“You Must Really Like Feet….”
The two questions I am most often asked are “Why did you become a Podiatrist?” and “How did you decide to start your own practice?”. And no, the answer to either question is not that I really like feet! (though they are an amazing appendage, but I digress…)
Let’s tackle the first question, which is also sometimes asked as “Why would you want to work with feet all day?”. Here is my answer: I chose Podiatry because it’s one of the only specialties that allows me to give patients instant gratification. When a patient walks into my office limping because of heel pain, and I can get them to walk out of my office pain free - that’s an awesome feeling. And the truth is not many medical professionals get to do that. That does not mean that EVERY patient that walks through my door gets to walk out immediately pain free. But I do guarantee that when you come see me, if you are not at least feeling better at the end of your appointment, I will at a minimum have started you on a treatment plan that will lead to the resolution of your symptoms in a short period of time.
It’s also the one medical specialty that allows me to work with patients from all different age groups and every different walk of life (pun intended). The age range of my current patient roster is 6 months to 103 years old. And over the last 13 years of practicing podiatry, I think I have treated at least one person from almost every different profession, nationality, gender, and socio-economic strata that you can think of. Each and every one of them with their own unique story and an individualized treatment plan to help alleviate their particular foot ailment or problem.
And you wouldn’t believe all the things that can go wrong with your feet! Each foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles and ligaments - (25% of all of your bones in your body are in your feet!!!). And they all have to work together to provide stability and structure for the rest of your life. To say that a podiatrist sees a huge assortment of different problems and challenges would be an understatement.
To answer the second question (“How did you decide to open your own practice?”), let’s do a quick flashback. Every year the Connecticut Podiatric Medical Association (CPMA) holds a conference where all CT podiatrists are invited to hear lectures on various topics that affect our profession. Last year I entered the conference as a Podiatrist working as an associate in a private practice, comfortable with my job and not having to make many “executive” decisions that would impact the practice, nor was I actively doing anything to help my professional community.
Treating my patients to the best of my ability and being the best mom and wife I can be are always my first priorities. But I knew I could do more – both personally and professionally. I knew my adopted hometown didn’t have a modern, up-to-date podiatric practice that administered the newest treatment options to treat the foot and ankle. And I knew that the Connecticut Podiatric Medical Association needed more FEMALE representation. We need to make sure all voices are heard and represented in our growing Podiatric community to insure we are providing the best care possible to all of our patients.
Fast forward to a year later, at the same conference. This time I’m here to be sworn in as one of the Board of Directors at the CPMA, and representing my brand-new office: New Canaan Podiatry. (can I get a “whoop whoop”)
The years to come building my practice and serving on the CPMA Board will pose many challenges. There will be ups and downs, but I’m ready to face them head on and promote not only the profession that I love but female business owners and leaders. I am hopeful to be able to educate my community on the importance of healthy feet and new ways to treat whatever ails them. And I am so proud to be a member of the Board and helping drive increased education and community involvement across Connecticut.
What a difference a year makes!