"Open Letter to Prospective Medical Students" Dr. Patrick DeHeer

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Podiatry Today recently published an open letter to prospective students on the personal and professional benefits of podiatry, authored by Dr. Patrick DeHeer, (residency director, former NBA team podiatrist, and member of the APMA Board of Trustees).

One of his most compelling arguments is that you can choose (and be guaranteed) your specialty when entering professional school, whereas in some medical professions, like doctors of osteopathy, only 50% get their first-choice specialty in the match.

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As a practicing podiatrist, my counter argument to the open letter is consider this: a MD or DO primary care/FM/IM graduate, even if they scrambled or their 90th last choice specialty, will still be able to, immediately upon graduation:

1) practice however they want
2) anywhere they desire in the USA
3) be paid more than a new podiatry grad, guaranteed with very generous sign on bonuses, relocation stipend, generous PTO/health benefits/retirement benefits/malpractice paid for/CME money (quick google search will show you their median MGMA pay which is more than double podiatry new grad)
4) not be stuck in rural Montana, praying they can operate 3x a year
5) will never have to argue with a patient why nail and callous care is not legally indicated/covered
6) not involved in an alphabet soup of organizations, let alone a current war in podiatry

Dr. DeHeer graduated in a time with far lower student loans, lower competition. This is not an example of fair comparison. Bottom line - you will be graduating with at least $200-$250k in student loans with a current average interest rate of 7% ish and you will be competing with 500+ new grads and hundreds of 1-5 year out grads for the few MGMA fair paying jobs that actually provide benefits, a clear “bonus” pathway and practicing to the top of your license. These are facts, no fluff. I still wait for the day for an open letter from a practicing podiatrist not affiliated with any organization or program because there will always be a potential bias for wanting more new grads. Follow the money, young ones.

FYI, I’m not disgruntled about what I do, I enjoy it. I just prefer to remove myself from anything podiatry associated especially all the organizations and politics and focus on doing my best for my patients. If podiatry was “medicines best kept secret” you wouldn’t see seeing so many spam email and open letter advertisements.

Don’t forget - you have every right to proceed with applying for this profession, no one here can stop you. Just like 2 new schools opening up without opposition.

And last bit too - our profession is historically rooted in nail and callous care as the pillar of chiropody evolving into podiatry and now foot and ankle surgeons. You will never escape this because pod schools are nail jails in disguise.

One more final edit - the letter and countless articles all keep mentioning this 2% increase in obese, diabetic, and vascular impaired patients that NEED podiatry care. False. The only NEED these patients want are nails and callous, amputations, prolonged wound care. This surge in this demographic will NOT mean podiatrist suddenly have ankle fractures, ankle fusions, total ankles, flatfoot reconstructions lining out the door to be seen. It’s so far from the truth but yet this 2% BLS statistic is the driving force behind this narrative we need more podiatrists. Wonder why ortho only graduates less than 50 orthopods per year? Do you see them salivating at the above 2% increase in this demographics? No.
 
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As a practicing podiatrist, my counter argument to the open letter is consider this: a MD or DO primary care/FM/IM graduate, even if they scrambled or their 90th last choice specialty, will still be able to, immediately upon graduation:

1) practice however they want
2) anywhere they desire in the USA
3) be paid more than a new podiatry grad, guaranteed with very generous sign on bonuses, relocation stipend, generous PTO/health benefits/retirement benefits/malpractice paid for/CME money (quick google search will show you their median MGMA pay which is more than double podiatry new grad)
4) not be stuck in rural Montana, praying they can operate 3x a year
5) will never have to argue with a patient why nail and callous care is not legally indicated/covered
6) not involved in an alphabet soup of organizations, let alone a current war in podiatry

Dr. DeHeer graduated in a time with far lower student loans, lower competition. This is not an example of fair comparison. Bottom line - you will be graduating with at least $200-$250k in student loans with a current average interest rate of 7% ish and you will be competing with 500+ new grads and hundreds of 1-5 year out grads for the few MGMA fair paying jobs that actually provide benefits, a clear “bonus” pathway and practicing to the top of your license. These are facts, no fluff. I still wait for the day for an open letter from a practicing podiatrist not affiliated with any organization or program because there will always be a potential bias for wanting more new grads. Follow the money, young ones.

Outstanding unbiased honest response.
 
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Members don't see this ad :)
What is an open letter?
Is that like when nobody asked for it, and nobody wants to talk to you ... and you just send it anyways? :)

...hint: if something is good, you don't have to sell it.
Podiatry is saturated and the education's very expensive... and it's getting worse on both of those fronts every year. That's too bad.
 
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Let’s just go ahead and break down this unsolicited desperate thinly veiled recruitment letter.
residency director - much like yourself, benefits from the continued glut of students for free resident labor
former NBA team podiatrist - Yeaaaaa…
member of the APMA Board of Trustees - again, benefit from continued glut of students to keep those membership fees going

Comparing DPM to DO is absolutely comical and just truly pathetic. Sure, a DO might not match the specialty that they wanted, but it’s UNHEARD of for DOs to accept some garbage 120k job because of the egregious over saturation in this field.

This is so sad.
 
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You don't have to convince people to go to MD/DO.

Hard stop.

End of story.

Fin.

But to add more...

Every single MD/DO will 100 percent be able to get a job paying minimum 250k regardless of specialty.

Every single MD/DO will have endless opportunities to take a job that will qualify for PSLF or loan payback.

Tops 5 percent of new pod grads will have the same opportunity. For the same cost and time of education.

Edit: to clarify this is not the Top 5 percent of grads. This is 5 percent. In podiatry the quality of job you get is not directly related to the quality of your training. It is based on luck, timing and often geographic arbitrage. Example you are from Houston. It is 5 million people? There are ZERO available jobs right now that pay 250k, loan payback etc. You are a DO FP, ER etc....pick which neighborhood you want to live in in Sugarland or Katy or The woodlands.

Double edit: sorry there non-op jobs available with Kelsey Seibold. But I am sure you picked podiatry and spent the money to come out directly as a non op pod. Now you may have found out you didn't like surgery during your training, but anyone with a half a brain would have figured that out prior to investing 7 years and 250k. Because guess what people's interests change. That's the beauty of MD/DO. Decide you hate people on rotations as a 3rd year? Cool sit in a dark room and look a screen, or be an absolute psychopath and sit in basement in path, make the sleep and then play on your phone for 2 hours, tons of options.
 
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You know that stupid commercial back in early 2000s with the girl that was deflated on a couch cause she was smoking weed (I think?) and she's warning people not to be like her?....Yeah that's me right now doing an open letter to pre-pod reading this to not enter this field.
 
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I knew the trolls would be hungry on a holiday
No trolling, only honest answers. I am not affiliated with a residency program, a fellowship program, zero political involvement so clearly I stand to gain nothing. Which means my honest opinion weighs more.

You and Dr. DeHeer are deeply involved in positions that require and need a constant flow of new students that graduate, enter training, maybe consider a fellowship, and then rinse and repeat.

Once I make my exit from this profession hopefully sooner than later, I’ll gladly pass my job to 1 person out of 700+ interested applicants. I don’t see FM/IM/ER/psych fighting for this type of pay, we all wonder why.

Income numbers don’t lie. Mind sharing the job offers your recent round of grads and fellows obtained?
 
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former NBA team podiatrist - Yeaaaaa…

This is so sad.

30 years in fact!

IMG_2316.jpg
 
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...Every single MD/DO will 100 percent be able to get a job paying minimum 250k regardless of specialty.

Every single MD/DO will have endless opportunities to take a job that will qualify for PSLF or loan payback.

Tops 5 percent of new pod grads will have the same opportunity. For the same cost and time of education...
Think of this in a positive light:
We could get a real podiatry Hunger Games going on for the rare high pay DPM jobs or good PP owner cities.
MDs sure don't get to have that type of high-stakes fun... with the chance of having to bust nursing home crumblies or move to Dakotas reservations - even or default on loans - if they lose.

Basically, sir... be an appli-can, not an appli-can't. Ok?

Jennifer Lawrence Arrow GIF by The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
 
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Lol, DeHeer cites 2% growth per year like it's an impressive statistic
 
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As a practicing podiatrist, my counter argument to the open letter is consider this: a MD or DO primary care/FM/IM graduate, even if they scrambled or their 90th last choice specialty, will still be able to, immediately upon graduation:

1) practice however they want
2) anywhere they desire in the USA
3) be paid more than a new podiatry grad, guaranteed with very generous sign on bonuses, relocation stipend, generous PTO/health benefits/retirement benefits/malpractice paid for/CME money (quick google search will show you their median MGMA pay which is more than double podiatry new grad)
4) not be stuck in rural Montana, praying they can operate 3x a year
5) will never have to argue with a patient why nail and callous care is not legally indicated/covered
6) not involved in an alphabet soup of organizations, let alone a current war in podiatry

Dr. DeHeer graduated in a time with far lower student loans, lower competition. This is not an example of fair comparison. Bottom line - you will be graduating with at least $200-$250k in student loans with a current average interest rate of 7% ish and you will be competing with 500+ new grads and hundreds of 1-5 year out grads for the few MGMA fair paying jobs that actually provide benefits, a clear “bonus” pathway and practicing to the top of your license. These are facts, no fluff. I still wait for the day for an open letter from a practicing podiatrist not affiliated with any organization or program because there will always be a potential bias for wanting more new grads. Follow the money, young ones.

FYI, I’m not disgruntled about what I do, I enjoy it. I just prefer to remove myself from anything podiatry associated especially all the organizations and politics and focus on doing my best for my patients. If podiatry was “medicines best kept secret” you wouldn’t see seeing so many spam email and open letter advertisements.

Don’t forget - you have every right to proceed with applying for this profession, no one here can stop you. Just like 2 new schools opening up without opposition.

And last bit too - our profession is historically rooted in nail and callous care as the pillar of chiropody evolving into podiatry and now foot and ankle surgeons. You will never escape this because pod schools are nail jails in disguise.

One more final edit - the letter and countless articles all keep mentioning this 2% increase in obese, diabetic, and vascular impaired patients that NEED podiatry care. False. The only NEED these patients want are nails and callous, amputations, prolonged wound care. This surge in this demographic will NOT mean podiatrist suddenly have ankle fractures, ankle fusions, total ankles, flatfoot reconstructions lining out the door to be seen. It’s so far from the truth but yet this 2% BLS statistic is the driving force behind this narrative we need more podiatrists. Wonder why ortho only graduates less than 50 orthopods per year? Do you see them salivating at the above 2% increase in this demographics? No.
Should be stickied in pre-pod forum. 100% truth.

I've fought just to get a couple good interviews. Shouldn't be this hard. That's because.... podiatry :)
 
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Podiatry Today recently published an open letter to prospective students on the personal and professional benefits of podiatry, authored by Dr. Patrick DeHeer, (residency director, former NBA team podiatrist, and member of the APMA Board of Trustees).

One of his most compelling arguments is that you can choose (and be guaranteed) your specialty when entering professional school, whereas in some medical professions, like doctors of osteopathy, only 50% get their first-choice specialty in the match.
Hmm... I would rather match into my second or third or fourth or fifth or sixth and so on choice as a MD/DO if I can practice in the town I want or not have to consider 100k jobs. I agree with everyone else this isn't a compelling argument.
 
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