Background: An unanticipated decrease in applications to podiatric medical schools in the late 1990s has resulted in a decline in the number of podiatric physicians per capita in the United States. This study explores the implications of five possible scenarios for addressing this decline.
Methods: With the help of an advisory committee and data from the American Podiatric Medical Association, projections of the supply of podiatric physicians were developed using five different scenarios of the future. Projections of several factors related to the demand for podiatric physicians were also developed based on a review of the literature.
Results: The projections reveal that unless the number of graduations of new podiatric physicians increases dramatically, the supply will not keep up with the increasing demand for their services.
Conclusion: The growing supply-demand gap revealed by this study will be an important challenge for the podiatric medical profession to overcome during the next couple of decades.
Medical students (MSs) in allopathic and osteopathic medical programs may not be adequately exposed to the role of podiatric physicians and surgeons in health care. We explored perceptions of the specialty field of podiatric medicine from the perspective of MSs in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area.
In this cross-sectional survey study, responses regarding podiatric education and scope of practice were collected via a 16-question, self-reported, anonymous online survey distributed to MSs at one osteopathic and three allopathic medical schools in the Philadelphia area. Inferences and conclusions were drawn from the percentages of respondents. Statistical analyses for school of attendance, year of study, and physician relative subgroups were performed.
The 129 survey responses obtained revealed misunderstandings regarding podiatric education and training. Only 45.7% correctly answered that podiatric medical students do not take the United States Medical Licensing Examination. The results also showed the perception of podiatry in a positive light, with approximately 80% of respondents agreeing that the term doctor is applicable when referring to a podiatrist. Respondents with a physician relative were more likely to rate podiatry's role in health care higher on a scale from 0 (inessential) to 5 (equivalent to MDs/DOs) than those without a physician relative.
The results of this preliminary survey were generally positive and optimistic while also identifying some misconceptions regarding MS perceptions of podiatric medical training and scope of practice. Further studies are needed to evaluate perceptions of podiatry from the perspective of other members of the health-care team to improve interprofessional relations and understanding.
Human and mechanical simulations are used to teach and assess clinical competencies in medical education. In 2014, the National Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners implemented the Clinical Skills Patient Encounter, an examination using standardized patients. Similar clinical skills examinations already existed as part of medical and osteopathic licensure examinations. The purpose of this study was to assess the use of simulation-based education in the nine colleges of podiatric medicine in the United States to inform podiatric clinical faculty and other stakeholders about current trends within the podiatric education system. In 2019, the Clinical Skills Patient Encounter committee of the National Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners developed a survey and contacted each podiatric school to voluntarily participate. The mailed survey instrument gathered information on patient simulation modalities, years used, clinical content application, simulation program administration, facilities and equipment available, and the role of simulation educators. All nine schools participated anonymously. The survey showed that simulation modalities were used in all of the schools during the first 3 years, although there was considerable variance in their use.
Background: Silicone gel sheeting is an effective therapeutic intervention in the management of scar tissue. This pilot study was designed to examine the effect of silicone gel sheeting in preventing reulceration at former wound sites in diabetic patients.
Methods: Thirty patients with diabetes and a healed plantar neuropathic foot ulcer were enrolled and investigated in this randomized controlled trial. Participants with a newly healed ulcer were assigned to use either silicone gel sheeting or emollient cream daily for 3 months.
Results: Compared with emollient cream use, the use of silicone gel sheeting did not diminish and may have potentially increased the risk of reulceration.
Conclusions: Silicone gel sheeting does not seem to reduce the risk of reulceration in diabetic patients. The results of this trial should be viewed with caution given the small sample size. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(2): 116–123, 2011)
Podiatric physicians encounter many conditions, especially in sports medicine, that involve pain in the vicinity of the rearfoot or lower leg. These conditions are often associated with ankle equinus and may affect either child or adult sports participants. A review of the literature and clinical experience identify posterior night stretch splinting as an effective adjunct in the treatment of persistent symptomatic plantar fasciitis, negating the need for corticosteroid injections, further protracted pain, or surgery. This article reviews clinical cases in which night stretch splinting was used for a variety of diagnoses. Further research is needed into its efficacy for conditions other than plantar fasciitis. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 91(7): 356-360, 2001)
In 2004, the American Podiatric Medical Association conducted its third annual “Best Walking City Competition.” This study improved on the 2002 and 2003 studies by increasing the number of cities competing for the title of “Best Walking City” and by including a variety of new measures of walking activities to provide a more comprehensive and equitable basis for comparing cities. The top 20 best walking cities in 2004 were identified from among the 200 largest cities across the United States. Lists of top cities were also developed by city population size and geographic region and by three different types of walking activities prevalent in each city. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(4): 414–420, 2005)
Outcomes research has become a high priority for the podiatric medical profession, according to the results of a recent survey of members of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). The methods of population-based studies using claims data, health-related quality-of-life measures, decision and cost-effectiveness analysis, and quality improvement are discussed and their contributions to the podiatric medical profession highlighted. The integration of this methodology into the podiatric medical literature has been sparse. Future work needs to address the training of future researchers in these methods, the establishment of collaborative arrangements, and the development of uniform clinical and health-related quality-of-life measures.
The fourth year of podiatric medical school is an important period in the education of the podiatric medical student, a period that consists largely of month-long clerkships. Nonetheless, there has been limited formal study of the quality of learning experiences during this period. Furthermore, there is limited knowledge of how podiatric medical students evaluate residency programs during clerkships.
An online survey was developed and distributed electronically to fourth-year podiatric medical school students. The focus of the survey was the quality of learning experiences during externships, and decision making in ranking residency programs.
The most valuable learning experiences during clerkships were interactions with attending physicians, interactions with residents, and general feedback in surgery. Students self-identified that they most improved in the following areas during clerkships: forefoot surgery, clinical podiatry skills, and rearfoot surgery. The areas in which students improved the least were research, pediatrics, and practice management. The three most important factors students considered as they created their rank list were hands-on resident participation in surgical training, the attitude and personality of the residents, and the attitude and personality of the attending physicians. A range of surgical interest was identified among students, and students lacking in surgical interest self-reported less improvement in various surgical topics.
The perspectives of fourth-year podiatric medical students are currently an underused resource. Improved understanding can help residency programs improve the quality of associated learning experiences and can make their programs more appealing to potential residency candidates.
Lupus erythematosus is an enigmatic disease. Its podiatric manifestations are largely cutaneous, but vasculitic involvements may produce complications. The authors review much of the histopathology of lupus erythematosus that is relevant to the podiatric physician and surgeon. Awareness of the serious systemic implications of lupus erythematosus and the internal medications used in treatment is part of the physician's responsibility in understanding the whole patient.