Ebonie Vincent, D.P.M.’15, M.B.M.S., considers podiatric medicine to be the “gem of the specialties” for its impact on patients’ quality of life and flexible practice options for its physicians. Her enthusiasm was evident while she was a student in the College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery (CPMS), during which she won prizes for oral and poster presentations at the DMU Research Symposium; in her postgraduate training in advanced surgical treatments at the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics/International Center for Limb Lengthening in Baltimore; and in the entrepreneurial way she built her practice with Orange County Podiatry in California, by networking with other providers and creating social media posts and YouTube videos to promote her services.
Those videos helped her land a starring role, beginning in 2020, in the hit TLC show, “My Feet Are Killing Me,” in which she and fellow podiatrists Brad Schaeffer and Sarah Haller treat real patients with everything from warts and foot fungus to more complicated and even dangerous conditions. In 2021, the program won an American Reality Television Award for best new cast.
“The program shows podiatric physicians as the medical professionals we are, what our scope of practice is and how versatile and valuable we are,” she says. “I praise DMU for its interprofessional education days, but we still have a lot of education to do.”
Also named the 2022 Rising Star of the Year Award by the California Podiatric Medical Association, Vincent enrolled in CPMS after earning a master’s degree in biomedical sciences at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, even though she felt pulled back to her home state, California.
“DMU was the best decision ever,” she says. “When I visited campus, I saw the University has all the resources, amazing staff and great professors. Everyone was really supportive. Des Moines also has a lot to offer. It felt like home to me.”
She was the recipient of a Glanton Scholarship, which supports minority students under-represented in medicine and the health sciences. As a speaker at the 2013 Glanton Dinner, a major fundraiser for the Glanton Fund, she expressed gratitude that her grandparents and parents prioritized education despite obstacles they faced, which assured her that “anything is possible.” She also was among the inaugural recipients of the DMU Diversity Champions Award for demonstrating an ongoing commitment to the ideals of inclusiveness, a quality she praises DMU for.
“The medical profession has a way to go in becoming more diverse, but you can’t have the numbers without institutions like DMU that give financial backing to scholarships and are open to having a diverse culture,” she says.
Vincent’s support for diversity and inclusiveness includes gender. As the only woman in her residency program for two of its three years, she was often shut out of the “boys’ network” whether its members were studying or playing golf together. She refocused her attention on positive action, including posting on social media about the knowledge she was gaining. She continues to promote her practice and conditions she treats on her website, Doctorebonie.com, and shares a variety of her videos on Youtube.com/c/drebonievincent.
“Amid the bumps and bruises, I would tell myself to be who I am, to not second-guess my intuition and to strive ahead,” she says.