The Specialists: Part VI- Educators

Educator Sub Specialization

by Tiffany Cerda.

Dr. Luis Rodriguez-Anaya attended Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine. He then completed his residency at Mercy Hospital/ Barry University; after which, he continued to complete a Sports Medicine Fellowship at Mercy Hospital/ Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine. The questions are based on expanding our knowledge about our professors who are also podiatrist.

I began the interview by asking, “How did you start working in this area of Podiatry?”

Dr. Rodriquez-Anaya said,

“I started when I was in podiatry school, as a teaching assistant in the anatomy laboratory at Barry University. I continued after that, during my fourth year of medical school. Thereafter, education has always been part of my practice. During the fourth year of medical school, we spent a lot of time learning but also teaching the upcoming third year classmates in the clinics. While in residency, because my residency program was affiliated to the podiatry school, it was part of our task to assist and train the podiatric students both in clinical and hospital settings. In a way, you can say once I started, I have never stopped being an educator in the medical field.”

Dr. Rodriguez-Anaya has always been interested in being an educator. He told me about his past in education.

“I used to be a Math and Science Teacher before I started Podiatry School back in Puerto Rico. Education is something that I love and in my opinion, is an intricate part of our profession. What are we doing, if not educating our patients not only to alleviate symptoms, but to give them the knowledge and tools to prevent medical problems in the future. When patients have the knowledge and understating of their issues, that enables the patient to become part of the treatment plan.”  

I proceed to ask “Did you have to do continued training?” 

Dr. Rodriguez-Anaya told me about his previous training in pedagogy, combined with my doctor’s degree in podiatric medicine, allowed him to become an educator in our profession. Dr. Rodriguez-Anaya said,

“I do want to say that education, as well as medicine, are both ever-changing subjects. The advances in technology both inside and outside the classroom, have prompted the teaching of medical knowledge to move faster”.    

Of course, I also asked: “What do you see as the most challenging aspect of being an educator?”

Dr. Rodriguez-Anaya explained that it’s important to maintain the right balance between the old and the new. I want to make sure that my students are getting the latest advancements in technology without forgetting the basics and what some may refer to as “the old ways of doing things”. To give an example, there are new ways to repair a bunion deformity and Achilles Tendon rupture with tough and elaborate equipment. But this will never change the importance of basic surgical principles and knowledge of anatomy. Another challenge he finds in medical education is professionalism and human empathy. Technology has helped us to improve our protocols, make us more efficient, and reduce medical errors. However, it can also pull us away from what we care about the most, our patients. Making sure that we establish a patient-doctor relationship is vital in the management of any patient.         

 Where there are challenges, there are good aspects. So, my next question was: “What is your favorite part of working as an educator?”

Dr. Rodriguez-Anaya said that the students keep him young and motivated.

“I remember when I was in the classroom, so being able to give back is a privilege. The goal of any good teacher is to one day be surpassed by their students.”

I closed with this final question: “What do the day-to-day responsibilities of the role look like?”

Dr. Rodriquez-Anaya informed me of his day-to-day schedule. He told me…

“It is different from someone that has a full practice or is in the classroom full time. In my case, half of my time is spent teaching the students at the school. The other half, we get to see what we learn in class in the clinic with real patients. Being able to correlate and see what you learn in a book with an actual patient is priceless because once you see it, you won’t forget it.”


by Tiffany Cerda.

School: Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine

The Specialties

Special Edition, Education, Interview

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