Member Spotlight Archive - February

Kush Desai
TUSPM Class of 2020

Q: What are you most proud of doing since attending TUSPM?
A: I founded the student chapter of American Society of Podiatric Surgeons (ASPS) in hopes of expanding the knowledge, network, and opportunities available to my fellow colleagues.

Q: Why did you choose podiatry?
A: My grandparents moved from India when I was born. They practically raised me while my parents were working two jobs each. As I got older, I wanted to be able to help my grandparents since they always do so much for me. One day I was taking my grandfather to get a pneumatic walking boot and the lady working there was impressed with how much I knew about my grandfather’s situation. She then proceeded to tell me about podiatry. After that encounter, I researched more about the field and after shadowing a few times, I decided that I wanted to become a podiatrist.

Q: What are your favorite activities to do in Philadelphia?
A: I enjoy playing soccer in the park, trying new restaurants, finding new speakeasy bars, and going to the movie theater.  

Q: Share one small change you made in your life that had a big impact.
A: I started to go to the gym in the mornings. I found I was too tired to go in the evenings. At first I thought that it would be tough to wake up early, but I actually end up feeling more refreshed after my workouts and my days usually feel better overall.

Q: What is something on your bucket-list that you hope to complete soon?
A: I actually just recently crossed something off my bucket-list. I went to Turkey and was able to ride a hot-air balloon over Cappadocia, which was stunning and a surreal experience. I really enjoy traveling and hope to be able to visit as many countries as possible. 
Q: Finish this sentence, "People would be surprised to learn that I..."
A: ...was on a dance team in college and that I still sometimes dance in my free time.

Jae Yoon Kim
CSPM Class of 2021

Q: Why did you choose podiatry as a career?
A: Growing up, I spent a lot of my childhood in the medical office of my father. As a result, I naturally wanted to become a dermatologist like him. However, with a season ending knee injury followed by misdiagnoses which eventually ended my football career, my desire to become an orthopedist overpowered the childhood dream that I had in the past. Every step I took after the delayed surgery was a reminder that I needed to become a good orthopedist, so no other kid goes through what I went through. During the process of applying to medical school, I found out about the podiatric medicine. Even though the filed is limited to lower extremity, it gives me an opportunity to specialize in 2 areas of the medicine that I wanted ever since I was a kid.

Q: What is your favorite meal?
A: Ribeye steak - cooked rare plus

Q: What podcast are you listening to now?
A: Dr. Sanchez's pathology podcast

Q: What do you binge watch when not studying?
A: "Psych"    

Q: If you could choose any mentor (living or deceased) who would it be and why?
A: My parents. The amount of sacrifices that they have made to get me to the place I am today, is one of the many reasons why I think of my parents as my greatest mentors. 

Q: Share one small change you made in your life that had a big impact.
A: I sent an email to a friend from middle school, whom I had not talked to in 4 years. Now, she is my amazing wife.

Chris Duersch
AZPOD Class of 2021

Q: Why did you choose podiatry as a career?
A: I chose podiatry as a career for a variety of reasons including a love for medicine and people, flexible work hours, surgical opportunities, and a career that is continually growing with so many new opportunities to further expand the field.

Q: What is your favorite meal?
A: My favorite meal would definitely be some Texas Roadhouse steak, mashed potatoes, and rolls.

Q: What are your favorite hobbies?
A: My favorite hobbies include playing soccer, racket ball, pickle ball, lifting weights, and playing the piano. Most of the time after we finish a test, I will go to the music room on campus and play on the piano for an hour or so to help me calm my nerves. I find music to be one of the most calming and relaxing things to relieve the stress and to feel calm and relaxed. My music of choice for piano is anything Yanni. My wife even sometimes gets sick of me listening to it when I study at home.

Q: What famous feet would you like to work on?
A: If I had the opportunity to work on some “famous feet”, I would definitely want to work on Yanni because I absolutely love listening to and playing his music and on John Stockton, a former NBA point guard and legend for the Utah Jazz. Stockton was a childhood hero of mine, and I have always wanted to have the opportunity to meet him or maybe play some one on one with him.       

Q: Finish this sentence, "People would be surprised to learn that I..."
A: … the lead singer in a rock band in high school. We even had a CD that we recorded our music on and won 1st place in a battle of the bands in Idaho Falls back in 2008.

Benjamin Klopfenstein
DMU-CPMS Class of 2021

Q: What has been your most interesting experience since arriving at DMU?
A: The overall academic rigor has been intriguing to me.

Q: What is your favorite meal?
A: My favorite meal is a four-way tie. I love shrimp and grits, seared scallops, sushi, and beef liver with onions.

Q: If you could choose any mentor (living or deceased), who would it be and why?
A: My mentor would have to be Plato. He is arguably the greatest philosopher of all time and provides the foundation for thought in his book, "The Republic."

Q: Share one small change you made in your life that had a big impact.
A: Powerlifting and making efforts to do some sort of physical training everyday has been a stabilizer in my life.

Q: What would you title/name your autobiography?
A: Redefining Country

Q: Finish this sentence, "People would be surprised to learn that I..."
A: ...have been to 16 different countries in my lifetime.

"The American Podiatric Medical Students’ Association is the national, student-led organization that serves as the collective voice for all podiatric medical students. We are committed to the protection and advancement of student rights and interests by advocating in legislative and educational arenas. We provide resources to our members to assist them throughout their education as they transition into podiatric residents and physicians."