Resident: Dr. Deepal Dalal
Year: PGY 2
1) What residency program are you at?
I am a second-year resident at Chino Valley Medical Center
2) What are your thoughts on completing a fellowship versus going straight into practice after residency graduation?
A fellowship is a great opportunity to further your education, especially if you feel like there are areas you want to specialize in. Further education is always a bonus and can open opportunities for you in the academic sector. However, a fellowship is not necessary to have a fulfilling career as a Podiatrist.
I have met several Podiatrists who feel they are doing very well without doing a fellowship. It comes down to personal preferences and interests. If you want to specialize in Podiatry, a fellowship is the best way to do so. If you want a well-rounded practice and you feel that your residency provided you with the training to do so, then a fellowship is not necessary.
3) What is the best part of residency, in your opinion?
The best part of residency is the opportunity to do a wide array of procedures with mentorship and being challenged academically and surgically.
My residency program is very supportive of their residents and we are encouraged to ask questions to our attendings, and in turn, get constructively challenged so that we can improve our knowledge and skills. Specifically my program, our academics have good participation from attendings. This makes us think critically and challenge us in a positive way so we can learn from experience. Our surgical numbers are also very strong. I enjoy the ability to do skin to skin cases with oversight from attendings who can help me become a better surgeon and practitioner every day.
4) What is your surgical cases like at a week’s glance at your program?
I typically do an average of 10-15 cases a week, between 40-60 a month. We are in the operating room for 2 days a week and in-clinic 3 days a week. Our cases include primarily trauma and elective.
5) If you had to pick again, would you pick podiatry and your program?
I love being in Podiatry. I enjoy trauma the most, but I enjoy all aspects of Podiatry. I would pick my program again as well. It has provided me with all the support and education I want in a residency.
6) What advice do you have for a (4th year) podiatry student?
Work hard during your externships, do not complain, volunteer to help the residents and attendings as much as you can. Understand AO principles, and memorize Prism and Crozer; it will help you with interviews and to do well during externships.
7) What is your favorite surgery?
My favorite surgery is probably an ankle fracture. We see a lot in our residency. It is always a fun case and each ankle fracture can be different depending on what Lauge-Hansen classification it is.
8) What has been your favorite outside rotation?
I really enjoyed Emergency Medicine and Infectious Disease. I learned a lot on those rotations because of the workload, the diversity of patients, pathologies, and good mentorship from my attendings.
9) What do you see for your future practice setting/case type? Has this changed since you were a student?
I would like to work in a hospital or a large orthopedic or Podiatric group practice. Nothing has changed in that aspect since I was a student. I would also like to be associated with a residency program in the future.
10) When you’re finding that things you’ve done or learned in the past are not correct, how do you respond to this?
Always challenge what you see and read. That is the best way to grow as a student and resident.
Expanding our knowledge and learning more about Podiatry is what makes the field so interesting. If you discover something that does not sound right, it is important to ask questions about “why it is done the way it is?” Academic knowledge does not always transfer into practical applications. Attendings might be doing a certain procedure a specific way for years and have perfected that technique even if it is different from what is in our texts or recent literature. Asking why they do this can help you expand your knowledge and learn from it. It is also important to understand that not everything new you might read is true. Always challenge what you see and read. That is the best way to grow as a student and resident.
Interview by: Rob De Los Santos
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