Education: DPM 2021, BS
Why did you choose your WesternU program?
I chose the WesternU College of Podiatric Medicine program because of the emphasis on an interprofessional approach to education and medicine. This program encourages students to go beyond the scope of what is typically expected. I am able to work and learn alongside medical students in the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific. This opportunity provides a wholesome view of the scope of medicine that I can apply to future practice. This shared curriculum challenges students to broaden their knowledge specifically in the podiatric field and in all aspects of medicine.
Education: DPM 2018, BS
How has your involvement in co-curricular activities (e.g. clubs or student government association) impacted you and/or the community you serve?
Serving among the American Podiatric Medical Student Association has strongly impacted me as a government of students for the students as we engage with all of the professional podiatric organizations. The people I have met and the interests that we advocate has taught me more about our profession, politics, and needs as we gain a seat at the table.
How have you seen the University’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family?
Medical school comes with highs and lows. The deeply humanistic philosophy of our students has been demonstrated time and time again during both the academic and clinical years as I have seen students support one another with daily life, celebrations, condolences, tragedy, opportunities. This is a uniquely special family that fights for good and is always there to support one another.
Education: DPM 2018, B.S. Biology
How has your involvement in co-curricular activities (e.g. clubs or student government association) impacted you and/or the community you serve? Being a Student Ambassador has been one of the most rewarding things I have done while attending WesternU. As a Student Ambassador, I get a lot of interaction with prospective students, including participating in preview days and being a part of the interviewing-student’s interview day. At preview days, I get to help educate people about both Podiatry and the Podiatry program at WesternU. There are many fields of medicine and by educating prospective students about podiatry, they get to see what a great field this is and be able to make a truly informed decision about which field of medicine fits them. For those people who decide Podiatry is the field for them and get to interview at WesternU, I am there at their interview day to answer any questions they have about the program and/or the school and also give them a tour of the campus. Being able to be part of the process of someones journey into podiatry is truly rewarding.
Brittany Rose Mammano
Education: DPM 2019, B.S. Biology
Describe an engaging aspect of your program and why you like it. The podiatry program has given me numerous opportunities to get involved in leadership with on campus events and clubs. I also enjoy that we are assigned a student “big buddy” to help us navigate studying, professors, and how to balance everything. Additionally, we are assigned a faculty mentor to help us succeed in our chosen careers. I have also had the chance to volunteer in several podiatry-specific community service events, and this motivates me to study harder for my exams in classes.
What would you tell a prospective student about WesternU? I think WesternU is the best institution to receive a well rounded education in podiatric medicine because we are trained as physicians first, and foot and ankle specialists second. In just my first year at WesternU, I already feel like I have been equipped with the skills I need for a career of life-long learning. The classes and professors have challenged me to think critically and be a better problem solver. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned in such a short time. I also love that we are taught to see patients as a whole, which means that we learn to see them from a compassionate and humanistic perspective. Another reason I chose WesternU because I felt that this university provides academic support and a well balanced environment to help me adapt with this new phase in my life.
Pedro Aldape Esquivel
Education: DPM 2019, BA Chemistry
Who at WesternU has made you feel supported and how?
The entire CPM faculty and staff has been very supportive. They will go out of their way to answer any question you may have. Dr. Harkless has been at the center of it. He holds monthly townhall meetings where he addresses any questions we may have and encourages students to visit his office to discuss any issues they may have with the college or podiatry in general.
Education: DPM 2018, BSc 2013
How have you seen the University’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family? I wanted to come to a new podiatry school looking to be at the forefront of developing podiatric care.
How did your involvement in co-curricular activities (e.g. clubs or student government) influence your personal life? It has made me a more pro-active person. More willing to stand up for and advance my profession, as well as more willing to go out and become comfortable with the surrounding underserved community.
What would you tell a prospective student about WesternU? That it is the place to be if you want to be a well-rounded health professional with an edge for compassionate care.
Education: DPM 2020, BS
Why did you choose your WesternU program? I chose the DPM program at WesternU so that I can be challenged and get the best training I need to succeed as a future Podiatrist. After much research during my application period, WesternU’s DPM program was unique compared to the other programs in many ways. These include having an integrated curriculum with the Osteopathic Program, learning clinical skills in the Essentials of Clinical Medicine course, and obtaining skills in inter professionalism in the IPE course.
What would you tell a prospective student about WesternU? WesternU CPM is the perfect choice for you if you are looking for an institution that embodies professionalism and care. The program here not only trains you to be a Podiatric surgeon, it also trains you to be a well rounded healthcare professional.
V. Kathleen Satterfield, DPM
Which student clubs are you involved with (as an advisor or otherwise) and what impact have your experiences had on you and/or the community served? I’m currently advisor for the Student Chapter of the American College of Foot and Ankle Orthopedics and Medicine. Podiatry is primarily known as a surgical specialty but as students mature and find out all that the field offers, it has been rewarding to see them excited about attending a national conference and learning from the profession’s medical leaders. They realize their futures are bright.
Have you taken advantage of the research opportunities offered at WesternU? Please describe your research and it’s importance. My research has been in the field of academia, an emerging area in podiatric medicine. This is an important time in the discipline of podiatry, as students’ educational experiences merge with those of allopathic and osteopathic medicine and they complete a standardized three-year residency program. Podiatry is becoming recognized as a specialty much more than as an isolated profession.Read more about me…
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.
Which student clubs are you involved with (as an advisor or otherwise) and what impact have your experiences had on you and/or the community served? Extremitas student journal, Podiatric Practice Management Club. The student journal has increased the chances for students to do scholarly work, write, and publish. It also improves leadership and team building skills.
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.
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.Read more about me…
Read more about the sauropod project
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.
Rebecca Moellmer, DPM, BS
Which student clubs are you involved with (as an advisor or otherwise) and what impact have your experiences had on you and/or the community served? I am the faculty advisor to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine student chapter. We are fairly new to campus and have been working to provide more hands-on workshops and lectures focused on local sports in the LA area. We hope to augment many of the hands-on lessons of CPM while increasing student awareness to various sports, lower extremity related injuries and their treatment.
What would you tell a prospective student who’s considering becoming a student at WesternU? Be prepared to study hard while you are here and definitely take advantage of the club workshops and community outreach events. Not only do they augment your skills you but they energize you with new interactions within the community. They are here for your benefit. Four years goes by very quickly and WesternU graduates candidates who are very well-prepared for residency training.
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.
What one or two elements of your education proved to be the most valuable to you in your career? CPM students are always treated and expected to act and perform on par with our DO/MD counterparts at our hospitals, and our immersion in the different clinics and ORs is excellent for hands on learning. I found that my time on other services was equally as important to my time on podiatry because it made me a better thinker overall- how to work through a differential diagnosis, how to apply classroom knowledge to complicated patients, how to come to the OR prepared and develop hand skills. The first two years are important- you need exposure to the content- but the height of my learning came from taking that knowledge and applying it to real patients with the help and guidance of our respected and quality faculty and non-pod clinicians we work with. Being on the other side of things now, and thinking back on how many times I heard residency directors and clinicians we work with comment on the quality of the thought process and approach of WesternU students again highlights for me the importance and impact of the 3rd and 4th year clinical experience.
Why did you choose WesternU? I chose WesternU because of the quality of education that I knew that I would get, the excellent faculty and the amazing clinical experiences that WesternU provides for students. I was very impressed with the well-rounded medical education that I received as a student. I particularly was impressed with the very obvious philosophy of educating well-rounded physicians first and specializing in Podiatry after lying the foundation of medicine. I have learned to really treasure this model and have found that it allows me to better treat my patients. The clinical experiences at WesternU really set this school apart from others in my opinion. The ability to train in county hospitals, along side other medical students and given the autonomy to practice and understand medicine in this environment was key to my education. The faculty at WesternU are world-renowned and more importantly are interested and passionate about educating the students.
Nathanael T. Smith
Describe your best clinical experience and why it was memorable. Working at the VA in West LA I had the opportunity to work with a veteran that had been thrown from specialty to specialty without any real improvement in his leg pain. Since I had seen this type of pathology and knew how to treat it, he had drastically improved in over just a week. We had the chance to talk about his journey and how he was so happy that he finally could have some resolve in his pain. It was an awesome feeling to know I was able to make that big of a difference by simply providing proper care.
How have you seen the University’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family? I see it every time any of us see a patient. The difference between a WesternU grad and another comparable school is we learn to treat the person and not just the pathology. This is something that patients in the real world identify with and appreciate on an entirely different level.
Why did you choose WesternU? I chose WesternU because from the first time I stepped onto the campus during the interview, it felt like home. Dr. Harkless, the Dean of the College of Podiatric Medicine, was extremely welcoming and immediately felt like a mentor to me. The faculty were equally as approachable, and I could tell that I could they would be lifelong teachers to me. I also loved the inter-professional approach that the campus embraced, since this is how the real world and hospitals work.
How did your involvement in co-curricular activities (e.g. clubs or student government) influence your personal life? Being involved in co-curricular activities significantly influenced my personal life. It taught me many leadership skills and trained me to become a more well-rounded individual. By balancing the responsibilities of school with extra-curricular activities, I was able to better utilize my time and discover what was truly a priority in my life. It also allowed me to build personal relationships with fellow classmates, and also meet podiatrists in the surrounding communities whom I still continue to be in contact with til this day.
What one or two elements of your education proved to be the most valuable to you in your career? Our faculty, especially the one and only Dr. Harkless, has done an incredible job of cultivating a culture of teaching and didactics amongst fellow students. The mantra of ‘see one, do one, teach one’ has resonated with me ever since leaving WesternU and has been invaluable during residency. Every day is a new opportunity to pass down and gain new knowledge, and this realization is in large part thanks to my experience at WesternU.
What would you tell a prospective student about WesternU? The classroom and clinical experiences this program provides does not prepare you to survive the intensive 3-year surgical residency that looms ahead. It prepares you to grow and thrive in it.