Dr. Ebonie Vincent D.P.M is a trained foot and ankle surgeon in California. She has co-authored several research articles and published in research journals. She is currently the star of “My Feet are Killing Me” on TLC.
Q1: What led you to a career in Podiatric Medicine?
I’ve always wanted to be a physician. As a student-athlete, I always had an interest in sports medicine. Having had many torn ACL injuries, and going through surgeries and rehabilitation, I aspired to one day help others through their medical journeys. I first became interested in the field of podiatry while obtaining my Master’s degree in Biomedical Science at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. I was fortunate to have a mentor, my aunt who is an emergency medicine physician, who encouraged me to look into the field as she was accustomed to working with podiatrists daily in her hospital. In addition, after shadowing one of my mentors, Dr. Mangel, DPM in Camden, NJ, I became passionate about the field. Podiatry contained the clinical and surgical aspect of medicine that was very appealing to me while being a profession that can maintain a well-balanced lifestyle.
Q2: Is podiatry a good career for a work/life balance?
I believe podiatry provides a great work-life balance. I am an independent contractor which means I am able to tailor my schedule to what fits my lifestyle. Of course, the more you work the more you make, so you don’t want to abuse the flexibility you have, but for me, I am able to maintain a very healthy balance and thrive in my career.
Q3: Is there an ideal time to get married or have kids?
I think that everyone’s timing is very different. For me, marriage and kids definitely have a place and time in my life, but not at the moment. When the time comes, I plan to be able to maintain my career and have plenty of time for my husband and children. Other friends of mine and fellow women podiatrists have managed to have marriages and children in the midst of school, residency, and shortly after residency. They are all doing very well.
Q4: As a female physician, what has been your biggest barrier in medicine?
As a female physician and an African American female physician, residency was my most challenging time encountering and battling implicit biases daily. I found myself often times during residency having to approach my daily duties with a level of defense before executing a strategic offense. Some patients, as well as a few colleagues, oftentimes approached working with me with questioning and doubt, simply due to the fact that I did not look like the typical podiatrist they were accustomed to working with. While this was indeed a difficult obstacle, I believe all of the challenges I endured have prepared me for my career as it has unfolded. I did not let these particular challenges interfere with the quality training that I received, in fact, it has allowed me to become a quality podiatrist today.
Q5: What does a typical week look like for you, including personal life & social life?
A typical work week involves daily clinic hours usually about 8 hours a day. I intermix surgeries during and around clinic time. Soon, I plan to have 4 days of clinic and one day of surgery a week. I am usually off work at 5pm daily and am able to exercise 3 times per week during the week. My weekends are usually free for friends and family time. As an independent contractor, I am able to schedule my time to be available to take off days to film the show and dedicate time to the patients willing to share their stories on TV. I am also able to schedule much-needed vacation time as well.
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
Q6: What is your favorite quote or motto in life? Why? My favorite quote is by the late Maya Angelou; “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” I love this quote as it embodies my thought processes as it pertains to living a well-balanced life, helping those in need with a level of compassion, and doing good work and being authentic to myself.
Q7: How is your practice structured?
My practice is a mixture of both clinic and surgery. I would say about 70% clinic and 30% surgery. As I have progressed in my private practice, the percentage of surgery is quickly increasing. I love the mixture of both as I feel I can benefit the most people in this way.
Q8: What financial advice can you give to a young podiatrist?
I would advise that everyone get a financial advisor when they graduate residency. It has helped me a lot in planning for my current and future goals. Saving money and paying off the student loans with the highest interest rates is a good starting point.
Q9: What advice would you give a current aspiring female Podiatric Medical doctor?
My advice for current and aspiring female Podiatric medical doctors is to maintain your individuality; being the best version of our unique selves helps translate to being more personable to our patients, and helps us to approach our careers and our lives with a level of honesty that is respected and valued. Maintaining humility and our humanity is so important in developing relationships, and having a great relationship with your patients is imperative to continue to be valued as female physicians.
interview by Diksha Mohapatra & Roberto De Los Santos
School: California School of Podiatric Medicine
Breaking the Mold: Today’s Podiatric Women
March 2020, Special Edition, Student, Lifestyle, Motivation
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