The author reflects upon his experiences within podiatric medical education and shares his thoughts about the directions podiatric medical education should take before the end of the century. The author envisions a collaborative effort between the practitioners and educators within the profession in areas such as curriculum, research, academic health science centers, accreditation, and other important issues. The author calls for an education system relevant to and tested upon the anvil of patient care.
Clinicians routinely assess foot posture as part of their assessment and management of foot pathologies. Flat or high-arched foot postures have been linked to kinematic deviations and increased risk of foot injuries. The Foot Posture Index (FPI) is a valid clinical tool used to classify feet into high-arched, normal-arched, and flat foot groups and predicts foot function during walking well. Walking and running are distinct locomotion styles, and studies have not been performed to correlate FPI to foot function during running. This study aims to investigate the association of FPI scores to foot kinematics during running. The results will further inform clinicians who perform static assessment of feet of individuals who are runners.
Sixty-nine participants had their feet assessed using the FPI scoring system. Based on these scores, the feet were categorized as flat foot, normal-arched, and high-arched. Rearfoot eversion and forefoot dorsiflexion (arch flattening) of the foot were analysed during slow running between 1.4 and 2.2 m/sec. The Pearson correlation was used to analyse the FPI scores on an interval scale, with Cohen's d used to report effect size. One-way analysis of variance and a Bonferroni post hoc test was used to analyze data by category. Level of significance was set at P < .05.
Thirty-four flat feet, 26 normal-arched feet, and nine high-arched feet were analyzed. The FPI scores correlated significantly with rearfoot eversion (moderate effect size) and forefoot dorsiflexion (low effect size). Rearfoot eversion was greatest in the flat foot, followed by the normal-arched foot and the high-arched foot. Forefoot dorsiflexion was significantly higher in the flat foot compared with the high-arched group.
Foot Posture Index scores are positively correlated with rearfoot eversion and forefoot dorsiflexion during running. Clinicians can use this information to aid their foot assessment and management of individuals who are runners.
A 2004 survey of US adults found that 19% had experienced foot problems at work at some time. As a result, 38% reported lost productivity and 28% missed time at work. Younger, less educated male workers were more likely to suffer from foot problems. The percentage of the total population surveyed who missed time at work owing to foot problems was 5.4% in 2004. In a previous survey conducted in 2000, the corresponding percentage was 6.6%. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(6): 604–607, 2004)
Background: Despite prevention efforts, suicide rates continue to rise, prompting the need for novel evidence-based approaches to suicide prevention. Patients presenting with foot and ankle disorders in a podiatric medical and surgical practice may represent a population at risk for suicide, given risk factors of chronic pain and debilitating injury. Screening has the potential to identify people at risk that may otherwise go unrecognized. This quality improvement project (QIP) aimed to determine the feasibility of implementing suicide risk screening in an outpatient podiatry clinic and ambulatory surgical center. Methods: A suicide risk screening QIP was implemented in an outpatient podiatry clinic and ambulatory surgical center in collaboration with a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) suicide prevention research team. Following training for all staff, patients ages 18 years and older were screened for suicide risk with the Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ) as standard of care. Clinic staff were surveyed about their opinions of screening. Results: Ninety-four percent of patients (442/470) agreed to be screened for suicide risk and nine patients (2%; 9/442) screened non-acute positive; zero for acute risk. The majority of clinic staff reported that they found screening acceptable, felt comfortable working with patients who have suicidal thoughts, and thought screening for suicide risk was clinically useful. Conclusions: Suicide risk screening was successfully implemented in an outpatient podiatry clinic. Screening with the ASQ provided valuable information that would not have been ascertained otherwise, positively impacting clinical decision-making and leading to improved overall care for podiatry patients.
Health care for the homeless is a major public health concern. With the rise in antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis, the increase of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diseases, and other health risks, the medical community has begun to recognize the urgency of taking a proactive role in providing care for this population. Lower extremity pathology can result in limb-threatening and, in some cases, life-threatening sequelae for homeless populations. This patient group has limited access to regular hygiene, appropriate shoes, and podiatric medical care. Participation in the "Stand Down for the Homeless" projects provided an opportunity to evaluate the podiatric needs of a homeless population and to project a response to those needs. The authors define and compare this homeless population with the national homeless population, compare the podiatric needs of this homeless populations versus the general population, and respond to those needs.
The existing podiatric medical residencies in the Department of Veterans Affairs are reviewed. The suitability of these residencies to fill a potential need for entry level programs is discussed. The financial implications of providing such training are reviewed and a plan for implementation is presented. Ninety-eight rotating podiatric residency positions currently available in Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals are prime candidates to serve as entry level PGY-1 positions. Assurances will need to be given that implementation of the PGY-1 concept must serve the best interests of the veteran patient population, and that funds will need to be allocated to pay faculty salaries and resident stipends. Congressional review of student loan forbearance policies affecting podiatric medical residents is also needed.