Member Spotlight Archive - January

Deepika Ratnala
SCPM Class of 2020

Social Media Ambassador

Q: Why did you choose podiatry as a career?
A: I love the versatility of the career. Podiatry provides such a wide variety of patients & allows me the freedom to practice multiple levels of medicine.

Q: You're a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
A: Peony—Bright, sweet & makes an impact.

Q: What is your favorite vacation destination?
A: My favorite vacation was when I went to Little Corn Island, Nicaragua. This remote island was only 9 miles in diameter with no cars and minimal technology. It was nice to get away from the rest of the world and relax with the most beautiful views.

Q: What is your favorite social media platform and why?
A: Instagram—I can get updated on current events, catch up with friends and watch an unlimited amount of funny cat videos.

Q: Finish this sentence, "People would be surprised to learn that..."
A: ...English is my second language and I was born in India.

Ersta Ferryanto
DMU-CPMS Class of 2021
Social Media Ambassador

Q: Why did you choose podiatry as a career?
A: During my experiences shadowing I learned to admire many aspects of different medical specialties. I enjoyed the analytical aspects of radiology, the clinical aspects of family med, and the precision of ophthmaology. When I was welcomed to visit several podiatric practices, I witnessed the perfect intersection of all these interests. We are clinicians and surgeons and we can provide an immediate impact on our patients. I’m drawn to the immediate specialization we get in the lower extremity but that the variety of opportunities within that realm. On top of that, the work life balance is once of the best in medicine.

Q: What is your most played song?
A: It must be the Live in Los Angeles version of Vultures by John Mayer. My college roommate got me into listening to John’s live performances and I was hooked. His live albums are more blues focused and put his radio recordings to shame. Go listen!

Q: What is your favorite vacation destination?
A: Yosemite national park. My first visit reminded me of the oasis from the popular children’s dinosaur show The Land Before Time. It is a paradise with so much visual beauty that always eases my soul. All my worries dissolve staring up at the giant granite domes or laying under a perfectly lit starry sky. Every visit after that first has me in the same awe. Plus, there is no reception in the park so I don’t have to answer emails!

Q: Who do you regularly follow on Instagram? Twitter?
A: Surprisingly, up until recently I did not follow many medical blogs. My hobbies throughout high school and undergrad involved visual arts and photography. At any time, my social media feeds will be filled with film, street photography, or art blogs. My favorite photographer is Vivian Maier who worked as a nanny and whose critically acclaimed street photographs were accidentally discovered after her death and 40 years after her had captured them.

Q: Finish this sentence, "People would be surprised to learn that I..."
A: ...recondition my leather shoes every couple months. We’re in the foot business, what you put them in and how they look matters! Conditioning and waxing my loafers, boots, and shoes have almost become a de-stressor for me.

Deana Lewis
KSUCPM Class of 2021
Social Media Ambassador

Q: Why did you choose podiatry as a career?
A: I chose podiatry because I love that you can practice both medicine and surgery. As podiatrists, we are foot and ankle specialists, so one day I could be treating a diabetic foot, the next day, a sports injury. I was drawn to the field because of how versatile it is. Being an athlete my entire life, I knew I wanted to go into something that gave me the opportunity to work with athletes and sports injuries and podiatry allows me to do that and much more.

Q: You're a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
A: If I was a new addition to a crayon box, I would be a light ocean blue color. This color suits me because it reminds me of the warm summer time on a beautiful beach, with the waves crashing on each other and my toes in the sand. Anyone that knows me knows I adore hot weather and that a tropical beach is my favorite place to be!

Q: What is your favorite vacation destination?
A: My favorite vacation destination is Disney World by far! It’s my favorite because there is always so much to do and never a boring moment there. To be honest, I am also a kid at heart and some of my favorite movies to this day are Disney movies, so I enjoy going to Disney just to relive my childhood and be around some of my favorite characters! Not to mention the weather in Florida is phenomenal!

Q: Who do you regularly follow on Instagram? Twitter?
A: I regularly follow LeBron James (@KingJames) on Instagram and Twitter. I played basketball my entire life and he is my absolute favorite basketball player of all time. Not only is he a great basketball player, but I love what he has done for Northeast, Ohio, which is where I am also from. From opening up IPromise Schools to The LeBron James Foundation, he continues to give back to his community and I respect him so much for that.

Q: Finish this sentence, "People would be surprised to learn that I..."
A: ....have a twin brother! He’s about 25 minutes older than me. We were both born premature about 1 month early.



Justin Garvin
TUSPM Class of 2022
Delegate

Justin Garvin has been elected as the American Podiatric Medical Students' Association (APMSA) Class of 2022 Delegate for TUSPM. A Towson, Maryland native, Justin attended Mount St. Mary’s University, where he studied Biology, Chemistry, Philosophy and ethics. While at Mount St. Mary’s, Justin was able to make an impact through school involvement and his research on the presence of miRNA 1 in Muscular Dystrophy. Justin went on to obtain a Post-Baccalaureate in Health Sciences from Lake Erie College of Medicine, which sparked his admiration for medicine.

Suffering from a severe flat foot deformity, Justin was exposed to the field of podiatry early on. Through his operation and recovery, he formed a bond with his podiatric surgeon, Dr. Gary Pichney, DPM, FACFAS. When Dr. Pichney offered Justin an internship later on, he accepted enthusiastically. Justin feels that his own experience with a foot deformity and surgery allowed him to better empathize with patients that had a variety of pathologies and procedures. After shadowing a variety of specialties, he felt confident that his calling was in podiatric medicine.

In addition to medicine, Justin enjoys music and playing several instruments. He believes the discipline needed to play in an orchestra, and the precision and dexterity required to play instruments, will be an asset to him in his future career as a surgeon. Justin spent a year in corporate quality as a quality assurance analyst for McCormick & Co. He hopes to bring the discipline, business, and sales skills acquired there to the APMSA and provide a unique approach on how to help progress the field of podiatric medicine.

Ishani Jetty
SCPM Class of 2022
Alternate Delegate

Ishani Jetty has been elected as the American Podiatric Medical Students' Association (APMSA) Class of 2022 Alternate Delegate for SCPM. She says she chose Podiatry because it allows her to pursue both sports medicine and surgery, two things she is passionate about. Her interest in sports medicine began when she started lifting weights four years ago, and surgery allows her to combine science with craft to improve the lives on patients. This field allows her to serve patients of all ages and walks of life, from pediatric patients, to athletes, to dancers, and to the ever-growing diabetic population. Finally, the various avenues within podiatry, such as reconstructive surgery, biomechanics, and treatment of vascular disease will allow her to serve my community in a broad way. She came to North Chicago from South Florida. Her family moved here from Hyderabad, India when she was 4 years old, and has called Florida home ever since.

A few of her favorite things are: Hyderabadi Biriyani for food, reading as an indoor activity and hiking as an outdoor activity. If she wasn’t in school and could go on a vacation she would like to go anywhere that’s warm, close to the ocean, and with her friends, family, and dog Scooby!

When asked who should would chose as a mentor (living or deceased) she said, “Vincent van Gogh, hands down. He was a genius so far ahead of his time, I’m sure there is a lot I could learn from him.” If she could work on a famous person’s feet she would choose Serena Williams! She says, “not because I want her to be injured- I just really want to meet her.”

Lifting weights is a small change that she has made in her life that has had a big impact. Not only did weight-lighting make her body stronger, but it is how she manages stress, how she learned to focus, and how she learned that perseverance and hard work will reward you, as long as you’re consistently doing your best.

When asked who has had the largest influence on her life she said, “Definitely my parents. They have worked so hard my entire life to give me these opportunities that I will always be grateful for. I am thankful they raised me with similar values and work ethic, and wouldn’t be me without them.”  When she was younger she thought she’d be either a writer, or a chef. She hopes to still be these things outside of her professional career as a podiatrist.

Ishani joined Scholl after getting her Master’s degree at Rosalind Franklin University the year before. She came into our program knowing the rigor that our institution required of students. When asked to tell us her secret to success she said, “teach what you’re learning, out loud, to your pet. The best way to tell if you’ve learned something is if you are able to teach it. Plus, my dog listens attentively, doesn’t ask questions, and will always be excited, even if I mess up!”


Mitchell Booth
DMU-CPMS Class of 2022
Delegate

Mitchell Booth has been elected as the American Podiatric Medical Students' Association (APMSA) Class of 2022 Delegate for DMU-CPMS. Mitchell grew up in West Jordan, Utah where he learned that he loved to run. As he grew up he would compete in track and field as well as cross country in high school and even did a little bit of coaching. His love of running would fuel his desire to learn more about the lower extremity and biomechanics which would in turn spark his interest into Podiatric Medicine. As he shadowed and looked to expand his knowledge of medicine, one of the things that stuck out the most to Mitchell was one podiatrist who always joked that podiatrists are the “surgeons who sleep”. This along with the ability to provide a variety of treatments ranging from conservative care to surgery, has majorly impacted Mitchell’s decision to apply and ultimately come to DMU to become a podiatric physician.

Interestingly enough, one small change that has made a big impact in Mitchell’s life is going to bed at 9:30 PM and getting eight hours of sleep each night. He says that it has made a huge impact on his “mood, energy levels, and productivity at school”. Mitchell also shared his best study tip for other students. “Be mentally where you are physically. This is something I haven’t perfected quite yet, but I’ve noticed it helps. If I’m in anatomy, focus 100% on anatomy and don’t worry about that biochemistry test coming up. If I’m at home, focus on my wife and daughter. I’m way more efficient if I can compartmentalize my life like that.”

When Mitchell is not studying, he is running or spending time at home with his wife and daughter. He values the time that he gets with his family and tries to spend as much time with them as he can. People would also be surprised to know that Mitchell knows all the words to all the “Weird Al” Yankovic songs! Mitchell is extremely enthusiastic about the podiatric profession and can’t wait to help advance the goals of the APMSA. We are excited and fortunate to have him in our House of Delegates.

Amar Alkhafaji
DMU-CPMS Class of 2022
Alternate Delegate

Amar Alkhafaji has been elected as the American Podiatric Medical Students' Association (APMSA) Class of 2022 Alternate Delegate for DMU-CPMS. Dallas, Texas is where Amar Alkhafaji calls home. When he isn’t studying hard in school, he loves being outdoors fishing, playing basketball or volleyball with friends, as well as travelling. People would be surprised to know that Amar has had the opportunity to visit over 30 countries! However, his favorite vacation destination is right here in the United States, at Yosemite National Park. Amar enjoys the “breathtaking scenery and peaceful serenity” that he feels there.

This goes hand in hand with one of the small changes that he has made in his life that has made a huge impact for the better. Amar now dedicates 5-10 minutes every morning to meditation, to help clear his mind and keep him focused in order to tackle all the stressors that podiatry school can throw. Amar has another study tip that was given to him; He was once told to study like it is a full-time job. “Clock in at 8:00 and finish up around 5:00, leaving time for the people and activities that contribute to your happiness and wellbeing.”

Amar is incredibly enthusiastic about this profession and has been elected to be the DMU-CPMS Alternate Delegate. He says, “I chose Podiatric Medicine as a career because it is one of the few medical specialties that can provide versatile, multi-faceted care to a critical part of the human body. The Podiatric profession is unique and rapidly evolving in all the right directions, and I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of it.” Amar will make a wonderful addition to the APMSA House of Delegates.


"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."