Background: The COVID-19 pandemic impacted all facets of health care in the United States, including the disruption of professional training for podiatry residents and students. In March 2020, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recommended pausing then modifying all clinical rotations. The podiatric community followed suit. In-person restrictions, cancellations of clerkships, limited clinical experiences, virtual didactic programs and reduced surgical cases for students and residency programs occurred for many months during the ongoing pandemic. These adaptations impacted the ability of podiatric students to complete clinical rotations and clerkships, which are pivotal to their academic curriculum and residency program application and selection.
Methods: A survey was conducted by the Council of Teaching Hospitals (COTH) and sent out by the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine (AACPM). The 2021 post-interview surveys were sent out to all participants in the 2021 CASPR application and match cycle, both programs and candidates.
Results: The COTH presents results and comments from the 2021 virtual interview experience and residency match. Data and anecdotal comments from the 2021 post-interview survey conducted by COTH, sent out by AACPM, are presented here.
Conclusions: Results from the surveys of program directors and candidates show a preference by both groups for in-person interviews despite the personal time demands and increased costs associated with travel.
Motivational Interviewing by Podiatric Physicians
A Method for Improving Patient Self-care of the Diabetic Foot
Foot ulceration and lower-extremity amputation are devastating end-stage complications of diabetes. Despite agreement that diabetic foot self-care is a key factor in prevention of ulcers and amputation, there has only been limited success in influencing these behaviors among patients with diabetes. While most efforts have focused on increasing patient knowledge, knowledge and behavior are poorly correlated. Knowledge is necessary but rarely sufficient for behavior change. A key determinant to adherence to self-care behavior is clinician counseling style. Podiatrists are the ideal providers to engage in a brief behavioral intervention with a patient. Motivational interviewing is a well-accepted, evidence-based teachable approach that enhances self-efficacy and increases intrinsic motivation for change and adherence to treatment. This article summarizes some key strategies that can be employed by podiatrists to improve foot self-care. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(1): 78–84, 2011)
In this explorative study, we assessed the effect and feasibility of using motivational interviewing to improve footwear adherence in persons with diabetes who are at high risk for foot ulceration and show low adherence to wearing prescribed custom-made footwear.
Thirteen individuals with diabetes, ulcer history, and low footwear adherence (ie, <80% of steps taken in prescription footwear) were randomly assigned to standard education (ie, verbal and written instructions) or to standard education plus two 45-min sessions of motivational interviewing. Adherence was objectively measured over 7 days using ankle- and shoe-worn sensors and was calculated as the percentage of total steps that prescribed footwear was worn. Adherence was assessed at home and away from home at baseline and 1 week and 3 months after the intervention. Feasibility was assessed for interviewer proficiency to apply motivational interviewing and for protocol executability.
Median (range) baseline, 1-week, and 3-month adherence at home was 49% (6%–63%), 84% (5%–98%), and 40% (4%–80%), respectively, in the motivational interviewing group and 35% (13%–64%), 33% (15%–55%), and 31% (3%–66%), respectively, in the standard education group. Baseline, 1-week, and 3-month adherence away from home was 91% (79%–100%), 97% (62%–99%) and 92% (86%–98%), respectively, in the motivational interviewing group and 78% (32%–97%), 91% (28%–98%), and 93% (57%–100%), respectively, in the standard education group. None of the differences were statistically significant. Interviewer proficiency was good, and the protocol could be successfully executed in the given time frame.
Footwear adherence at home increases 1 week after motivational interviewing to clinically relevant but not statistically significant levels (ie, 80%) but then returns over time to baseline levels. Away from home, adherence is already sufficient at baseline and remains so over time. The use of motivational interviewing seems feasible for the given purpose and patient group. These findings provide input to larger trials and provisionally suggest that additional or adjunctive therapy may be needed to better preserve adherence.
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.
As the facilitator of the standardized patient rotation at the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine (now Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine [KSUCPM]) for the past 4 years, I have felt that there is underused time in the program. Therefore, I sought the views of podiatric medical students at KSUCPM who have completed the standardized patient rotation to see how they felt their time in the course was used and whether they felt that the course was useful to them in terms of advancing their podiatric medical education.
A survey was administered to 105 third-year podiatric medical students. These students had already completed the standardized patient rotation, which at KSUCPM is in the second year.
Seventy-seven students completed the survey. Most of these students felt that there was improperly used time in the course, and many recommended ways of improving the course organization.
The students answered positively that the standardized patient rotation was important in terms of improving interviewing skills and worthwhile for future professional development. The students agreed that there likely was underused time in the course and even suggested ways in which they would make the course run more efficiently. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 102(6): 477–484, 2012)