Outside Reading Before and During Clerkships- Stop Procrastinating and Start Reading

Many students have come to me inquiring on how to come up with a good plan for outside reading before and during clerkships. There is a lot that is required of you during your third and fourth years and finding time to read and build upon your wealth of knowledge is difficult-- but extremely important. Therefore it is essential to use the spare time wisely. 

There are many resources and manuals out there and it’s impossible to read everything.  A common question I get from students is “what are the best textbooks/manuals/journals”.  The truth is it doesn’t matter so much which resource you choose, the more challenging task is getting through the material in a timely fashion and retaining the information presented. When it comes to outside reading, my biggest advice is to stay organized. You are not going to be able to read the Podiatry Institute manual or McGlamry’s textbook in one day. There is a great book by Brian Tracy called “Eat That Frog!” which lays out strategies to stop procrastinating and I would recommend all students get their hands on it. These concepts go for outside reading especially. 

When making your outside reading schedule, try to create SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time specific goals.  For example, I will read 10 pages of McGlamry’s text per day and one article every other day. This is how you can break up a large task to seem more manageable. 

David Kretch, DPM, IPED Member Rush University Medical Center – PGY-2 KSUCPM Class of 2015

David Kretch, DPM, IPED Member
Rush University Medical Center – PGY-2
KSUCPM Class of 2015


Below you can find some of my favorite articles.  I have found that, through my experiences, these articles present some high yield concepts. While not intended to be even close to an “end all” list, it is a good start.  They are especially helpful for third year students who are just starting to take a look at podiatric and orthopedic literature.  These topics are also commonly asked about in interviews. In addition to what is listed below, keep in mind that if there’s a procedure or classification named after someone, there’s likely an article associated with it. These are all great articles to be familiar with. (For example: Hardcastle, Evans, Hawkins, Kuwada, Berndt Hardy, Essex-Lopresti, Lapidus, ect.)

  • Kaleta, Jennifer L., et al. "The diagnosis of osteomyelitis in diabetes using erythrocyte sedimentation rate: a pilot study." JAPMA. 91.9 (2001): 445-450.
  • Grayson, M. Lindsay, et al. "Probing to bone in infected pedal ulcers: a clinical sign of underlying osteomyelitis in diabetic patients." JAMA 273.9 (1995): 721-723.
  • Lavery, Lawrence A., et al. "Probe-to-bone test for diagnosing diabetic foot osteomyelitis reliable or relic?." Diabetes care 30.2 (2007): 270-274.
  • Waters, R. L., et al. "Energy cost of walking of amputees: the influence of level of amputation." J Bone Joint Surg Am 58.1 (1976): 42-46.
  • Meyr, Andrew J., et al. "Statistical reliability of bone biopsy for the diagnosis of diabetic foot osteomyelitis." JFAS 50.6 (2011): 663-667.
  • Attinger, Christopher E., et al. "Angiosomes of the foot and ankle and clinical implications for limb salvage: reconstruction, incisions, and revascularization." Plastic and reconstructive surgery 117.7S (2006): 261S-293S.
  • Ramsey, P. L., and W. Hamilton. "Changes in tibiotalar area of contact caused by lateral talar shift." J Bone Joint Surg Am . American volume 58.3 (1976): 356-357.
  • Yablon, I. G., et al. "The key role of the lateral malleolus in displaced fractures of the ankle." J Bone Joint Surg Am 59.2 (1977): 169-173.
  • Buckley, Richard, et al. "Operative compared with nonoperative treatment of displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures." J Bone Joint Surg Am 84.10 (2002): 1733-1744.
  • Solis, G., et al. "Incidence of DVT following surgery of the foot and ankle." Foot & ankle international 23.5 (2002): 411-414.
  • Yu, Gerard V., et al. "Predislocation syndrome: progressive subluxation/dislocation of the lesser metatarsophalangeal joint." Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association 92.4 (2002): 182-199.
  • Lipsky, Benjamin A., et al. "2012 Infectious Diseases Society of America clinical practice guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic foot infections." Clinical infectious diseases 54.12 (2012): 132-173.