No, we’re not talking about going out to clubs, we’re talking about joining them. At the Institute for Podiatric Excellence and Development (IPED) our membership includes students, residents and new practitioners as well as those with years in the field. As a member, you get to benefit from the experience of those who have gone before you. One recommendation that residents and podiatric physicians offer to students of podiatry is to join a club.
Benefits of Membership
As you start the academic year and review your current course load you may be thinking, “There’s no way I would have time for club.” But being a club member can have several benefits that can actually improve your academic record and make you a better practitioner.
Make Book Learning Real—clubs offer many opportunities in the form of workshops and presentations to try out what you are learning with hands-on experiences. Attending lectures and talking to other students and professionals will help reinforce what you learn in the classroom more than another night of studying.
Find Your Specialty—under the general umbrella of podiatry are many sub-specialties—dermatology, wound care, biomechanics and sports medicine, to name just a few. Clubs that focus on a particular area can help you hone in on what specific areas interest you.
Work the Network—joining a club will put you in touch with other classmates, upperclassmen, professors and professionals in the podiatric field. These contacts will prove invaluable throughout your academic career for many parts of your training, such as you studying for boards and applying for externships and residencies.
Have a Heart—some clubs give you the opportunity to do community service and help others. School focuses on the mind but being a good doctor requires heart as well. Showing compassion, being empathetic and serving others will make you a better doctor and—added bonus--decrease your stress level while at school.