Education: BS, Biology – Cal Poly Pomona, 2007
MS, Health Sciences – WesternU, 2009
About Sonia: She was born and raised in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which was known as Zaire. Her father is a professor, and her mother owns a small business. She has an older brother and sister. She speaks three languages; French, English and Lingala.
Why WesternU?: She chose WesternU because she loves Southern California, and after getting her master’s degree here, she felt comfortable with the size of the University, liked that she knew everyone, and believed in the school’s mission. “He (Dr. Harkless) talks to you and he’s open, doesn’t look down on people. That’s what I like about him. To me, if everyone in a leadership position was like him, maybe the world would be better.”
The WesternU Family: “For our welcome week, the president of the University invited the whole school to his house for ice cream. I had never heard of anything like that.”
Education: BS, Kinesiology – University of Southern California, 2009
In the Spotlight: Michael recently wrote a fascinating editorial providing insight into some of the new approaches being used to educate DPM students at WesternU. The article was published by Residency Insight.
The First Podiatric Medicine Class at WesternU
Reaching the Tipping Point by Michael Corpuz
“The levels at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable … the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.” I was immediately intrigued by Malcolm Gladwell’s definition of the title of his best-selling work, The Tipping Point, when I read the book one summer ago, months before the first year for the new College of Podiatric Medicine at WesternU officially began. Though the concept is discussed largely in a socioeconomic context in the book, I realized… read the rest of Michael’s article
Education: BA, Integrative Biology – UC Berkeley, 2007
Her Journey: Julia was born and raised in Khabarovsk, in the far eastern region of Russia and immigrated to America when she was 12. As a middle school and high school student, she volunteered in hospitals and learned that she liked the challenges of being a doctor and the dedication medicine requires.
Lobbying in Washington DC: Julia is the University’s class delegate for the American Podiatric Medical Students Association (APMSA). “I was there when President Obama signed the health care bill. We went and lobbied to get podiatric physicians included in Medicaid as physicians. We want parity, and this is where it starts.”
The Patient Care Center: “You are not going to grasp everything from a book. The foot is so complicated; you really need to see it in action”. Julia can’t wait to “jump in” with rotations at the on-campus Patient Care Center.
Interprofessional Education (IPE): “IPE is good for us as future podiatric physicians because a lot of people don’t know what we do. It gives us a chance to educate other professions on campus about our profession. I learn interesting facts about dentistry, veterinary medicine, nursing, physician assistant, optometry, etc. It also gives us a chance to network which will be important since most of our patients will be referred from primary care.”
Education: BA, Spanish – University of Utah, 2009
About Josh: He was born in Amarillo, Texas. His father is in the security business and his mother is a nurse. He has four brothers, one of them an identical twin. Josh is married and has a 3-year-old dog. He’s an avid outdoorsman.
Community Service: Josh takes part in the Pomona Health Career Ladder program helping local youth get a better understanding of the University and the profession of podiatric medicine. He’s also takes part in community health fairs offering free health services to those in need.
Why Podiatric Medicine: “I’ve always feared being bored, but podiatric medicine is so diverse. We have diabetic foot care all the way to pediatric and even sports medicine.” He realized podiatric medicine would be a perfect fit because it will allow him to run his own medical practice, be a family man, and keep his interest and excitement levels high.
Why WesternU: Josh was hooked when he asked Dean Harkless what the College could do for him and was told, “We are going to make physicians that not only know how to practice medicine, but know how to care for a patient.”
State-of-the-Art Facilities: The Health Education Center facilities “reaffirm that WesternU is trying to make huge advances in health care and the way that we learn, and this surpasses any of my expectations.”
Education: BA, Biology – Case Western Reserve University, 2008
About Adam: Adam was born in Southern California and raised in Granada Hills. His father is a building engineer and his mother is a teacher’s aide who works with special needs children. He has two older sisters who went to college on basketball scholarships. He was a star high school hoops player himself.
Why WesternU: Adam chose WesternU because he was excited at the prospect of being part of a new program and because he believes in the vision of the college. He’s proud of the new campus’ buildings. He calls the Health Education Center (HEC) home and likes the growth and direction of the University.
The Faculty: “I appreciate the approachability of our faculty. They are an invaluable resource for students as well as a great source of encouragement. They take time to hear our concerns and are always willing to work with us to find a solution.
Diane Koshimune, DPM, MS
What would you tell a prospective student who’s considering becoming a student at WesternU? If healthcare is where you see yourself, Western University has the program for you. The University is a close knit family, which fosters a sense of community and mutual respect. Support systems are integrated throughout the experience to provide students with assistance, should they need it.
The College of Podiatric Medicine specifically offers a new way of teaching podiatric medicine. The model differs in that information is broken down based on problem (i.e. nails, diabetic foot, flatfoot, etc.), rather than ‘subject’ (radiology, biomechanics, surgery, etc.). What you need to know about the problem is presented in a manner that loosely coincides with how you would encounter it later in clinical practice. Concepts are brought together in a logical manner.
V. Kathleen Satterfield, DPM
How do you think the interprofessional education (IPE) curriculum will enhance student’s professional lives? This is my area of research interest and so I truly can say that this will make a difference in their lives and we have evidence. By participating with IPE, the students learn the full scope of each others’ training and can therefore make informed referrals. This will better the outcomes for their patients. It will also make the practitioners’ lives so much better.
I always give this example: You are a podiatric surgical resident admitting a patient with an infected limb. Your patient is also on dialysis and septic. You must titrate her dose of antibiotics to fit the situation. Rather than struggle with figuring out the creatinine clearance, you remember that your Pharmacy colleague from IPE is in the hospital so you call her up and ask for advice. This is their area of expertise and they give you the recommended dose. Then you turn to your DO friend, who was also in IPE, and ask for an ID consult on your patient. Your patient will also need a PT consult after your Chopart’s amputation, and she will need excellent nursing care. Good thing that the nursing supervisor was in your IPE group as well. It goes on and on. This is a medical team and that is what IPE is all about.
Jarrod Shapiro, BA, BS, DPM
What aspect of the curriculum do you feel will most benefit graduates and why? The case-based curriculum which combines small group practical case work-ups supplemented with large group discussions to fill in the blanks creates thinking physicians.
Mathew Wedel, PhD
How do you think the interprofessional education (IPE) curriculum will enhance student’s professional lives? The image of the country doctor with the little black bag is romantic, but medicine is so complex now that comprehensive care is beyond the ability of any one person. Team-based care is not the coming thing, it is the current reality, and by teaching our students to work in multidisciplinary teams we are acknowledging that reality–and preparing our students to meet it.
Why did you choose to work at WesternU? A big part of why I chose WesternU was to help make a difference. Training physicians is not like teaching other kinds of students; the information load is higher, and so are the stakes. But it’s an enjoyable challenge and at the end of the day I know that if I do my job well, in a small way I am helping these future physicians do their jobs well. You can’t beat that.
Have you taken advantage of the research opportunities offered at WesternU? I’m a paleontologist and when I’m not teaching anatomy I work on sauropod dinosaurs, the giant long-necks. My research is on the evolution of large size and long necks in sauropods. Sometimes I get to describe new dinosaurs, too–earlier this year my colleagues and I named Brontomerus, whose name means “thunder thighs”, in reference to its giant hip muscles.
Dr. Wedel has a joint faculty appointment with the College of Podiatric Medicine and the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
Lester J. Jones, Jr., DPM, MS
WesternU distinctive: Interprofessional education will provide an opportunity to work with other professions for the common good of patients. In addition, IPE presents an opportunity for you to be trained in a comprehensive manner as a physician and surgeon who will practice podiatric medicine and surgery as your area of specialization.
Most valuable aspect of a WesternU education: Our comprehensive approach to medical education. We are training you to be a physician just as much as any medical school would.
On interprofessional education: IPE provides students with an opportunity to be well-versed in what other professions bring to the table as well as what you bring to the table for the benefit and welfare of the patient.
DPM, Class of 2013
The College of Podiatric Medicine expects to graduate its first class in 2013. The concept of developing competent physicians that engage in the practice of Podiatric Medicine has positioned the WesternU CPM as a leader in assuring the podiatric medical graduates truly become physicians and surgeons as their allopathic and osteopathic colleagues.