Last fall, members of DMU’s American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine Club (AAPSM) enjoyed “Friday Night Lights” with more professional learning and not so much drama as the popular NBC television program.
“The Sports Medicine Club talked with me about different ideas for interacting in the community in ways that use their podiatric skills and interests,” says R. Tim Yoho, D.P.M., FACFAS, dean of the College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery (CPMS). “This was a way for them to see different kinds of injuries and work with the trainers.”
With that idea in mind, AAPSM President Lauren Wurster, D.P.M.’16, called or e-mailed the activities directors at central Iowa high schools to discuss the group’s goals – to get more involved in the community, to learn from the schools’ athletic trainers and to work with the student athletes. Through the football season, two CPMS students attended the home games at Des Moines East, Dowling Catholic and West Des Moines’ Valley high schools.
“All the students enjoyed interacting with the trainers and athletes and getting to tape ankles along the way,” Wurster says. “With so many games, there also were opportunities for lots of different experiences.”
They ranged from observing treatment of injuries to talking with the trainers about common sports injuries, education for athletes on types of shoes, and screenings for hip and knee issues. The students also observed the importance of the trainer-athlete relationship.
“It’s a big trust issue. The trainers are people who are getting you back in the game,” Wurster says. “We got to see the athletes’ reception to their trainers.”
The CPMS students’ sideline experiences were a plus for DMU and the podiatric profession, too. Kelsey Millonig, D.P.M.’17, and Riley Pett, D.P.M.’16, talked to the student athletes about podiatry while they taped their ankles or stood on the sidelines.
“A lot of the students were interested in what we were doing,” says Pett, the AAPSM vice president. “Maybe the influence we’ll have will open their interest to the career.”