The two months between graduating podiatry school and starting residency come and go in a flash. Thousands of new doctors graduate from podiatry school and start their journey to becoming a certified doctor. In order to complete these final steps to becoming a Podiatrist, each graduate must participate and complete their long and torturous residencies.
One of our staff members recently graduated podiatry school and is doing her residency in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In residency, graduates work in hospitals doing and learning about the jobs they will have after they are certified. Graduates take care of patients around the clock and help run hospitals alongside the senior Doctors. You are at the hospital so much that you essentially become a “resident” of the hospital, like many of the patients in your care.
July 1st was the official start date for Jackie, our graduate, orientation started slow and quickly progressed. She described her first couple weeks there as being bombarded with pagers that no one knew how to work, important ext. numbers that no one remembered, and getting little sleep. On top of learning how to cope with a new and difficult lifestyle graduates must learn very quickly how to translate what they have been studying for the past four years into real life and apply it to real patients.
A typical day in residency starts at 4-4:30am, this is so doctors can make their rounds and see all their patients by the time morning meeting starts. Making rounds on patients means while checking on your patient you evaluate the progression of their problem, whether its infections, post-surgery, or trauma. After concluding whether the patient’s condition is worsening or improving, you write a note on the patients chart summarizing your assessment, their prognosis, and your plan of treatment.
The particular program Jackie is in sees a lot of foot and ankle trauma. For instance, if you google “The most dangerous intersection in America” the #1 result is within the hospital’s limits. Being stationed in Philadelphia Jackie sees all sorts of traumas, this past weekend our podiatry service saw two pediatric ankle fractures, two open fractures where the bones were showing, and a polytrauma from a motorcycle accident.
Nevertheless, residency is a part of every podiatrist career. It is where we are tested on what we have learned from school and how we cope with the new information we learn each day. If you or anyone you know are interested in podiatric medicine, feel free to come visit us either in our Frederick office or our Urbana office. One of our amazing doctors at Frederick Foot & Ankle would love to help answer any questions you may have about podiatry or what it is like to be a podiatrist.
By Brenna Steinberg