Amy Kruger, D.P.M.’15, envisions her profession earning more parity with other health care specialties and greater acceptance by other providers and patients. She anticipates increased collaboration among podiatric physicians and other providers in improving patients’ lives. She worked toward all those goals as a student in DMU’s College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery (CPMS).
For her broad range of leadership, advocacy and service activities, last fall Kruger was selected by her podiatric peers nationally as the 2014 Student of the Year of the American Podiatric Medical Students’ Association (APMSA). One student from each of the nation’s nine podiatric medical schools is selected by their classmates to receive that school’s honor; at CPMS, the student receives a $500 scholarship. From the nine students selected by the schools, the APMSA student delegates choose the Student of the Year, which includes a $1,000 scholarship.
“It’s a great honor. I felt a lot of the podiatric schools had strong candidates,” says Kruger, on rotation with St. Luke’s University Health Network in Allentown and Bethlehem, PA. “I did try to get involved at DMU as much as I could.”
Indeed: A member of every CPMS student organization, she represented her class for two years on the college’s student government association and served during her second year as co-editor of Footnotes, the college’s student-produced newsletter. Fluent in Spanish – thanks in part to the year she spent in Puerto Rico, teaching English, before she enrolled in CPMS – she participated as a care provider and translator during two DMU health service trips to Honduras.
For all her accomplishments, Kruger credits her college and profession for her success.
“DMU has one of the best podiatric programs and a friendly community,” she says. “I like the variety of pathologies and the wide variety of patients and their ages that podiatric medicine offers.”
Her national title is even more special because it was the brainstorm of Valerie Tallerico, D.P.M.’10, when she was an APMSA delegate and president of the Iowa Podiatric Medical Students Association, the CPMS student government.
“I proposed it to the APMSA delegation because I had looked around at different awards for osteopathic and allopathic students, and there was really nothing similar from a podiatric standpoint,” she says. “It’s unique in that it’s students picking a student who is trying to advance the profession, promote their college and be active in the community.”
Tallerico has done so herself. She and her spouse, Kosta Antonopoulos, D.P.M.’10 – who were married two days before they started their residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center – are the two podiatric physicians at UnityPoint – St. Luke’s Hospital in Sioux City, IA.
“We developed the podiatry clinic here. It was like starting our own practice in a hospital setting,” Tallerico says.