Ibrahim: Why Podiatry?

Why podiatry? What advice would you give an undergraduate student interested in this profession?

The journey to go into podiatric medicine for me started when I was in high school shadowing a local podiatrist in my area. My father is an internal medicine physician and wanted me to shadow our local podiatrist because of the great reputation he has as a doctor. I witnessed the impact he made on the lives of so many people, especially in the realm of wound care, and it became evident that I wanted to pursue this profession. Podiatric medicine allows me to have variety in my day-to-day practice that other medical specialties do not, practicing both in clinics and surgery. Most importantly for me, it allows me to teach preventative care and promote a healthy lifestyle to patients struggling with chronic diseases including diabetes and obesity. Pursuing a career in podiatry affords me the opportunity to care for patients in different backgrounds and various age groups, while being a specialty healthcare provider.

The advice I would give to any undergraduate student interested in podiatry is pursue this profession only if you are deeply passionate about podiatric medicine. Undergrad students should find a balance between laying down a strong medical science foundation, as well as pursuing other interests in school. I strongly advise shadowing various podiatrists so that you are able to see different types of practices and subspecialties. You may notice a particular physician does not take on many surgical cases, while another spends most days in the operating room. One of the most valuable lessons I have learned from shadowing a DPM is how important it is to be engaged in education. It is really easy to become apathetic and burnt out from the plethora of lecture material and reading, but if you maintain the perspective that everything you are doing right now is preparing you to save someone’s life there is a whole new appreciation and respect for education. Developing a passion for knowledge while in school will translate into having the habits of being a lifelong learner for the rest of one’s career and life.

Podiatry is the hidden gem of healthcare.

Podiatry is the hidden gem of healthcare. It is an all-encompassing interdisciplinary profession that allows you to personalize your career to best suit you. Whether you want to specialize in just wound care, practice everything from reconstructive ankle surgery to pediatric podiatry, or work in a private practice, there are a wide variety of options and paths you may take as a podiatric physician.

Ibrahim Abukhieran

Western University Health Sciences College of Podiatric Medicine