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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
Concord, NC

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
Royston, GA

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
Washington, DC

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
Howell, NJ

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
Houston, TX

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.

The next AAPPM seminar is coming up on November 7-9 in Daytona Beach, FL.


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
Naperville, IL

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/


Dr. Marlene Reid is currently a Board of Trustee for the Illinois Podiatric Medical Association as delegate to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) and a former trustee to the APMA Political Action Committee, a past president of both the Illinois Podiatric Medical Association and the American Association for Women Podiatrists and former Chairman of the APMA’s Public Education and Information Committee.
Dr. Reid’s academic interests include women’s foot health issues, women’s shoes, practice management topics, edema and etiologies, chronic vs acute tendon pathologies and regenerative medical approaches to healing tissues. Because of her experience in PR, public education and marketing, Dr. Reid has become a nationally recognized expert on internal marketing for podiatric practices and has lectured over the years on marketing and related practice management topics as well as academic topics.
She practices in Naperville, IL at Family Podiatry Center with her husband.

Gina Saffo, DPM
Greenbelt, MD

Throughout the year there are several meetings to choose from; and I select my meetings for different reasons.

I really enjoy going to The National at least every other year. The seminar portion is good and the different tracks make it interesting, BUT the vendor hall and the political information is even a better reason! Plus, I enjoy finding time to reconnect with a variety of colleagues/doctors.

I also choose some regional/local/state meetings for the same reasons as The National , but on a more local, smaller scale. Bottom line, I choose seminars that give me not only quality educational information, but also political- networking-practice management advice.

As far as lectures go, I enjoy those that present new and innovative ideas/items; whether it be a procedure, or a new drug/medical device, etc. I try to keep up with latest and greatest in podiatry – even if I may not use it in my practice… I still want to know about it.

I am always impressed with a lecture that gives me at least one “pearl” to take back to use in my practice . This is many times worth sitting in the dark hall and listening to the speaker. I also enjoy speakers that are personable and who relate to the general audience. Plus a sense of humor helps to keep the audience on their toes!

I don’t love it when meeting destinations are in warm locations if the scientific agenda is all day long. It’s just too hot. For example, if I’m going to a meeting in Hawaii it’s very difficult to sit in lectures all day. In these types of situations, attendance should be recorded four times a day and not all at different times (like when some are AM in and out; and then PM in and out.)

It would also always definitely be helpful if conference chairs and organizers would communicate in a stronger manner who the speaker is and what the lecture is about in advance.

Again, I thoroughly enjoy exploring the vendor hall. I like learning in more detail the new products available to use as practitioners, and looking at what I am using now to see if there are advances in how to use them, or if there is an updated version.

Seminar specials are always welcome; many times this pushes me to purchase that item was previously only on my “Wish List. ”

In the last two years, I always tell my peers and colleagues to attend The National. It is, overall, worth the money per CME hour, the vendor hall and networking.

Additionally, the AAWP Seminar is smaller, but always at a great location and educationally fulfilling!


Dr. Saffo is a Diplomate of the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery-Board Certified in Foot and Ankle Surgery and a Fellow of the American Society of Podiatric Surgeons. She is a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association, Maryland Podiatric Medical Association, and past President and current member of the American Association for Women Podiatrists.
Dr. Saffo is currently on staff at Doctors Community Hospital in Lanham, MD where she was Chair of the Podiatry Division in the Surgery Department from 2000 to 2008.
Dr. Saffo graduated from Temple University Podiatry school and is an active member of their Alumni Association. After graduating from Podiatry School, Dr Saffo did her surgical residency in Western Pennsylvania and then moved to Maryland where she has lived and practiced since.

Jonathan Moore, DPM
Somerset, KY

When I’m considering which meetings to attend, there’s one major point in my mind – practice management. I must walk away feeling like I learned something new about how to improve the processes of my practice which will a) be practical so myself or my staff can implement immediately, and b) will continue to help my practice gain more revenue. I seek out lectures regarding the best reimbursements, ancillary services and proven investments.

For that reason, the AAPPM meetings are events I rarely miss. AAPPM and other organizations like IFAF (International Foot & Ankle Foundation for Education and Research) and the Podiatry Institute tend to do a good job of providing content to attendees that are actively practicing.

I find more value from podiatrists who are implementing their recommended strategies and protocols every single day over other types of lecturers that are overly academic. The practicality of the former vs. the latter provides much more value to me in addition to merely earning credits.

I’m also a physician that’s going to spend a fair amount of time in the exhibit hall because I’m always looking for products and services that will help me run a more efficient and profitable practice. When vendors know and understand coding and compliance, that speaks volumes to me. When vendors do not have a strong understanding of how their products are reimbursed, their credibility tends to lessen.

I’m already planning for a fantastic experience this November at the AAPPM Fall Conference in Daytona, Florida. Plus, Florida is a great location where I can bring my family and they can join in on the travel fun. It’s difficult to find time for family vacations, so in addition to the practice management aspect of a meeting agenda, the locations that offer family fun are very important to me.

Dock Dockery’s IFAF meetings tend to always be in a destination-type location, which I appreciate. Additionally, there are a couple of Podiatry Institute meetings that have appealing attractions and activities that I try to be aware of.


Dr. Moore received his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree from the California College of Podiatric Medicine in 1999. He subsequently completed a three-year podiatric medical/surgical residency including a Diabetic Foot Fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center.
Dr. Moore is widely published on numerous foot and ankle-related topics and serves on multiple professional boards. He was also named as one of Podiatry Management’s most influential podiatric physicians in America.

Alec Hochstein, DPM
Great Neck, NY

I attend several seminars throughout the year – both to lecture and to learn.

There are many conferences that have outstanding speakers and lectures on the agenda, so I definitely also consider where the meeting is being held. When choosing a conference, I am initially drawn to those in destinations that are interesting to visit. I love NOLA !

Plus, as I’m preparing to head off, I always make sure to scope out amazing restaurants in the area. Often, we don’t have time to sight-see during a conference, so eating a great meal or two is a good way to feel like you still get to experience the area. Being a busy practicing physician, I don’t get to travel much other than for work so I try to make the most of it!

Some of my favorites to attend are the Podiatry Institute meetings. My top-choice location of those seminars is Newport, Rhode Island. Dan Vickers does a great job putting these meetings together and the content is always relevant and useful in my practice.

Of course as a New Yorker, I always attend the NYSPMA in January and enjoy seeing old friends and colleagues.

I am on the board of the American Society of Podiatric Surgeons (ASPS) so I have to give a shout-out to their annual meeting which takes place soon. August in Chicagois a great time of year to visit the Windy City!

When I’m at a meeting and we have lecture breaks, I enjoy making the rounds in the exhibit hall to visit with vendors I have relationships with, as well as to learn about new products I could see being a good fit for my practice. It’s surprising how often I see something new that has promise, after I thought I had already “seen it all.”

We all know that attending conferences means taking time out of our practices, which can cost us. Because of this, I try to be very strategic with my choices. I don’t usually attend the same ones every year because I have found that each meeting is different and has something unique to offer.


Dr. Hochstein is a 1997 graduate of the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, and is currently in private practice as owner/operator of Great Neck Family Foot Care in Great Neck, NY on Long Island’s North Shore where he lives with his wife and two children .
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