VOICE OF THE DPM
PodiatryMeetings.com offers podiatric physicians a unique opportunity to speak their voice in an effort to gain a stronger understanding of what types of meetings they find valuable in regard to content, location, organization, cost and more.
Kevin McDonald, DPM
I practice gestaltism when deciding which seminars to attend with many factors contributing to the decision including:
Location | Dates | Meeting Agenda | Sponsoring Organization
Lately, I have been stimulated by lectures from non-podiatrists (i.e., dermatologists, orthopedic oncologists, vascular surgeons, radiologists, pharmacists, etc. We need to learn from a wide range of specialists, in my opinion.
I also like to see interesting cases and complication management as part of the program.
As far as lectures, I generally try to stay away from…. I don’t like it when people can tell what company is sponsoring the lecture being given due to the slant of the presentation.
However, in the exhibit hall, I like to learn about new products and services as well as touch base with my current vendors. I realize that the exhibitor fees help keep my registration fees down so I try to visit as many booths as I can.
I have come across some surprisingly valuable information by visiting booths that were simply along the path to the coffee station.
If I were to recommend a meeting to my peers and colleagues… well, I work for the North Carolina Foot and Ankle Society Seminar , which provides a lot of bang for the buck. There are a lot of good seminars out there, however.
Dr. McDonald is the president of InStride Family Foot Care in Concord NC. Dr. McDonald has been a past president of the North Carolina Foot and Ankle Society, a former director of the Georgia Podiatric Medical Association, and coordinator of the NCFAS medical assistant education program. Dr. McDonald’s certifications include the American Board of Podiatric Surgery and the American Board of Podiatric Orthopedics and Primary Podiatry. He is also a certified specialist in wound care and shockwave therapy. Dr. McDonald is a current fellow at the American Academy of Podiatric Practice Management and the American Professional Wound Care Association.
Ira Kraus, DPM
I enjoy going to meetings where I can see old friends and visit fun places.
When I go to a seminar I look for a few things as it relates to the lectures…
Because I have a personal interest in critical limb ischemia, I look for lectures that increase my knowledge and keep me up to date.
I also like to look at lectures that incorporate helping my practice grow by helping make better business decisions that correlate with my medical decision-making process. In other words, I believe that we are in the business of practicing medicine and I want to tie good business decisions to great medical care.
Because I’ve experienced meetings as an exhibitor too, I seek meetings that have strong traffic and logistics. I wish more meetings had events in the exhibit hall other than just meals and scanning that actually drove the attendees to come to the exhibit hall.
I think there are a few good meetings out there and it depends on what an attendee is looking for.
Some of the larger meetings allow you to catch up with classmates who may not be practicing in your state; but what I have really learned is that as a vendor (Talar Medical) I have found the small state society meetings are often better, as I get more time to interact with colleagues and potential new clients. It also gives attendees a better chance to chat with vendors and not be rushed.
The larger meetings that I like are the APMA National , The Western , NY Clinical , SAM and ACFAS . I am a big fan of the PI meetings as well.
Dr. Ira Kraus was a member of the APMA Board of Trustees 2006 -2019 serving as President 2017-2018 . He currently represents APMA as the AMA CPT representative. Dr. Kraus is board certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and is a fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, American Podiatric Practice Management Association (AAPPM). He is Director of New Business Development for Extremity Healthcare consisting of 65 physicians in three states. In addition to his expertise as a board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Kraus holds a B.A. in Economics, and has lectured nationally on practice management and billing and coding for many years.
Dennis Frisch, DPM
Boca Raton, FL
When I go to a seminar, the main aspect I look forward to is an eclectic assortment of lectures… unless I am trying to brush up on a specific area of study.
I find lectures that get straight to the point to be the most beneficial to my every-day practice; it seems these lectures are usually provided by actively practicing physicians. I really enjoying hearing the pros and cons of a question or concern regarding the given topic.
When it comes to areas of improvement for most of the seminars I’ve been to, I would say acknowledgment that if you are in a resort area or special location that there should be some down time. I know that if I want to get a lot of hours in, then I choose a seminar at a location that does not offer many distractions.
I like to go through the vendor hall and see what is new or improved. I usually walk the entire hall initially and then zero in on specific exhibitors. I especially appreciate the exhibitors who understand that I may initially be seeking information and am not yet interested in buying.
In the last 2 years, the seminars that I would refer to my colleagues over most others include SAM an the APMA National. I am most familiar with these two meetings and I know how much time the organizers have put into upgrading and improving the educational content and the variety of topics. If you haven’t been lately… you are missing out.
I’d also like to add, that as a meeting organizer, it would be most helpful if people would take an extra minute to fill out surveys to help determine what future content would be included or what changes should be made.
Dennis R. Frisch, DPM, is a board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon at Boca Raton Podiatry in Boca Raton, Florida. He’s twice been named one of the top 150 most influential podiatrists in America, and he has received the Florida Podiatric Medical Association (FPMA) Podiatrist of the Year Award and the FPMA President’s Award.
M. Joel Morse, DPM
When I go to a seminar I am there for new content and new speakers. I rarely go to a seminar just to earn CME. The other aspect of going to a seminar is the building of relationships with other doctors . As you know, you can learn a lot from another clinician!
I want to build relationships with other doctors both for my clinical evolution as well as my personal growth. Most of the attendees at the seminar have a lot in common with me already, and finding the ones who sync with me is just as important as learning some Monday morning information to test out on the next patient.
When it comes to the lectures that I get value from… because I am a solo practitioner and do in-house billing, I am interested in BOTH the clinical part of running a practice, as well as the coding and billing arm of the practice. In both cases…what you don’t know…..can hurt you, so I split my time between scientific lectures and practical coding, billing, marketing, and team building.
For meeting progress… there are many speakers who are not good public speakers and it becomes hard to pay attention and listen to them for a 30 minute session. I like it when the seminar has added discussions and roundtables amongst speakers and less of the single doctor reading a slide to me that I am capable of reading myself. With the advent of smart phones- there is a audience response system known as Kahoot which allows the audience to participate in quizzes and this can stimulate a boring seminar to make it more interesting.
I also enjoy going through the exhibit hall, and I want exhibitors who have products which relate somehow to the lecture topics. I do not want a hall that has exhibitors that just want to make a buck. This is long term – I want to get to know everyone.
Again, I know we need a minimum number of CME for licensure but I tend to pick seminars for their content rather than for their price and proximity. I also want to hear new speakers and topics which are not at all of the podiatry seminars.
My interest in skin and nail disease points me in the direction of the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting which is perhaps the ultimate of the larger meeting events.
For the smaller more manageable derm-centric meeting I am biased toward the DERMfoot Seminar (which I do help run) as the topics are new and exciting.
In terms of the practice management meetings – one may want to consider the annual FABI ( Foot and Ankle Business Innovations) event. I recently learned more about marketing than I was ever aware of and it was fun and interesting.
Dr. Joel Morse is Board certified in Podiatric Surgery, Podiatric Orthopedics and Primary Podiatric Medicine, and is a fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. He has practiced in Washington DC since 1991 and is an associate clinical professor at Georgetown University Medical Center, where he sees patients and performs surgery. He is also on staff at Sibley Memorial Hospital and Washington Hospital Center. He is actively involved with the Podiatric Surgical Residency at that hospital. He is also on staff at a surgery center in Wheaton, Maryland (Burkland Medical Center) for most elective surgery. Dr. Morse is the past president of the American Society of Foot & Ankle Dermatology and was the president of the American Society of Podiatric Dermatology for more than 10 years. He has been in private practice for over 24 years.
Hal Ornstein, DPM
When I’m looking for seminars to attend, I always make sure to seek those out that have content which will help me add something new to my practice or enhance what I already do. My favorite types of lectures are those that relate to practice management and office administration.
I definitely look at the faculty listing because quality of speakers is important to me when choosing a seminar. I particularly enjoy lecturers who tell stories; stories about how what they’re teaching has improved podiatry and/or stories of their personal experiences utilizing the principles in the lecture. I also like lectures that are shorter vs. those that drag out too long.
I think it’s important for speakers to be more objective toward all products and services even if they are being sponsored by a company. But I do love learning about new products and services; those are the types of things that draw me to the exhibit hall.
Dr. Ornstein has been in private practice for over twenty-five years and currently serves as Medical Director of Affiliated Foot and Ankle Center, LLP with an office in Howell, New Jersey. He is a Distinguished Practitioner in the National Academies, has given over 250 presentations internationally and has written, along with having been interviewed for over 300 articles on topics pertinent to practice management and serves as consultant for array of companies in the podiatry community.
Andrew Schneider, DPM
When I arrive to a meeting, I look forward to takeaways that I can implement immediately in my practice.
This can be a new technology, technique, or procedure. It can also be a pearl that I’ve heard that will add to the efficiency of my practice.
If there are different lecture tracks that I can choose from at a meeting, or if I’m able to review an agenda ahead of time, I generally look for what’s new.
I often scan the program and mark what looks new, innovative, and interesting. I also look for dynamic lecturers who I have heard before and I can rely on to provide excellent content.
I think some seminars become formulaic and reliant on the old “stand by” lectures. Unfortunately, little in these lectures change from time to time and end up not being able to hold the attention of the room.
I look forward to walking the exhibit hall. Again, I’m looking for new and innovative…things I haven’t seen before.
Having been to meetings for many years, I also look forward to spend time with the reps who I have come to have know.
Interestingly enough, they are also on the lookout for “what’s new” and often steer me in the right direction
I am a huge fan of the American Academy of Podiatric Practice Management . These seminars have a great combination of CME scientific content along with non-CME practice management and marketing lectures.
The interactivity of these seminars never fail to send me back home with pages of action items to implement.
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a graduate of Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine and completed a comprehensive residency at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in East Orange, NJ. He is board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Orthopedics and Primary Podiatric Medicine and a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association and the Texas Podiatric Medical Association. Dr. Schneider assumed the role of medical director of Tanglewood Foot Specialists in 1998.
Dr. Schneider continually attends medical seminars to learn new procedures to benefit his patients. He was one of the first in Houston to use MicroVas therapy to aid in reversing diabetic peripheral neuropathy and heal chronic wounds. He strongly believes that this technology is a key to saving diabetic limbs and maintaining a high quality of life.
Marlene Reid, DPM
I generally have three different reasons for choosing the meetings I attend (other than the ones I may be lecturing at).
First, I look for meetings that are singularly focused – either on a component of our profession that I love, such as practice management, sports medicine, regenerative medicine or surgery; or an area of our profession that I am interested in exploring. This October I will be lecturing at and attending the Academy of Minimally Invasive Foot and Ankle Surgery to see how I may incorporate the newer ideas and theories of MIS into my surgical practice.
Second, I look for meetings where I will be able to socialize, gain professional awareness and informal discussions with colleagues such as my state association meeting or the APMA National . That being said, I am only interested in going to those that have enough lecture topics that are relevant to my practice.
Finally, both in my “before-kids” life and now as an empty-nester, I look at destination meetings.
I know that many meetings like to talk about the “Monday morning” take away from a meeting; but honestly, I look for lectures that can change the direction of my practice.
With health care changes quickly affecting every aspect of our profession, I want to find ways to keep me motivated and excited about podiatric medicine.
I appreciate lectures that give enough information on a given procedure or treatment so that I can incorporate ideas immediately into my practice, but I also get excited about ideas that require me to do my own research!
I find it frustrating when there are multiple tracks with topics that are similar or represent topics that are appealing to a certain type of practitioner. I would prefer that the tracks be very distinct so that I would not have to choose between lectures.
Most Association meetings need to appeal to their entire membership. In an ideal world, one track would be geared toward surgery and the other is geared toward diabetic or wound care.
Like most who attend conferences, I use the exhibit hall for the opportunities to connect with colleagues as much as I do for professional advancement. However, I usually commit one day to really looking at the exhibits to see what I can add to my practice or to make my practice life easier.
I usually have a few things in mind prior to attending a conference to look for, but I try to keep an open mind. I try to support the exhibitors as much as possible and have the goal of buying one new thing or adding one new company to my practice with every meeting I attend.
Without exhibitors, professional conferences would not exist as they do today and it is important to support those that support our profession.
I must add that I have become increasingly frustrated by the number of non-medically related vendors I have seen at many conferences over the last few years.
I believe in taking advantage of unusual opportunities!
In 2020, the third podiatry conference and trip to Israel will take place in May, sponsored by American Health Care Professionals and Friends for Medicine in Israel.
The previous trips were incredible and provided opportunities to learn in a variety of intimate settings while exploring an incredible country. DPMs can learn more at: http://apfmed.org/mission-in-israel-2020-podiatry-mission/