This practice memo, a collaborative effort between the Young Physicians' Program of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) and the Young Surgeons Committee of the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS), is intended to aid podiatrists and vascular surgeons in the early years of their respective careers, especially those involved in the care of patients with chronic wounds. During these formative years, learning how to successfully establish an inter-professional partnership is crucial in order to provide the best possible care to this important patient population.
Both vascular surgeons and podiatric physicians care for patients with diabetic foot ulcerations (DFUs), one of today's most challenging health-care populations in the United States. The prevalence of DFUs has steadily increased, along with the rising costs associated with care. Because of the numerous comorbidities affecting these patients, it is necessary to take a multidisciplinary approach in the management of these patients. Such efforts, primarily led by podiatric physicians and vascular surgeons, have been shown to effectively decrease major limb loss. Establishing an interprofessional partnership between vascular surgery and podiatric medicine can lead to an improvement in the delivery of care and outcomes of this vulnerable patient population.