Q1. What led you to a career in Podiatric Medicine?
A desire to pursue medicine, which I was enjoying as a physiology major in undergrad. However, I also knew that I wanted a career that would allow me to have a good family/work balance.
Q2. Do you have a specific subspecialty in Podiatric Medicine?
No, just general podiatry.
Q3. How is your practice structured? Do you focus on clinics, surgery or a mixture of both?
I am mostly in the office with about 4 surgeries per month. I started my own practice about 2.5 years ago after working for someone else for about 5 years.
Q4. What does a typical week look like for you (including personal life, social life and career)?
I work from 8:30 am until about 5pm Monday through Friday. Most of my evenings are spent with my kids. Weekends are family time with my husband and kids and catching up on household stuff that I do not get done during the week. I don’t have a lot of personal/social time, but that is because I have young kids. However, that is my choice; not because of podiatry.
Q5. What is something you wish you knew before becoming an established Podiatrist?
I feel like shadowing a few podiatrists before pursuing a career in podiatry gave me a pretty realistic expectation of the lifestyle. The only thing I would have liked more education on in school would be the business and practice management side of podiatry. I feel like this aspect of practice is very important and grossly overlooked in school.
Q6. As a female physician, what has been your biggest barrier in medicine?
The pressure to be a great mother and a great doctor. For example, I am currently pregnant with my third child, and I am only planning to take off 2.5 weeks after my c-section. I feel judged by both sides. I have patients who are upset that I won’t be available for 2.5 weeks but also judged by other moms for only taking 2.5 weeks with my newborn. Luckily I have plenty of family support. This might be a different situation for podiatrists who are not self-employed, but I think the idea is the same. Similarly, I feel like I am not involved enough at my older son’s schools, but still, feel like I am failing patients when I block off two hours to go to my son’s holiday show. However, I am immensely grateful that I have the ability to do this despite the internal conflict it causes.
Podiatry gives you a wide range of options to pursue depending on what you want.
Q7. What financial advice can you give to a young podiatrist as they transition into his/her career?
I don’t know if this is quite financial advice, but I would know what your priorities are and what you want from this career. I have friends that make a lot more money than me, but they have moved to other areas, take on-call at the hospital, work in a large ortho group, etc. I have always known that I wanted small private practice with a minimal on-call so that I can focus on my family. Of course, money is essential, but it depends on what you want from life. Podiatry gives you a wide range of options to pursue depending on what you want.
Q8. How would you recommend addressing a sexist comment or action from patients? Or Colleagues?
If it’s coming from one of my patients, I mostly ignore it. I am not saying that this is the right approach; but if it is 5 seconds of my year, I would rather not dwell on it. If it is repetitive or an action from a patient that makes you uncomfortable, then I would consider discharging the patient. Once you are in practice, it is your choice. If someone is making you constantly uncomfortable, then it is going to interfere with your relationship with that patient. The patient may be better off with another physician.
Q9. What advice would you give a current aspiring female Podiatric Medical doctor?
Know what you want from life and go after it. There is plenty of room within podiatry to pursue exactly the type of career and lifestyle that you want.
Q10. What is one of your most memorable cases or procedures?
In my opinion, the specifics of cases and procedures fade. However, there are specific patients that have become like family to me. I think the most gratifying aspect of this career is when patients come back a year or two after treatment and thank you for changing their life.
Interview by Tiffany Cerda
School: Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine
Breaking the Mold: Today’s Podiatric Women
March 2020, Special Edition, Student, Lifestyle, Motivation
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