10+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2008
Toobin is a popular writer for The New Yorker and with this article he basically does a tapdance on the field of podiatry. He generalizes all podiatric practicioners as criminals.

This article is nothing more than a personal agenda to slander the profession. Unfortunately, there are criminals in all discplines of medicine. This kind of article could have been written about any kind of healthcare professional who has committed a criminal act. I don't understand why he feels its necessary to single us out.

Please read and comment if you would like: http://www.newyorker.com/talk/2010/03/08/100308ta_talk_toobin
May 24, 2009
Here is the part of the article IMO that is most damning:

"What to make of this string of podiatric outlaws? One prominent criminal-defense attorney in New York, who has represented several podiatrists, came to view his clients harshly. “These are the people who had no hope of getting into medical school,” the lawyer said, echoing “Seinfeld.” “They are three steps below dentistry.” On the other hand, as Glenn Gastwirth, D.P.M., the executive director of the American Podiatric Medical Association, points out, “You find bad apples in any group. Most podiatrists are hardworking and compassionate individuals trying to make a difference in the lives of their patients. We like to say that podiatrists keep America walking.”

"...no hope of getting into medical school..."

"They are three steps below dentistry."

These are pretty bold accusations from someone whose profession is routinely joked about for being distrustful. I worry that this will unfairly shade the public perception of podiatry just because this "one prominent criminal-defense attorney in New York" was given a sound bite in which he extrapolated this one situation into the educational background and professional conduct of hardworking podiatrists everywhere.

I also feel that Toobin's inclusion of Dr. Gastwirth's comments wasn't some altruistic journalistic technique that he used to make it seem like he was being fair and trying to present both sides of the argument. It feels like his inclusion of the defense of podiatry was condescending. Did anyone else get that vibe or am I reading too much into this thing?


Back in the saddle again
Staff member
10+ Year Member
Feb 20, 2007
Mr. Toobin made a response that was posted on Present Podiatry (I can't get the link to work, but here is the quote):

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Hello everyone,.

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]It's Jeff Toobin, the least popular journalist in the podiatric field. To start with, I'd just like to say that I respect and admire podiatrists, who have provided (literally) life-saving services to members of my family. Indeed, the premise of my story was that it was unlikely -- it was surprising -- that podiatrists would commit crimes, because people assume that they are doing good things, not bad. As the story said, and as common sense suggests, most podiatrists are not criminals; far from it. That was and is obvious, but I also quoted Dr. Gastwirth to that effect..​

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]One of the costs of being in a profession is that people will have a little fun at your expense from time to time. I don't have to tell any of you that lawyers (my former profession) are unpopular and often mocked. I've done it myself, in print and otherwise, many times. The New Yorker publishes entire books of cartoons about lawyers, doctors, and psychiatrists, among others. My piece was written in that tradition..​

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]I don't expect that I will persuade many of you of my views. But I at least wanted you to know that I listened, I take your views seriously, and I respect podiatrists..​

[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]—Best, Jeff Toobin .​
Anyways, just as an aside to this, Jeff Toobin is on the "Meet the Masters" Podcast tomorrow night. I may listen in and see what he has to say. As for his explanation that he was writing in a similar manner as cartoons about doctors, sorry, I don't really buy that.