One of the most common questions I get asked is in what kind of setting do I practice and what kinds of patients do I see.
As a resident in training I worked at various departments of hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego Area in rotations each one month long for a period of several years.
In San Antonio, Texas, I worked in a large practice of eleven podiatrists. There is a large diabetic population in that city and many patients had foot wounds and infections. Working in a hospital setting to manage wounds and infections, and working closely with vascular surgery, cardiology, nephrology, internal medicine and hyperbarics and wound care specialists was a part of everyday practice. Many of my patients were Spanish-speaking, with families very involved in the patients’ care.
Since relocating my practice to downtown Seattle, my hometown, I have had a change in demographics and pathology. Most of the patients we see here in our solo practice are working professionals with injuries, or painful conditions and deformities, such as bunions and hammertoes, that affect their work and enjoyment of everyday life. Most of the hospital work here is in the form of elective surgery to resolve painful conditions, with some urgent cases in at-risk patients. We work with other specialists on a referral basis. I am also a consultant on industrial injury and legal cases, and help train family medicine residents on medicine and surgery of the foot and ankle.
Taking care of our elders with feet problems is a special component of practice. Those who are at-risk because of poor circulation or nerve disease, and are able to do so, come to our office for check-ups and treatment. In San Antonio, facility-bound patients, like hospital patients, are seen on a consultative basis. In Seattle, caring for facility-bound patients on a regular basis represents a small part of our practice as well.