Background: Burnout and medical resident well-being has become an increasingly studied topic in medical degree (MD) and doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) fields and specialties, which has led to systemic changes in postgraduate education and training. Although an important topic to address for physicians of all experience levels and fields of practice, there is little research on this topic as it pertains specifically to the podiatric medical community.
Methods: A wellness needs assessment was developed and distributed to podiatric medical residents via electronic survey to assess overall wellness levels of residents and to highlight several subdomains of well-being in the training programs of the podiatric medical profession.
Results: A total of 121 residents completed the wellness needs assessment. Survey respondents indicated that they experienced high levels of professional burnout, with large numbers of them experiencing depression and anxiety. When analyzing the different subdomains of wellness, levels of intellectual and environmental wellness were high, and levels of financial and physical wellness were reported as low. In addition, free response answers were recorded in the survey regarding well-being initiatives that have been implemented in residency programs, and in many cases no such programs are reported to exist.
Conclusions: Podiatric medical residents experience compromised well-being similar to their MD/DO counterparts. These exploratory survey group results are concerning and warrant further investigation as well as organizational introspection. Analyzing well-being and implementing changes that can support podiatric physicians at all levels of training could decrease the deleterious effects of burnout in all its forms.
Podiatric medicine had its own evolution in the medical field apart from allopathic and osteopathic medicine. Podiatrists are well-respected members of the health-care team and have earned recognition as physicians within their education, training, and credentialing processes. Unlike allopathic medical doctors and doctors of osteopathic medicine, whose scope of practice is based upon their education, training, and credentialing processes, podiatrists' scopes of practice are determined by state laws (and are often influenced by politics) with variances across the United States. In contrast to a lack of uniformity in the training and credentialing processes of an allopathic medical doctor, podiatrists complete a streamlined educational process that is competency-based and well-aligned from the undergraduate phase (podiatric medical school) to the postgraduate phase (residency) through the credentialing processes (licensure and certification). Podiatric medical students begin to directly engage in the specialty related to the diagnosis and treatment of the lower extremity much earlier in the educational process than an orthopedist, whose foot and ankle exposure is less extensive by comparison. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(1): 65–72, 2009)
A single prospective group study in adults was performed using a new bioabsorbable screw, the NuGen Fx screw (Linvatec Biomaterials Ltd, Tampere, Finland). This multisite study included five sites and 50 patients (10 patients per site). The goal of this study was to evaluate the efficiency and safety of the NuGen Fx screw system in the fixation of osteotomies, arthrodeses, and fractures in the foot and ankle. We discuss our own results from 12 patients treated at the Kentucky Podiatric Residency Program at Norton Audubon Hospital, Louisville. The number of patients in the study, screw sizes, instrumentation, radiologic evaluation findings, and our overview of this implant are presented. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 96(1): 73–77, 2006)
The opioid epidemic has hit disastrous levels across the United States. Many attempts have been made to counteract this, including policy changes and modification of provider and patient behavior. The purpose of this study was to understand the current state of podiatric residents' knowledge regarding pain management and addiction.
This study used mixed quantitative-qualitative methods. Two focus groups were conducted with two podiatric residency programs to understand current issues and inform the creation of a survey. A 30-question survey was created and peer reviewed to assess general pain management knowledge, levels of confidence in pain management and addiction, and areas for improvement.
Pain management education in podiatry is mainly focused on opioids. These concepts are often taught in a nonstandardized method, which does not often include nonopioid alternatives. Knowledge of risk factors for addiction was lacking, whereas knowledge of behaviors concerning for addiction was more bountiful. Thirty-three surveys were completed of a possible 39. A knowledge score was created from eight survey questions for a total of 10 points, with an average score of 4.61. There was no statistical difference between those with and without a pain management rotation. Nearly all residents felt comfortable managing surgical pain. The residents are “never” or “only occasionally” inquiring about risk factors for addiction. Questions asked also suggest that the residents are not thinking about their role within the opioid epidemic.
As the opioid epidemic grows, it is imperative to examine the causes and solutions to the problem. Focusing efforts on educating resident physicians is one method to address the issue. The results of this study show that pain management basics need to be reinforced and more time must be spent emphasizing the importance of thorough patient histories and educating patients when prescribing pain medication.
A recent increase in podiatric medicine fellowships has occurred as the field continues to progress. Research regarding selection criteria from a fellowship director's perspective for potential fellows is lacking. This study aimed to examine objective and subjective selection criteria that directors consider when selecting applicants for the interview and when ranking prospective fellows after the interview.
We electronically surveyed American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons fellowship directors with preselected criteria for granting applicants an interview and for compiling their ranking list after the interview. A Likert scale from 1 (most important) to 5 (least important) was used to prioritize each criterion, an average rating was calculated, and the results were placed in order of importance.
The most important selection criteria for granting an interview were quality of residency program (1.985), a written personal statement of reasons for attending that fellowship (2.063), and publications/presentations produced as a resident (2.267). The most important criteria in completing the ranking order after the interview were assessment of applicant's personality (1.111), interview performance (1.173), and expressed interest in program (1.563).
Knowledge of the selection criteria that fellowship directors seek in applicants can assist those who desire to further their training. The selection criteria that program directors seek differed between being selected for the interview, which combined both objective and subjective criteria, and when compiling their rankings after the interview, which included only subjective criteria. Results show more emphasis on subjective selection criteria when directors select applicants for an interview and when ranking applicants after the interview.