Background: We sought to examine the economic value of specialized lower-extremity medical care by podiatric physicians in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers by evaluating cost outcomes for patients with diabetic foot ulcer who did and did not receive care from a podiatric physician in the year before the onset of a foot ulcer.
Methods: We analyzed the economic value among commercially insured patients and Medicare-eligible patients with employer-sponsored supplemental medical benefits using the MarketScan Databases. The analysis consisted of two parts. In part I, we examined cost or savings per patient associated with care by podiatric physicians using propensity score matching and regression techniques; in part II, we extrapolated cost or savings to populations.
Results: Matched and regression-adjusted results indicated that patients who visited a podiatric physician had $13,474 lower costs in commercial plans and $3,624 lower costs in Medicare plans during 2-year follow-up (P < .01 for both). A positive net present value of increasing the share of patients at risk for diabetic foot ulcer by 1% was found, with a range of $1.2 to $17.7 million for employer-sponsored plans and $1.0 to $12.7 million for Medicare plans.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that podiatric medical care can reduce the disease and economic burdens of diabetes. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(2): 93–115, 2011)
Commitment to steady, adaptive improvement in podiatric medical professionals has taken shape in the Podiatric Educational Enhancement Project. This project involves wide representation from all interests, aspects, and constituencies in the profession to study opportunities and develop consensus on both small and large enhancements possible in the continuum of podiatric medical education. More than 1,300 podiatric physicians have contributed information and expertise, and more will be involved as the project develops during the next 18 months.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a useful tool for many conditions within the scope of practice of a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM). More wound-care clinics are adding HBOT as a service line. The increasing prevalence of DPMs operating inside of these wound-care clinics has raised questions about the licensure and privileging of DPMs to supervise HBOT. This document reviews the safety of outpatient HBOT and provides guidelines for hospitals to credential DPMs to supervise treatments.
An essential skill for podiatrists is conservative sharp debridement of foot callus. Poor technique can result in lacerations, infections and possible amputation. This pilot trial explored whether adding simulation training to a traditional podiatry clinical placement improved podiatry student skills and confidence in conservative sharp debridement, compared with traditional clinical placement alone.
Twenty-nine podiatry students were allocated randomly to either a control group or an intervention group on day 1 of their clinical placement. On day 4, the intervention group (n = 15) received a 2-hour simulation workshop using a medical foot-care model, and the control group (n = 14) received a 2-hour workshop on compression therapy. Both groups continued to learn debridement skills as opportunities arose while on clinical placement. The participants' debridement skills were rated by an assessor blinded to group allocation on day 1 and day 8 of their clinical placement. Participants also rated their confidence in conservative sharp debridement using a questionnaire. Data were analyzed using logistic regression (skills) and analysis of covariance (confidence), with baseline scores as a covariate.
At day 8, analysis showed that those in the intervention group were 16 times more likely to be assessed as competent (95% confidence interval, 1.6–167.4) in their debridement skills and reported increased confidence in their skills (mean difference, 3.2 units; 95% confidence interval, 0.5–5.9) compared with those in the control group.
This preliminary evidence suggests that incorporating simulation into traditional podiatry clinical placements may improve student skills and confidence with conservative sharp debridement.
This study was performed to determine the relationship between undergraduate academic performance and total Medical College Admission Test score and academic performance in the podiatric medical program at Des Moines University. The allopathic and osteopathic medical professions have published educational research examining this relationship. To our knowledge, no such educational research has been published for podiatric medical education.
The undergraduate cumulative and science grade point averages and total Medical College Admission Test scores of four podiatric medical classes (2007–2010, N = 169) were compared with their academic performance in the first 2 years of podiatric medical school using pairwise Pearson product moment correlations and multiple regression analysis.
Significant low to moderate positive correlations were identified between undergraduate cumulative and science grade point averages and student academic performance in years 1 and 2 of podiatric medical school for each of the four classes (except one) and the pooled data. There was no significant correlation between Medical College Admission Test score and academic performance in years 1 and 2 (except one) and the pooled data.
These results identify undergraduate cumulative grade point average as the strongest cognitive admissions variable in predicting academic performance in the podiatric medicine program at Des Moines University, followed by undergraduate science grade point average. These results also suggest limitations of the total Medical College Admission Test score in predicting academic performance. Information from this study can be used in the admissions process and to monitor student progress. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 102(6): 446–450, 2012)
A cross-sectional survey administered to first- and second-year podiatric medical students aimed to investigate the effect of coffee intake, energy drink consumption, and perceived stress on sleep quality in medical students during their preclinical studies.
Ninety-eight of 183 students contacted (53.6%) completed a questionnaire comprising standard instruments measuring sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), daytime sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness scale), and perceived stress (ten-item Perceived Stress Scale). Furthermore, we investigated coffee and energy drink consumption. Logistic regression was conducted to identify factors associated with poor sleep quality and the relation between sleep quality and academic performance (grade point average).
High prevalences of poor sleep quality, excessive daytime sleepiness, and perceived stress were reported. In addition, higher odds of developing poor sleep quality were associated with coffee and energy drink intake, perceived stress, and excessive daytime sleepiness. The total Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score was inversely correlated with grade point average.
First- and second-year podiatric medical students have poor sleep quality. Further research is needed to identify effective strategies to reduce stress and decrease coffee and energy drink intake to minimize their negative effect on sleep quality and academic performance in podiatric medical students.
Qualitative analysis of shoe wear patterns collected from a questionnaire evaluating podiatric physicians’ experiences in this area suggests that wear patterns could indicate causative function within a known pathologic context. Several different functions are suggested by patterns associated with each of the pathologic entities involved, and analysis of the relationship between patterns and reasons given by respondents for pattern-form variations show the strongest associations to be with functionally termed conditions. A basic model is proposed to present factors important in wear pattern production, suggesting that a new concept of primary walking intention is more influential than foot pathologies in wear pattern formation and that external factors are also influential, with the combined factors being described as the “holistic foot function.” This model may provide a variety of benefits to podiatric medicine; as shoe wear patterns are records of the usual long-term activity of the functioning foot, this paradigm could form a basis for podiatric medical practice. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(3): 261–268, 2004)
A patient “handoff,” or the “sign-out” process, is an episode during which the responsibility of a patient transitions from one health-care provider to another. These are important events that affect patient safety, particularly because a significant proportion of adverse events have been associated with a relative lack of physician communication. The objective of this investigation was to survey podiatric surgical residency programs with respect to patient care handoff and sign-out practices.
A survey was initially developed and subsequently administered to the chief residents of 40 Council on Podiatric Medical Education–approved podiatric surgical residency programs attempting to elucidate patient care handoff protocols and procedures and on-call practices.
Although it was most common for patient care handoffs to occur in person (60.0%), programs also reported that handoffs regularly occurred by telephone (52.5%) and with no direct personal communication whatsoever other than the electronic passing of information (50.0%). In fact, 27.5% of programs reported that their most common means of patient care handoff was without direct resident communication and was instead purely electronic. We observed that few residents reported receiving formal education or assessment/feedback (17.5%) regarding their handoff proficiency, and only 5.0% of programs reported that attending physicians regularly took part in the handoff/sign-out process. Although most programs felt that their sign-out practices were safe and effective, 67.5% also believed that their process could be improved.
These results provide unique information on a potentially underappreciated aspect of podiatric medical education and might point to some common deficiencies regarding the development of interprofessional communication within our profession during residency training.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Recent improved therapies have resulted in more patients surviving cancer and living longer. Despite these advances, the majority of patients will develop adverse events from anticancer therapies. Foot alterations, including nail toxicities, hand-foot syndrome, edema, xerosis, hyperkeratosis, and neuropathy, are frequent among cancer patients. These untoward conditions may negatively impact quality of life, and in some cases may result in the interruption or discontinuation of cancer treatments. Appropriate prevention, diagnosis, and management of podiatric adverse events are essential to maintain foot function and health-related quality of life, both of which are critical for the care of cancer patients and survivors. This article shows results related to complaint and impact on quality of life of the Oncology Foot Care program and reviews publications specific to podiatric adverse events related to cancer treatments.
Given the age-related decline in foot strength and flexibility, and the emerging evidence that foot problems increase the risk of falls, established guidelines for falls prevention recommend that older adults have their feet examined by a podiatrist as a precautionary measure. However, these guidelines do not specify which intervention activities might be performed. Published in this special issue of JAPMA are nine high-quality articles, including seven original studies and two basic science reviews, focusing on the benefit and impact of footwear and foot and ankle interventions in reducing the risk of falling. The selected studies discuss various relevant questions related to podiatric intervention, including adherence to intervention; preference and perception of older adults in selecting footwear; benefit of insoles, footwear, and nonslip socks in preventing falls; fear of falling related to foot problems; benefit of podiatric surgical intervention; and benefit of foot and ankle exercise in preventing falls. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(6): 452–456, 2013)