Dr. Joshua L. Moore, DPM – Trauma Surgery
By Cindy H. Duong.
Dr. Joshua L. Moore earned his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree at the Des Moines University College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery in Des Moines, Iowa. He completed his residency training at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark, New Jersey. He is currently the assistant dean of educational affairs and a clinical associate for the department of surgery at Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
His typical day consists of clinic, surgery or both, in addition to administrative time. For his position, administrative time includes preparing lectures, exams, meeting with students, etc. If he is on-call, he can be found rounding at Temple Hospital.
Q1: What led you to specialize in trauma?
A: As a 3rd-year medical student, I attended a residency fair and attended two high-level trauma program presentations and loved the concept. I was lucky enough to shadow a local foot and ankle trauma doctor in Des Moines, and my interest in trauma of the foot and ankle grew even deeper. In choosing externships, I chose to spend four months at one of the programs presented at the residency fair and two months at the other. The experiences I had at both programs set forth a track for me of wanting to not only be a well-rounded foot and ankle surgeon, but also a specialist in trauma.
Q2: Is a fellowship necessary to specialize?
A: NO! All programs will train you in the basics. Some programs will teach you to excel and be the best in particular areas. I chose a program that dealt with trauma all day, every day. That being said, some programs will require a fellowship if someone really wants a “super specialty”, if you will, and didn’t experience enough of it in residency.
Q3: What are the benefits & risks of specializing in trauma?
A: Benefits are that I am doing what I love and it helps me continue to love my job. Risks are that, often times, these patients aren’t easily accessible without being in a large university setting or orthopedic group, and often times are uninsured or underinsured and frequently noncompliant increasing risks of lawsuits.
Q4: What is your typical caseload per week, and how much is specific to your specialty?
A: My surgical caseload these days isn’t as large as it was when I started, and this is for many reasons. Most of the cases I do now are not within the realm of trauma dependent on what the call week brings.
Q5: What do you like most about trauma?
A: Trauma is always different. You rarely see the same injury twice. There are very few things in podiatry you absolutely need to perform surgery on, and traumatic cases meeting the criteria or threshold for surgery is one of them. Putting a patient back together, if you will, and seeing them through their recovery is incredibly rewarding.
Q6: What kind of decisions or problems do you usually deal with? How are they overcome?
A: Decisions surgically are often based on patient needs, expectations, and health status versus my requirements, goals and expectations for the surgery/patient. This is often a fine line as patients rarely expect or have the same goals as the surgeon. Dealing with it for me is being very direct and honest with the patient as to their options, risks and benefits and potential outcomes, goals and expectations.
Q7: How do you further your knowledge about trauma?
A: Continually reading texts and journals, as well as experiencing trauma first-hand.
Q8: Have you noticed any major changes in your field?
A: Not really. I practice old school medicine, for the most part. It has worked for many others before me and has helped me become successful in how I practice. So, why change a good thing?
Q9: How do you determine whether or not to implement new techniques or technology?
A: It is very hard to convince me to try some of the newest things. I want evidence and significant amounts of it to prove this new technique/technology will work and help my patient.
Q10: Do you have any frustrations about the field?
A: Yes, we eat our young, if you will. In my opinion, we have a lot of people with no stake in the game or knowledge of how things at the academic levels work. They make decisions based on personal reasons and not for the betterment/growth/future of our profession.
Q11: Which of your personal traits contributed the most to where you are now?
A: My drive and work ethic. When I want something, I generally speaking do what it takes to get it. Motivation and a willingness to work are often times overlooked in today’s society and culture, but in my opinion, in order to be truly happy and successful, both traits are required.
Q12: What do you advise for current podiatric medical students or residents to do and/or consider when deciding to specialize in trauma?
A: Visit programs that do trauma! Not everyone does trauma, and some only do a little. If you want to specialize in something, you need to train where it is offered.
by Cindy Duong.
School: Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine
Special Edition, Surgery, Interview
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