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Phoenix VA Health Care System

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Podiatry Externship / Residency - Podiatry FAQs

Podiatry Externship Links: Mission Statement / Program Description / Rules and Regulations /   
Podiatry Residency Links: Mission Statement, Introduction, and Contact Information / Application / Goals and Objectives 

  1. Is the externship essential to attaining a residency position?

    No, the externship's primary goal is an educational experience aimed at helping students develop their academic and clinical skills. However, the monthly rotation does allow the attending physicians serving on the VAMC Residency Training Committee an opportunity to assess the student's demeanor, knowledge, rapport with patients, as well as their knowledge and understanding of podiatric medicine and surgery in a variety of situations rather than limiting the experience to one or two 20-minute brief interviews.

    Therefore, please understand, common sense dictates that if you perform well, and are received well over the course of an externship, you would have distinct advantages toward attaining that residency; whereas, if you do not perform to the best of your ability, it would significantly degrade your chances.

  2. Do you have to be a specific gender, religion, race, ethnicity, or a graduate of a specific podiatry school to obtain this residency?

    No, absolutely not. It in no way helps you to be of a certain gender, religion, race, ethnicity, or graduate of a specific podiatry college.

    The VAMC is a nondiscriminatory body that has, and will continue to choose residents based on performance, ability, knowledge, and willingness to be at the Phoenix VAMC.

  3. Can the externship hurt my chances for attaining a residency position?

    Yes and no. If the student performs well, it will enhance the chances to attain a residency. If the student performs poorly, then it certainly would not be looked upon favorably by the selection committee.

  4. Do I have to interview for the program if I have completed the externship?

    Yes, but the interview can be performed at the end of your externship. Most students find that it is in their best interest to interview at CASPR after significant time spent developing their skills and refining their knowledge to be in the best position to show "what they know."

    If you feel ready after one month of being a fourth-year student, then certainly arrangements may be made to accommodate such a request.

  5. Do I have to be ranked No. 1 in my class to have a chance at being selected?

    No. Externs and residents are selected from applications and interviews. Performance in the classroom aids in assessment of the applicant, but in no way determines performance in the clinic.

    It significantly helps to be in the top 25 percent of your class. You must demonstrate strong classroom and clinical skills, be a motivated participant in the learning process, be ethical in professional and social settings, and be willing to commit to three years of hard and demanding responsibilities.

  6. Will I get to do any research while a student or resident at your program?

    Absolutely. Research has a strong presence in the Podiatry Section with several clinical studies underway at any given time. Residents are required to be actively involved in research from the first year on to completion. They will be given opportunities to produce posters and abstracts and to give oral presentations at seminars about the research conducted at the VA.

    Student involvement is more peripheral because of the transitory nature of their visit. Nevertheless, they will be exposed to projects involving the latest in technology and pharmaceuticals in multiple areas of podiatric medicine.

  7. This is a program based at a Veterans Affairs hospital. Will I get to see any female patients or children?

    Students will see some women but no children. However, residents will treat large numbers of female patients and see many children while on outside rotation in the Phoenix area.

  8. What is the overall number and variety of surgical procedures in this residency program?

    Residents completing this three-year residency have consistently performed more than DOUBLE the minimum number of surgical procedures required for accreditation by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education.

    There is great variety involving all types of podiatric surgery including diabetic limb salvage, trauma, complex reconstructive surgery, and all of the primary "bread and butter" procedures performed in the typical practice.