Student seeks ways to advance podiatry

Ted Butterfield, D.P.M.'12
Ted Butterfield, D.P.M.'12

Growing up in Pleasant Grove, UT, Ted Butterfield was often told he was a natural leader whom others would gladly follow – even, he admits, “sometimes in mischievous ways.” The American Podiatric Medical Students’ Association affirmed his leadership abilities by honoring him with the association’s 2011 Leadership Award at its House of Delegates meeting this summer in Boston.

“It probably took me longer than most to realize they were talking about me,” Butterfield, D.P.M.’12, says of the awards event.

The APMSA Leadership Award is presented to the member of the APMSA House of Delegates who has consistently worked to further the organization’s goals and has shown outstanding leadership both locally and nationally. Butterfield was elected his first year at DMU to serve as an APMSA delegate throughout his time as a student in the College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery. That led to his becoming the student liaison to the National Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners, which administers the exams for the licensure of podiatric physicians. He helped convince the board to offer Part II of its exams, taken by fourth-year students, in January as well as in March and May.

“That was a huge change. It makes a big difference because it means students have another opportunity, prior to residency matches in March, to pass the exam,” Butterfield says.

He pushed for the change for two years. When another delegate resurrected the idea at a board meeting, Butterfield again made his case. “I grew up wrestling, and we had a quotation on the locker room wall: ‘Luck is 90 percent preparation and 10 percent opportunity,'” he says. “When the opportunity arose at that meeting, I took it.”

Butterfield praises the preparation and leadership experiences he’s gained at DMU and in the APMSA.

“Whatever credit I’ve gotten for this leadership award, I feel a lot of it goes to the other [APMSA] delegates. They’ve been such a great group to work with,” he says. “Going forward, I would love to be in a position to do whatever I can in whatever small way to advance podiatry and help people see the important role it plays in the health care system.”

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