Our profession is poised for an explosion. The recently completed Workforce Study on Podiatric Medicine by the State University of New York at Albany provides challenges to our profession over the next three decades. The study revealed several interesting facts: 1) Podiatric physicians currently provide approximately 40 percent of foot and ankle care in the United States; 2) because of an aging population, obesity rates, and the epidemic of diabetes, our profession will need to triple its number of graduates in the next three decades just to maintain its current market share; 3) failure to meet that need means that less-qualified practitioners will be relied upon to provide foot and ankle services.

While this study presents an enormous challenge for our profession, it provides us with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to grow our profession, increase our sphere of influence in health care, and, ultimately, be recognized as the physicians we are. Any...

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