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Interested in podiatry + areas of practice

Discussion in 'Pre-Podiatry Students' started by JEWmongous, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. JEWmongous

    JEWmongous Member
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    Hello, I am looking into both dental and podiatry schools. Was interested in medicine for a while but these 2 professions seem pretty interesting to me too. I would like a healthcare field being some sort of doctor and also have a good number of options for specializing/taking call/working in hospitals/etc. I especially like the idea of being a foot and ankle pod physician/surgeon. I'm wondering how much routine care procedures are done by a DPM once they are out of residency and in practice? The ankle and foot surgeries sound pretty interesting, along with diabetic limb salvage and trauma but I'm not sure how much one can be involved in these procedures/treatments. The things that don't "sound" too great are routine nail care, ingrown toe nails, fungal nails, corns/callouses, etc. Can one base their practice around mostly surgical cases or does it always usually involve some about routine procedures? Also, do some of the pods take trauma call at hospitals? Anyone have experience working in an orthopeadic practice? I'm curious if the pods there are doing the tough foot/ankle cases or mostly providing regular care. Any comments are appreciated, thanks.
     
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  3. dpmgrad

    dpmgrad Senior Member
    Podiatrist 10+ Year Member

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    As a DPM, you have to realize that we render comprehensive care of various foot and ankle ailments. This does include routine foot care. Some of the people are under the impression that if they joined an Orthopedic Surgery group, the DPM will not have to render any routine foot care. This is not true. There are very few situations where a DPM will have a practice that is majority surgical. For example, DPMs in the military based practices will probably render very little routine foot care due to the population that they serve. There are also some of the more established DPMs that may have arrangements with local DPMs that do not do surgery. Those established surgical DPMs would refer their routine foot care to those non surgical DPMs and vice versa. However, the existence of non surgical DPMs will be dwindling since all of the residency training programs (by the time you apply) will offer surgical training. So, the bottom line is that you will probably have to render routine foot care to some degree in your practice.

    As for DPMs taking trauma call at hospital for foot and ankle trauma, there are many DPMs that do take trauma call.

    As for doing tough foot and ankle cases, you do not need to join an Orthopedic group to get to do those cases. For example, I joined a Podiatry group, where we get foot and ankle referrals from the local Orthopedic Surgeons. We perform triple arthrodesis, ankle fusions with IM Nails, Ankle arthroscopy with lateral ankle stabilization, charcot reconstruction with external fixator, flatfoot reconstruction, bunionectomies, hammertoe procedures, tarsal tunnel releases, neuroma excision, EPF, ORIF of ankle and foot fractures, foot amputations, etc.... My group also take foot and ankle trauma call from the local hospital.

    As for DPMs joining Orthopedic Surgery group, 2 of my classmates have joined Orthopedic groups. They are pretty happy with their decisions and are doing pretty well. Both of them do surgery and do render conservative / routine foot care to some degree. However, they probably do see less routine care foot cases than a local DPM that does very little surgery. The major advantage that they pointed out about joining an Orthopedic group is that you have an instant referral source for foot and ankle surgical cases.
     
  4. Dr_Feelgood

    Dr_Feelgood Guest
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    One other thing to add is your routine care pays the bills. In a practice management outlook, surgery is a global bill, that means you get paid once no matter how many times you see the patient for a set time period. Routine care is a stead stream of income that keeps the AC running and the lights on. For example, a diabetic foot screening w/ nail care usually pays $90 for an office visit and $70 for the procedure; it only takes about 10 minutes to complete.
     
  5. bkpa2med

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    Dr Feelgood,
    Is that what a pod would bill the insurance? Or is that not covered? Also, what would the insurance pay out for that bill, half?
     
  6. Dr_Feelgood

    Dr_Feelgood Guest
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    That is what Medicare pays.
     
  7. cool_vkb

    cool_vkb Member
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    Hey! any idea how much do you get paid for surgery. And do they charge just once for the surgery and again on visits. Or is it like a package : Surgery + Office Visits + other procedures. That is they just charge just one big amount and tht takes care of everything. (just as we have hotel packages : room + airline ticket + rent a car and ofcourse free morning breakfast buffet. :D ) lol!
     
  8. Dr_Feelgood

    Dr_Feelgood Guest
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    Its a package deal that is referred to as a global charge. Each surgery pays different. That is why surgery profits can be variable. If you have a non-compliant patient or a patient that worries a lot and always wants to be in your office. You might end up losing money.
     

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