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Downsides of podiatry

Discussion in 'Pre-Podiatry Students' started by jtimm1990, Apr 29, 2012.

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  1. jtimm1990

    jtimm1990

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    Hi all! This is my first post :) I am currently pre-health and undecided but I am strongly considering pod school. I like the idea of being able to set your own schedule and have a life outside of work (which is huuge for me!). The only reason I'm not 100% on podiatry is that I can't say I loooooove feet or that I'm passionate about feet, but the lifestyle and schooling match what I want to do for the next 8 or so years. So, what do you all think are the downsides to going into podiatry?
  2. bmhsacosta

    bmhsacosta

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    I don't think you need to love or be passionate about feet.. A lot of people joke about podiatrists having foot fetishes. Honestly, I'm more drawn to the importance of locomotion in people's lives, especially those with diabetes. If you haven't shadowed yet I would suggest you do so. There is more to the profession than lifestyle and if you don't enjoy the work then you're stuck in a hard place. I assure you there are plenty of other health related fields that allow flexible time schedules so make sure that is not the only reason you're drawn to podiatry. Possible downsides (if you are a proud person) are the comments and actions of those ignorant to pediatric medicine. I have heard talk of "MD envy", but I think that applies to those who never really wanted to do podiatry in the first place. Anyway, just be sure to shadow and good luck in your endeavors!
  3. MaxillofacialMN

    MaxillofacialMN Osteopathic Foot Dentist

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    If you're interested in the lifestyle, have you checked out dentistry? They are only in school for four years, don't require a residency and generally make more $$.

    I would say the biggest downside to podiatry is that there are only 15k pods which is not enough to handle the need of quality foot care. This leads to patients going to orthopods, and nurse-managed clinics for care when they "should" be seeing a podiatrist. This in turn leads to people calling the profession useless.
  4. bobdolerson

    bobdolerson

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    The biggest downside to me is having to perform at roughly a MD/DO level for the 4 years, and still doing a residency, while having a lower ceiling than many of those specialties.

    I did it for the time, and the easier schedule down the road, but as far as getting the most bang for your buck, more money for similar work can be found elsewhere, it's just much longer.

    It also seems frustrating to deal with diabetic patients that never seem to comply with doctor directives.

    "Did you do what I told you?"

    "No, not at all....so why is this happening to me?!"

    But it's not like I'm practicing, this just seems to be a recurrent issue, especially with the increasing number of diabetic patients (America getting fatter means more podiatry patients!!)
  5. PADPM

    PADPM

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    Myth, yes major myth........the idea that DPM's have an easier "lifestyle" than any other medical specialty. You can be as laid back or busy as you want, but if you'd like to earn a decent income, you're not going to do that by not working hard or working short hours.

    Podiatry has become a surgical specialty in many cases, and as a result it has become very demanding. Surgery can occur as an emergency or complications can occur unexpectedly. Therefore, you may be working harder than you think.

    I'm a partner in a large, busy and successul practice. We ALL work long, hard hours, see a lot of patients, cover the hospital for consults, in patient visits, surgical cases, etc. And these things don't always occur at reasonable times. We have developed an excellent rapport with the ER's and vascular surgical department at one hospital. Although there are general surgical residents and vascular fellows, the vascular surgeon in charge refers ALL lower extremity cased to our service. On a weekly basis we are performing surgical procedures as emergencies at their request. This occurs during the day, evening, and weekends. And all of these patients need to be followed in the hospital during the day, evening and weekends.

    I know lots of guys/gals working short hours, going home early, not covering the hospital, etc., and they are also always the one's complaining about making ends meet. Boy, I can't figure out why, can you????

    I have friends who are radiologists, making LOTS of big bucks, and don't work nights, late afternoons or weekends. If they are "on call" they read remotely from home.

    So, I'm really not sure how the MYTH of a better lifestyle regarding DPM's evolved. But if you plan on performing surgery, plan on working at hospitals AND plan on making a decent living, I can assure you that you will be working as hard if not harder than a vast majority of medical specialties.

    But there is NOTHING wrong with hard work.....it does pay off in the long run.
  6. bunion123

    bunion123

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    you love what you do and you never work a day in your life
  7. bobdolerson

    bobdolerson

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    Haha, I don't know many people that /always/ enjoy work. Every job comes with frustrations and problems.

    Success in podiatry will come like success anywhere will. Whenever I've had a job in the past, I worked my ass off always, and spent all my free time on the job doing extra, streamlining, and helping other people whenever I could. I treated my coworkers with the respect they deserved (and if they didn't deserve it, I simply avoided them...it doesn't really ever pay to piss people off where you work), and treated my superiors with the same.

    The result? I got consistently high raises everywhere I worked, always high yearly evaluations, and guess who got the time off when things were swamped, and everyone asked for it? Me. Because I didn't mooch off of other people, and I made my bosses and coworkers lives easier. I got help from other employees whenever I asked for it because I asked if they needed help before they asked me.

    The path to success is pretty universal. Granted, there are shortcuts for some people, and sometimes you can step on everyone and make it up a few rungs, but as far as being a service to both you /and/ your profession, the idea is pretty constant.

    Oh yeah, and don't be stupid with your money :) that's harder than it sounds...
  8. ldsrmdude

    ldsrmdude Pod Mod 'Dude Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Gold Donor

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    I'm not sure how it started either, but it seems that this is something that gets perpetuated through some of the recruiting material I have seen. When I looked into podiatry initially, I received a DVD with a short intro to podiatry video. It shows the podiatrist out golfing, and promotes the great hours and high income that podiatrists enjoy. I was sold on it, but as I have been out and seen some different podiatrists (admittedly a relatively small number), I have found that the podiatrists that I would consider very successful are the ones that put in long hours and work very hard, not the ones that spend most of their time on the golf course.
  9. MaxillofacialMN

    MaxillofacialMN Osteopathic Foot Dentist

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    The new "Today's Podiatrist" with Jeff DeSantis certainly perpetuates this as well. It shows him in a host of situations making him look very affluent and having a great life. It shows him in his Range Rover, getting onto a yacht, and getting served breakfast in his immaculate home. I know these are material possessions and not necessarily "lifestyle" but watching the video certainly makes him look like he has an excellent life.
  10. bobdolerson

    bobdolerson

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    I suppose when I say "easier lifestyle", I'm specifically referring to the easier path and schedule (at least, I'm assuming the schedule is easier...) regarding residency.

    I was engaged and looking at grad schools, and being out in 3 years with a less strenuous residency seemed an easier way to pursue medicine without giving up a family. I don't really know what the residency hours are like, though, I just figured they couldn't be as bad as a lot of others.
  11. ldsrmdude

    ldsrmdude Pod Mod 'Dude Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Gold Donor

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    I can really only comment on the residency program I am about to enter, but at my hospital podiatry has worse hours than some programs and better hours than some. We have some late nights and early mornings, but we take call from home, where the general surgery residents take 24 hour in-house call. When I am on podiatry, I typically show up around 6:30 and am done around 5:30 or 6:00 depending on how many cases we have and how many inpatients we have. Interns may work a few more hours and the senior residents may work a few less, but I would say around 60 hours a week is average, not including being on call (which can add a significant amount of time). There are more time-intensive residencies, and less time-intensive ones, but that is just an example. The attendings that we work with are also all busy. My wife has started to just assume I won't be home when my kids go to bed, and when I tell her to expect me home at 5:00, to not be too surprised or upset when I don't make it home til 7:00 or later.
  12. bobdolerson

    bobdolerson

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    Thank you for relating the experience! I appreciate that a lot.

    I know my wife's not excited about those kinds of hours, but I got used to those working construction...be on the site at 6am, leave at 6pm, sometimes work saturdays.

    I'm stoked. It will be nice to be actively bettering my education and getting paid to do it (50k doesn't sound exciting for a lot of folks in pod school, but it sure beats everything I've made so far...).
  13. Podophile

    Podophile R-rated

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    Here's my guess about the excellent lifestyle myth, and admittedly it may be a bit cynical.

    Some of those pods who are making a ton of money and NOT working long hours may be the ones who are hiring associates on the cheap and feasting on their hard work. Now this generally doesn't happen without at least an initial investment of labor to build the practice, but perhaps the myths of "great lifestyle" and young feasting might intertwine.

    My other guess is that bunion surgery (and I believe all surgery in general) used to pay quite a bit more than it does today. If you knocked out 5 Austins in a row, you could be home in time for dinner and afford that nice new car too.

    I'm going into residency knowing the hours are going to brutal. And I can only hope that I will be lucky enough to be so busy out in practice.

    To the OP: the biggest downside is having people asked "What's podiatry?" after putting in all that time and hard work. Although as time has gone on, I have had to explain it to fewer and fewer people which has been very encouraging. I don't think the general public knows the full extent of our training and capabilities yet, but we can continue to work on that aspect.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  14. amaprez

    amaprez

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    If people I meet for the 1st time outside of academia/medicine ask me what I'm doing, I just say "Grad school." That usually satisfies them, and saves me a lot of effort explaining :D
  15. Shinobiz11

    Shinobiz11 A boy has the right to dream

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    If you're worried about the feet thing, think about it this way; you only deal with feet and **ankles**, and I believe we all know there is A LOT worse than feet and ankles. Use your imagination. :)

    **Some states do not allow pods to work on ankles**
  16. amaprez

    amaprez

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    Very true. Every time I hear "eww but aren't feet gross?" I just quietly think to myself "have you ever thought about what gastroenterologists, urologists, and ob-gyn docs work with every day?"
  17. bobdolerson

    bobdolerson

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    Or psychiatrists.

    A lot of people underestimate how disturbing people can be when they're free to open up without fear of reprisal.
  18. Shinobiz11

    Shinobiz11 A boy has the right to dream

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    Exactly. Even a GP; would you want to be around sick people all day, or just look at some nasty feet?
  19. UVAallday

    UVAallday

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    prostate exam or foot exam..... i choose foot exam..... My Physical Diagnosis book is filled with pictures of STDs and I think God everyday that I won't have to see those
  20. MaxillofacialMN

    MaxillofacialMN Osteopathic Foot Dentist

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    You mean you don't like blue waffle vagina?
  21. Shinobiz11

    Shinobiz11 A boy has the right to dream

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    Someone had to bring it up...
  22. MaxillofacialMN

    MaxillofacialMN Osteopathic Foot Dentist

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    Please, tell me you didn't google it.... oh no....
  23. Shinobiz11

    Shinobiz11 A boy has the right to dream

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    Like 4 years ago in high school bro.
  24. bobdolerson

    bobdolerson

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    I feel like those shock sites don't really work on med students...

    Too many times I've been sitting there during some micro lecture to look up and see....oh....so that's the clinical presentation of a severe, uncontrolled STI.

    Ahh...yes, I do see, and you're describing the tell-tale feature of malodorous purulent discharge so well I won't be eating my lunch today. "Fishy", they said....*vomit*

    After all...where do you think that "blue waffle" picture came from? I'll give 10-1 odds it's from a medical textbook or case study.
  25. MaxillofacialMN

    MaxillofacialMN Osteopathic Foot Dentist

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    lol shut up

    That's unfortunate, but probably true. But anyways, the point is, I will not need to deal with this in practice. Thank goooooodness.
  26. Madura

    Madura

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    If anyone ever went into podiatry b/c they love feet, they probably graduated with very different feelings about them. I like brunettes, but only when they are clean and smell nice, not covered with oozing ulcers, broken in half, and/or spilling blood.

    Orthos who specialize in the knee probably don't have knee fetishes, but something drew them to that part of the body (probably the money they make on knee replacements). I was drawn to foot and ankle so I could be a surgeon without the worry of the insane competition and politics of MD programs (who you know vs. what you know), and the fact that we can do surgery but also have other options that overlap several different specialties.
  27. sosalubrious

    sosalubrious

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    Hello! I have a wierd multidisciplinary situation here: I actually applied to allopathic schools with a 3.2 cgpa and 2.9 sgpa and 26 mcat (I wasn't ready and shouldn't have taken it and applied). I got secondaries and was while I was waiting, I was having doubts so I applied to DO, podiatry, and MPH schools as backups; I'm doubtful about the DO schools but I've gotten into epidemiology/biostats MPH (which I no longer care about) and podiatry school (NYCPM).

    I've always wanted medical school and I've been shadowing a general podiatrist; it's interesting and I appreciate their work but I'm kind of getting cold feet. Maybe my MD mom has brainwashed me into thinking podiatry is not "medical school" leading to the title of physician but I'm starting to feel that it might be too early to declare a specialty?? I have until next week to tell NYCPM my decision. What should I do?

    I'm also considering re-taking the MCAT and maybe taking a science class this summer to boost my sgpa in case I reapply to allopathic schools or change to pharmacy or dentistry. Any ideas??

    Thank You!!!
  28. bmhsacosta

    bmhsacosta

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    If you aren't truly interested in podiatry then wait and apply to allopathic schools later. It might take a while to boost your gpa to Allopathic levels. Even though you're from UCLA 2.9 sgpa is a little low for allopathic admissions. You might get into D.O. with a 3.0 though. In the end only you can decide what you really want to do with your life. Think long and hard about what is best for you and you won't regret it. Goodluck with your decision!
  29. jellybean2020

    jellybean2020

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    [​IMG]
    Congrats you just won the "Most Confused Pre-Health Student" award! Seriously though, most people at least narrow it down to 1 to 2 options. Sounds like you're considering 4 to 5 different things (allo/DO/pharm/podiatry/dentistry) :eek:


    EDIT: btw your signature "I want to be a doctor but I'm not sure which kind!" is more telling than you imagine. I've seen many friends hold onto this parental-influenced obsession with being a doctor (ANY kind!). I urge you to change this kind of thinking because it will do you more harm than help. Pick a career you will be happy in, don't do it so your family can brag about you.
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  30. Conflagration

    Conflagration

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    [​IMG]

    I understand, though. I'm tied between radiology/pathology and pharmacy at the present.
  31. MaxillofacialMN

    MaxillofacialMN Osteopathic Foot Dentist

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    Sosal, as a thought, Pharms and dentists are probably less "physicians" than pods are.

    Also... Based on your stats, your mom should be pumped you got into pod school.

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