BECOMING INVOLVED IN THE PODIATRIC PROFESSION

Posted on September 14, 2020by Corrine E. Renne Landau, DPM

Have you ever thought about getting involved in the profession after residency? You may think that you won’t have the time, be overwhelmed, or that it may be difficult to seek out opportunities, but it is very easy. A great place to start is becoming involved with your local component as well as your state society. It is crucial to the betterment of the profession and to yourself to become involved with these organizations and there are many benefits as a respected member.

How does this benefit me? This is a question you may be asking. As a young member of the profession, you have access to many resources through these societies, and the opportunities are endless. APMA’s Young Members Institute contains great information on starting a practice, retirement planning, insurance information, special training and discounted programs and plans. Many state societies, for example in New York, also have resources available to young members that are easily accessible via the internet.

How did I get involved?

I started as a student. I served as a student liaison to the American Association of Women Podiatrists (AAWP) and I attended their conferences. From there I started to work with college recruitment forming alliances through NYCPM and was a student ambassador for the American Diabetes Association (ADA). I was also involved in student council, and other school committees. After graduation from residency we were urged by our director to become members of our state society and the APMA. I started to attend my local chapter meetings which provided monthly updates on the state and national level and from the Insurance and Legislative Committees. I became comfortable to ask questions and get involved in discussions at the meetings. After attending, I not only gained knowledge but also met many kind and welcoming people, including residents from other programs.

Now that I was feeling a little more at ease, the time came where I was asked to run for the editor position of our Executive Board. This as you could imagine was a little nerve racking for me, but I ran and am happy to say won that election. From there I worked my way up from Editor to Secretary and then Treasurer, to Vice President and then finally to President. I served as the President to NYSPMA Kings division for two years. During that time, I also encouraged many young members to get involved and am proud that we currently have two residents on our executive board today. I have also become involved on the state level serving on many committees. This broadened my professional network. I am happy to say that I have many friends and colleagues because of my involvement and have made great friendships within our profession.

Today, I am in private practice and happily have students and residents shadowing frequently. I remain active with the local hospital residency program. I enjoy teaching and helping the youth of our profession. I am also a proud diplomate to the American Board of Podiatric Medicine, and have started involvement through this organization.

So, how do you become involved?

Get involved through your residency. Next get involved locally in your state chapter and finally APMA. You can contact these organizations directly to ask about their Young Members Institute and what they offer. You can ask where the next local meeting is and attend. You can sign up for free to be a member as a resident (or student) of both your state and APMA. Many meetings are listed on the organization’s websites.

Once you become involved locally you may want to take the next step and get involved with being published or perform case studies for one of the many journals or conferences. There are many opportunities in academia. There are various contests and publications that are looking for submissions. PM news often has contests for young members to submit writing samples for prizes and publication. You can contact your local school or residency program or the various publications directly as well.

You can also get involved with the certifying boards. The American Board of Podiatric Medicine has many options for young members to become involved. There is also a lot of useful information on their website, their APP, and their social media platforms.

As you can see there are various opportunities to become involved from social to professional and academic. Now what is the benefit? The first benefit is information. This is the best way to stay up to date within the profession. You can achieve this by attending local meetings and reading the various newsletters and publications. The second benefit is discounts. Depending on where you practice there are many discounts that you can have through the APMA, various state boards and many academic boards. There are discounts on everything from travel to insurance and everything in between. Please contact each organization directly. The third benefit is help. Help is important. Often we have a question about an insurance company or protocol and having a person to ask is priceless. Or one may have a question about where to order a product or medication? Or how to start your own business? Or how to sign a contract? Or how to get on staff at a hospital or surgical center? All these questions and many more have been addressed through the APMA and the state local boards as well as the Young Member Institute. In New York we have a coding and insurance portal where we can ask questions and its very helpful. Lastly, another benefit is continuing education credits. In order to keep our licenses active, we must attend various educational forums for CMEs. Why sit alone online when you could attend one of the many local conferences and get to know some of your colleagues while having hands on training? Meet your colleagues and earn credits to keep your license active.

I have been a practicing Podiatrist for the past 13 years. I am happy to be involved and happy to have so many colleagues that I consider friends and family. I am helping to keep our profession topnotch and I am determined to help the young members. The young members are the future of our profession and it is crucial that they remain involved and in the forefront of the profession.

In closing, I urge you to get involved in some form or another. Whatever your interest or your passion there is a way to become more involved. Step up to become a leader for podiatry! Everyone is welcome to become involved and make the most out of your career. Please don’t hesitate and become involved today. You will be happy that you did, and our profession will be better for it.