04/08/2019 Tilden H Sokoloff, DPM, MD
Using a DPM Degree Outside of Podiatry (David Secord, DPM)
Kudos David Secord, DPM, you are so right on. You
did go to medical school as did your classmate
that you wrote about. You obtained a DPM and your
colleague a DPM, MD. I too am a card-carrying AMA
member and can agree with your conclusion 100%.
Let’s take your premise a step further. Today
many medical schools( I am using that term as a
collective for MD/DO education) are in a 3 year
mode and based on PBL, problem-based learning. No
more irrelevant 2 year basic science and two year
Clinical Science. In fact each problem teaches
the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, physiology
as well as the clinical aspects of the presenting
problem. This is the way your brain works when
you approach a patient leading to a differential
diagnosis, diagnosis and treatment plan.
In fact you may never touch a cadaver in some
medical schools, as the anatomy is taught through
Harvard is changing its focus to a wellness based
curriculum, rather than a sickness-based
curriculum; a total paradigm shift.
I happen to be an MD as well as a DPM. My
education and residency program prepared me well
to obtain the MD degree and all of the steps that
lead to licensure.
There is a very old provincial thought process
that MD’s and DO’s possess this level of training
that surpasses a DPM. It has permeated our
professional culture which leads to statements
“The essence of my characterization of the DPM
degree is that actions speak louder than words.
And generally the words which come from those
outside this profession are that the DPM degree
is not held as equal to the MD degree. As such,
the DPM degree has not been respected nor
rewarded in the same manner”
To show you how long this has existed; in 1972, I
published a paper,” The Podiatrists Total
Responsible for The Patient,” this was heresy but
led to me giving that paper at the National APA
Meeting in Philadelphia the following year.
In California, a DPM does complete history and
physical examinations for admission to hospital/
surgery centers. He or she can be first assistant
on any surgery and be paid for that service,
Chief of Surgery, Chief of Staff. Sounds to me
like every other specialty physician functions.
I am really not interested in old school
thinking. We are the only specialty practiced
outside Medicine. We are not dentists,
optometrists, although a DDS in certain oral
surgery residency programs can obtain an MD
degree and be licensable.
We as DPM’s are well qualified to sit for the
USMLE, COMPLEX Examinations. Four weeks of
pediatrics, OBGYN, psychiatry are the additions
needed p to our curriculum. Easily accomplished
by cutting hours in podiatric surgery and
biomechanics. Way too many wasted hours in these
subjects. We have orthotic labs today who
fabricate orthotics, we need to know what to
order and why and the biomechanics for their use.
Surgery should be exposure, let residency teach
that in depth.
In ending, words do matter and the schools of
podiatric medicine, APMA, AMA,
and the LCME have to resolve the stuff that lays
in the weeds to accomplish this goal.” We just
need to accept the inevitable, a DPM/MD/DPM are
all training men and women to become physicians.
Once the common exam is passed and accepted by
the AMA, AOA, and LCME, the licensing bodies
across this country will conform to the new “kid
Tilden H Sokoloff, DPM, MD, Ketchum ID
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