New podiatric residency in Des Moines

The cases and physicians involved in a new podiatric medicine residency in Des Moines will greatly benefit the DMU graduates who experience it. But the residency will serve Iowans, too, by training and keeping more podiatric medical physicians in the state.

Created by the College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery (CPMS) and Iowa Health System, the three-year residency program – through Iowa Methodist Medical Center – is one of only three in Iowa and the only one in Des Moines. The residency was established through the combined efforts of Eric Barp, D.P.M.’01, FACFAS, and Linda Bratkiewicz, D.P.M.’91, FACFAS, both podiatric physicians with Iowa Health and the CPMS administration. Bratkiewicz was appointed director of the program early in its development.

“This residency encompasses every aspect of foot and ankle reconstructive surgery. Residents will complete several rotations in internal medicine, pathology, rheumatology, general and vascular surgery, behavioral medicine and other areas,” Bratkiewicz says. “That’s important, because we’re part of a large medical group. It really benefits the resident as well as patients to have that team approach.”

The residency offers a high number of and wide variety in surgical cases, she adds. Another advantage is the strong support of the directors and staff of Iowa Methodist’s five other residency programs.

“They bent over backward to support it,” Bratkiewicz says. “A lot of programs don’t have that camaraderie or financial commitment. All our residents are paid the same salary and benefits, and more than most podiatric medical residencies.”

The residency received provisional approval from the Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME) in October. The program is partially funded by a grant from the Iowa Osteopathic Education and Research Fund for its first three years.

Roger Drown, D.P.M.’09, the program’s first resident, says he “took a gamble” by pursuing it when it was applying for CPME approval. But he knew he’d benefit from working with Bratkiewicz and Barp; he and his wife, Lisa, and their five children also wanted to stay in Des Moines. He’s come to appreciate the “great enthusiasm for teaching” among the physicians and staff he works with.

“Iowa Health takes very good care of their students and residents,” he says. “I think this will be one of those programs that students will seek, because of the people involved, the hospital it’s affiliated with and the community it’s in.”

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