From a very young age, I have always wanted to be a podiatrist. Podiatry runs in my family; my father has been a podiatrist since 1965. When I was a little kid, he used to take me to the hospital to do patient rounds. I remember him pushing me through the halls of the hospital in a wheelchair and being so thankful for the whole experience. Like most kids, I always thought it was a great day when I visited my dad at work. During summers in high school, I worked at his office and helped with the filing. I always knew I would follow in my father’s footsteps.
My father was the podiatrist for the Chicago Bears for years. I eagerly tagged along to practice whenever possible. The summer before my junior year of high school, the Assistant Trainer for the Bears, Brian McCaskey, asked me if I’d be interested in being a part of the training staff during the season. For the next two seasons, I helped in the training room and locker room before and after every Bears home game and even some away games. During games in the 1984 and 1985 seasons, I was the water boy. As the water boy, during time outs and during the two-minute warning, I got to run onto the field and be in the middle of the huddle in front of a stadium full of screaming fans. The 1985 season ended with a Super Bowl victory for the Bears. The thing that resonated most with me was the importance that the team and the players placed on all the doctors, including my father. The players talked to him with great reverence, and after games they would thank him for helping them. Hall of Famer Walter Payton was particularly fond of my father. You can imagine how much of an impact this all made on a 16/17 year-old teenager. This was certainly a defining experience in my life and further helped me in my decision to become a podiatrist.
I went on to graduate from Vanderbilt University and attend the Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago, where I met my eventual wife, Wendy, who is now part of our practice. I then attended residency at the Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia, which was part of the University of Pennsylvania network. Following residency, my wife and I traveled through Europe, visiting and training with 25 of the most well-known foot and ankle surgeons of their time. Meeting some of the world’s best foot and ankle surgeons was an incredible experience that has shaped a lot of what I have done in practice.
As a physician, I have to say one of my favorite conditions to treat for patients is bunion(s). I thoroughly enjoy working with patients to diagnose and treat their bunions. In fact, my father and I have pioneered the advancements in bunion surgery. We have named this procedure “Scarfoplasty”, developed in 1984 and backed by 30+ years of success. I have always lived by my father’s teachings that you are never good enough. You always have to study, learn, and find better ways to improve the lives of the people who trust you with their care. I have lived by this philosophy throughout my entire career. As a result, I have become very involved with research and have published over 50 articles and book chapters. I have served as the Editor of Foot and Ankle Specialist, the only combined orthopedic/podiatric peer-reviewed journal in the world. I have lectured in 11 countries on five continents and in 29 different states. I have pioneered new procedures and implants to improve the care of patients, most notably the Complete Plantar Plate Repair System. I have been the Fellowship Director at our Institution, which is the longest-running Fellowship in our profession and has graduated more than 20 Fellows. Today, I continue to focus on my patients and work diligently to grow our organization so we can improve the lives of even more patients. Our mission is to provide outstanding foot and ankle care in Chicagoland and throughout the entire country.
My wife, Wendy, and I have three children. One is in college at Southern Methodist University studying biomedical engineering. The other two are in high school at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and Lake Forest Academy. We are a very close family, and we always made it a point to have dinner together nearly every night. When the kids were growing up, I coached lots of baseball and attended innumerable other sporting events.
Today, we love to cook as a family. In fact, Wendy and I have attended many cooking schools together. Our children have picked up on this, and some of our best days as a family are spent cooking and laughing in the kitchen. We also love to travel, and we try to take our children to interesting places around the globe so that they can not only appreciate the world we live in, but also learn from other cultures. We have traveled to Tanzania, China, Australia, Brazil, Alaska, and Europe.
I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to share my talents with others. Treating patients is a privilege that I remember and am grateful for every day. There is nothing else that I would rather be doing.
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