We all work so hard during the four years of podiatry school. So many hours of our time are spent studying, making charts, and going to tutor sessions. We do this so that we can get into a residency program so that sensible surgical and practice options can be learned and honed for when it’s time to face the real world on your own.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to place into a residency. So then I had to ask myself, now what?
What will I do to put myself in a position so that I can get a residency the next time around? I found the IPED (Preceptorship program) website and applied for a preceptorship. What is nice about this was that it was more organized than what I heard about in the past about it being a mad scramble. Luckily for me I was able to be placed with a podiatrist that was pretty close to where I live.
I was still pretty down on myself for not getting into a residency on the first go around. However, I don’t give up. I had think about this as an opportunity to get some “real world podiatry” that may not be obtained during podiatry school. Dr. Gina Tomsho, DPM of Barberton Podiatry, Inc. in Barberton, OH was gracious enough to give me a chance. Her and her staff members Kim and Jackie welcomed me into their office. They caught me up to speed as to how things were done in the office. Soon I was doing a bit of everything from rooming patients to taking X-rays to helping treat the patients as well. It’s good to see things from all perspectives. Getting to see what type of people you want running your front desk and scheduling surgeries and setting up new patient information is good. These are things that I get to see on a daily basis and I would like to have those types of dedicated people when I get to the stage of opening up a practice.
What is also nice about working in the office is that I get to see the business side of things. What I should be thinking about office space, how many treatment rooms do I need, what supplies I should have in stock, how to bill things and what codes are appropriate for procedures. It isn’t so much about how much money is being made for each thing, but it’s about doing things correctly and the right way. I am getting exposed to and learning things about this now that I never got while in school and that some residents don’t start doing until their 2nd or 3rd year of training. This is very valuable knowledge and I feel like these experiences that I’m going through will better prepare me for when interviews roll around during the next cycle.
Stephan Cunningham, DPM