By: Nida Ahmed, MS-2.
Nida Ahmed is a second-year podiatric medical student at California School of Podiatric Medicine (CSPM). She is currently an editor for Hallux Magazine.
When I first learned about podiatry, I had no idea the impact it would have on my life and future career. I had always thought being an MD or DO was the only route to going into medicine as a physician. I learned about the wonderful world of podiatric medicine in my senior year of college. After doing research and shadowing a podiatric physician, I came to know how important podiatric services were for diabetic patients in particular, because of neuropathy and other complications.
When I first learned about podiatry, I had no idea the impact it would have on my life and future career.
At the time, I was a volunteer with Shifa Community Clinic, a UC Davis student run clinic that treated uninsured community members in downtown Sacramento. As a Sacramento native, I loved the community I had the privilege of serving on Sunday mornings when Shifa Clinic was open. Over the years as a volunteer, I came to learn how prevalent diabetes was in our diverse patient demographic. As I became more familiar with podiatry, I knew I had to establish a Podiatry Specialty Clinic within Shifa for patients -especially diabetic patients- to be seen on a regular basis. With my goal in mind to create this new specialty clinic, I reached out to CSPM to better understand how we could collaborate to make this idea a reality. After four months of creating proposals, speaking to the admin board of Shifa Clinic, making health education material for patients, and coordinating with CSPM, the Podiatry Clinic was officially founded in December of 2018. It was truly a full circle moment for me: I had found what I was passionate about and I was able to give back to Shifa and the patients who taught me so much over the years.
As I became more familiar with podiatry, I knew I had to establish a Podiatry Specialty Clinic within Shifa for patients -especially diabetic patients- to be seen on a regular basis.
Creating the Podiatry Clinic at Shifa Clinic was the highlight of my undergraduate career. The process of founding the clinic was a true labor of love. It taught me the importance of taking initiative in order to see change happen within my own community. Since the Podiatry Clinic was established, so many patients have been treated for their podiatric related ailments, while others have been educated on the importance of foot health and preventing future complications.
Making this small change within my community has made me realize how much more needs to be done for uninsured, underserved, and homeless folks around me. My future goals include looking at other communities in my area and learning how I can bring podiatric services more available to them.
Community service never ends, and I hope to continue to serve those around me as both a medical student and future podiatric physician.
By Nida Ahmed, MS–2
School: California School of Podiatric Medicine
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