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01/24/2023    Robert Kornfeld, DPM

DPMs Who Avoid Calling Themselves Podiatrists

As a member of LinkedIn, I have been placing posts
on a fairly regular basis. What I have come across
has me perturbed. And that is the way many
podiatrists have themselves listed. Most list
themselves as a podiatrist or DPM. But there is an
alarming number of podiatrists out there that avoid
the word podiatrist. I have seen "Foot and Ankle
Surgeon", "Fellowship Trained Foot and Ankle
Surgeon", "Foot and Ankle Specialist", "Physician
of the Foot and Ankle", "Podiatric Surgeon", among

The bottom line is they are ALL podiatrists,
practicing foot and ankle medicine and surgery with
a DPM degree. I can only assume that these doctors
are not happy to be identified as a "podiatrist"
and feel better when they change their title to
something more impressive in their mind. This
really hurts our profession and the way the public
sees us as doctors. If everyone stopped feeling
"less than" and moved forward in their career as a
podiatrist with pride in our training and
expertise, then the public would understand that
ALL podiatrists are trained as foot and ankle
surgeons, foot and ankle specialists, physicians of
the foot and ankle, etc. and would accept the
profession of podiatry as uniquely trained to
handle ALL foot and ankle problems.

The implication is that these titles make them
"better" than the podiatrists who are comfortable
with who they are and are happy to make it known. I
have been a podiatrist since 1980. Now, almost 43
years later, we are still a profession at odds with
itself because too many of us are not at all proud
to be identified as podiatrists. This fractionates
us and we are way too small a profession to have
this working against us. BE PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE!
Stop hiding behind titles that do not identify you
as podiatrists. The only way we uplevel who we are
is to proudly make it known who we are and what we

In no way am I attacking those of you who do this.
My intention, in the twilight of my professional
life, is to be a part of a specialty that thrives
because we all represent advanced training and
expertise in foot and ankle medicine and surgery as

Robert Kornfeld, DPM, NY, NY

Other messages in this thread:

01/27/2023    Carl Solomon, DPM

DPMs Who Avoid Calling Themselves Podiatrists (Ivar E. Roth, DPM, MPH)

Get OVER it - we’re podiatrists…we’re ALL

You cannot compare our situation with that of the
dentist and specialist dentist. An oral surgeon,
maxillofacial surgeon, or whatever specializes in
oral surgery. An orthodontist specializes in
orthodontics. A periodontist specializes in
periodontics. They’re all dentists. BUT – they
stick to their specialty. They depend upon
referrals from general dentists and won’t bite the
hand that feeds them bydoing routine procedures
like filling cavities. Podiatry has always been a
surgical procedure-based profession but there has
been an evolution of more advanced surgical

I know very few, if any, podiatrists who truly
*specialize* in RRA procedures to the extent they
don’t also do phenol nail procedures, inject heel
spurs, and order orthotics. If I were expected to
send complicated cases to one of the “specialist”
RRA guys, my expectation would be that he/she send
me the phenol nails, heel pain, orthotic cases,
etc. Our advanced surgical colleagues not only
don’t send back minor cases…they oftentimes don’t
even provide feedback to the referring doc’ about
patients they operate on.

We’re sliding down a slippery slope if we consider
requiring 3 years of residency/fellowship training
or board certification as part of becoming licensed
to practice. Part of the reason is because the
hierarchy is constantly changing. The bar to meet
used to be having a year of residency. Then 2
years…now 3 years. I’m reminded of the saying, “Be
careful of what you wish for, because you just
might get it.” In that context, consider what
might happen if a new generation of podiatrists is
spawned with a DPM/MD, or simply MD degree.
Currently, we’re squabbling about who is qualified
to do advanced surgical procedures. Three years of
residency/fellowship training with board
certification would be pretty worthless if DPM/MD’s
were to take the position that only they should be
allowed to do H&P’s, order labs, or prescribe
systemic medications.

What we have in common is that we are ALL

Carl Solomon, DPM, Dallas TX

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