during my pathology fellowship
in 1993, one day a janitor came into the ten-head
microscope room while we were going over cases. A
janitor entered the room and quietly swept up the
floor but when he was finished he just stood
there looking over us. My mentor (also renowned
and a prolific author) then asked him if there
was any problem. The janitor demurely told him he
was fascinated and curious by what we could see
through our eyepieces. He was immediately invited
to have a seat and stay as long as he liked. I’ll
never forget that moment of total unselfish
mentorship. From these and other shared
experiences, I personally vowed to never hesitate
to impart knowledge to anyone who asks for any
information or technique for which they think I
can lend expertise. From this singular ethic
alone, (more than from any procedure, title,
monetary gain, or other experience) I have
derived the most satisfaction in being a
podiatrist.

I encourage all colleagues, and especially those
in training to plan to do the same. In fact, it
is your obligation. You will gain far more than
you could ever lose.

Bryan C. Markinson, DPM, NY, NY

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