Q&A: Advice to students from Doug H Richie DPM

Douglas H Richie DPM, Creator of Richie Brace
By Roberto De Los Santos

What advice would you give to your younger self? Any advice to podiatry students? These are some of the questions we posed to well-known Podiatrists as part of our ongoing Q&A session.

2018 Dr. Douglas H Richie

Q. What advice would you give to your 21-year-old self?
A. Work on getting that balance early form your personal life and professional life. Remember to enjoy your life, there were years where I was obsessed with podiatry. It really happened when I was a resident, my program had a lot of attendees and each demanded something of you so I tried to please them. It was like a rat in a wheel, you have to stop to realize you have to take care of yourself first. Seek mentors, go the extra mile, read way beyond you are told to read and I absolutely did.

Q. What recommendations would you give to a student who is currently undecided in pursuing podiatry school?
A. First, you should ask yourself, do you want to go into medicine? The future of medicine is going to be different from when I was in school. When I was in school, my vision was private practice, to be in business for myself. That is not waiting for you now don’t think they can work for themselves. The personalization and quality of care might be diminished. The medical industry is changing, not just podiatry that what it was 30 years ago, not really a bad way just a different way.

Q. What message would you give to current podiatry students?
A. Don’t decide right now that wound care or sports medicine is not for you. In your residence learn every bit you can for every subspecialty, don’t stop it until you try it. You might end up in a practice where you need to be comfortable in everything. Don’t sell yourself short. Learn all of it because it may be a big plus for you “.

Q. What message do you give to your patients?
A. I can’t tell you how grateful I am even if it was just heel pain it affected my life. Sometimes it’s the simple things that make the big difference. I give this in my lectures, I say “my goal is to restore your mobility”, to them it’s like saying I will put 10 years into your life. They light up! It says you are committed to them. You have to stop and say “I get it, I am going to do my best to get you well”. Remember, these are your patients for life.

Q. How do you balance professional life and personal life?
A. Don’t take your work home, it’s important to have activities, hobbies, and interests with family and friends not related to podiatry. Your family must realize that you love what you do and you will have to spend time in it. They will support you in sacrificing time because it’s important for you. It’s a balance.

Have the urge to write something? Are you motivated to publish something worth sharing? Want to give advice, helpful tips, or podiatry news to the younger generation? Visit our For Authors section before submitting. Get in contact with us and one of our student journalists will reach out to you. We hope to get from people around the world that way.

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