Toronto podiatrist lectures at international foot surgery conference in Cleveland Ohio

 

On Wednesday June 20 2012 I boarded a plane in Toronto (and paid way too much in taxes) to fly to Cleveland Ohio for an international meeting of the Academy of Ambulatory Foot Surgery, where we teach surgeons to perform  minimally invasive foot surgery for bunions and other foot problems using local anesthetic .The conference was held at the Emabssy Suites in Independence, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine. 

This was exciting for me on many levels.

For one thing, I hadn't been to Cleveland in many years (decades). I was born and raised in Toronto and graduated from the University of Toronto in 1975 with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in 1975 (I was very young at the time). I then moved to  Cleveland to attend the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in September 1975. (To become a podiatrist you first must have a Bachelor of Science degree which is followed by four years at a college of podiatric medicine). After four years of hard work (and some fun with my mostly American class mates), I received my Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree or D.P.M. in May of 1979 (I was still very young). I then did a one year hospital based residency in foot surgery at the Broad Street (do you remeber the Broad Street bullies?) Hospital and Medical Center in Philadelphia which I completed in July 1980. (Current graduates are doing three year surgerey programs - unfortunately the Ontario government, in its finite wisdom, will not allow these graduates to practice in Ontario as podiatrists). I then stayed in Philadelphia to study minimal incision surgerey, also known as ambulatory foot surgery, and more recently, minimally invasive surgery, under one of the pioneers of the techniques, the late Dr. Abram Plon.

Getting back to Cleveland, this was a chance for me to see the new facilities at the new Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Independence Ohio as well as some of my old friends from school.

As I mentioned, it takes four years to get the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree. My class spent our first year (freshman year as they say in the U.S.) at a very small, old facility on Cornell Road on the campus of Case Western Reserve University.

In second (sophomore) year we moved into a new, modern, larger, renovated facility at 105 and Carnegie Rd. It was very exciting to be in a facility that was second to none in the podiatric world. My class graduated from that facility in 1979.

Approximately five years ago, the school building was sold to the Cleveland clinic, apparently for a lot of money and the school moved to its new, fabulous facility, in Independence. I was finally going to see it! (This is actually very exciting for a podiatrist). The conference was taking place in the new school, the students were invited to attend at no cost, podiatrists and orthopedic surgeons would be attending from all over Canada, United States, Latin America and even Australia and I had the honour of being invited to present  two surgery lectures to this distinguished group.

I arrived at the hotel Wednesday afternoon (how can you beat the Embassy Suites? $98.00 per night includes breakfast - thank you omlette guy - and afternoon snacks. This is what makes The U.S. great!) and immediately walked next door to the O.C.P.M. I couldn't wait to see it!

The new school is a very short walk from the hotel so I parked my bags and walked over.

I was fortunate to be able to get a short tour of the facilities. The rather large building featured modern, roomy classrooms with the latest computerized display boards, an up to date anattomy lab, a large library with row after row of computers where students can supplement their classes with online tutorials, a nice lunchroom and plenty of administration offices. While I was there, I managed to pick up some O.C.P.M. jerseys, since, as of July 1 2012 my alma mater was becoming part of Kent State University (I wonder what Neil Young would think about that) so the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine was becoming the Kent State University of Podiatric Medicine. Those jerseys will undoubtedly become collectors items.

That evening, as one of the trustees of the Academy of Ambulatory Foot and Ankle Surgery, I attended our board meeting where we elected my good friend, Dr. Ed Cohen, as the new president of the academy. I had the honour of being asked to be a trustee for another year. I accepted.

Later that evening, after the meeting, I had the pleasure of having dinner with my best friend in podiatry school, Dr. Rustom Khoury, and his lovely wife Mary, at their home in a nearby suburb. It was great to see them.

In a future blog I will tell you a little bit about the seminar.

Me with Dr. Cohen

New president, Dr. Cohen on the left. That's me on the right.