33-2 Podiatry and Medicine in the Age of Social Media

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» Since its very inception, social media has disrupted areas of life that we’d have never expected.

In the younger days of the internet, most early adopters were unaware of what would evolve from a time-consuming habit into a necessary part of daily life. What began as a fad, social media quickly grew to invade many internet users’ social lives. However, it has simultaneously grown into an absolute necessity in the realm of business, and healthcare is not immune. For this issue, I have had the privilege of steering my colleagues’ gaze toward the powerful, turbulent and often daunting sea of unpredictability that is social media’s impact on the way we operate as podiatrists. Like ancient sailors without the guide of navigation, podiatric physicians must wade into these waters with care.

In this issue, I have gathered residents and alumni from some of the top programs in the nation: Ascension St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, IN, Chino Valley Medical Center in Chino, CA and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, PA. These young podiatric physicians provide insight from peer- reviewed publications regarding the impact of social media upon healthcare, ranging from how social media use has impacted residency programs during the COVID-19 pandemic, to the weighty impact of these platforms upon healthcare communities in China.

In his Feature Article, Dr. Miguel Rodriguez (one of the top podiatrists in the Los Angeles area) provides insight into how podiatric physicians can leverage their social media presence to tip the scales toward positive results, both for their patients and for their own training and practice. This topic has been a favorite of mine over the years, as it continues to evolve as the platforms themselves do. What used to be a monopoly of internet users on “MySpace” is now ancient history, after less than fifteen years! I’m excited to see how the weight of current social media platforms affects healthcare, compared to earlier platforms and those ahead.

In her Audio Lecture, my good friend (and “celebrity bae”) Dr. Sarah Haller talks about the role that social media has played in her spectacular rise from student, to resident, to fellow and practitioner, and finally to reality TV star surgeon. Being based in Los Angeles, I’ve known a few podiatrists that have taken the plunge into the entertainment industry, but Dr. Haller has truly mastered the impossible task of balancing day-to-day patient care and surgeries with reality show filming.

In smartly investing her time into her own social media and podcast presence, our second Lecturer Dr. Tea Nguyen has built one of the top practices and coaching platforms for women in podiatry. She has never been shy about her opinions and commentary on her social media, and she provides us with a talk about how she built her “online empire” from the west coast.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to bring together these important perspectives for you as the reader. Overall, social media will continue to evolve and so this issue will not be the final say. Someday in the not-too-distant future we may be discussing “Podiatry in the Metaverse,” and I’m all for it.

Wenjay Sung, DPM, FACFAS

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The ideas and opinions expressed in Foot and Ankle Quarterly are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Editor or the Publisher. Publication of an advertisement or other product mentioned in Foot and Ankle Quarterly should not be construed as an endorsement of the product of the manufacturer’s claims. Readers are encouraged to contact the manufacturer with any questions about the features or limitations of the products mentioned. The Publisher does not assume any responsibility for any injury and/or damage to any persons or property arising out of or related to any use of the material contained in this periodical. The reader is advised to check the appropriate medical literature and the product information currently provided by the manufacturer of each device or of each drug to be administered to verify the dosage, the method and duration of administration, or contraindications. It is the responsibility of the treating physician or other healthcare professionals, relying on independent experience and knowledge of the patient, to determine drug dosages and the best treatment for the patient.


Data Trace Publishing Company Continuing Education Mission Statement

Data Trace Publishing Company is committed to providing high-quality print and internet-based enduring continuing education programs, including lectures, feature articles, and condensations and commentaries on current clinical podiatric topics and medical risk management topics which lead to improved delivery of patient care and help reduce the potential for medical errors. These programs are provided to meet the educational needs of the podiatric medical profession and thereby enhance the quality of patient care.

Program Objectives

Foot and Ankle Quarterly (FAQ) is a unique program designed to help today’s podiatric physician manage an ever-increasing flow of information. After completing the Foot and Ankle Quarterly, Volume 33 program, the learner should be better able to: develop and refine a perspective on current treatment recommendations, updates, and advances pertinent to podiatric practice; evaluate the implications of the learned information as it pertains to the diagnosis and treatment of podiatric disorders and societal issues and barriers, and; apply current trends, standards, and best practices into learner’s own practice.

Data Trace Publishing Company Continuing Education Accreditation Statement

Data Trace Publishing Company is approved by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME) as a provider of continuing education in podiatric medicine. Data Trace Publishing Company has approved this activity for a maximum of 6 continuing education contact hours (CECHs). Physicians should claim only the contact hours commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Estimated time to complete activity: 6 hours
Date of release: September 16, 2022
Expiration Date: September 16, 2025 (unless further validated and extended by provider). For amended dates of activity expiration, please see FAQ Activity Effective Dates at www.datatrace.com).

Commercial Interests

No commercial interest provided financial support for this continuing education activity.


Participants of Volume 33, Issue 2 will receive a maximum of 6 CECHs for a correctly-completed CME Answer Form. In order to qualify for CECHs, a score of 70% or more must be achieved on the written examination material. Any participant who does not pass the first time may take the exam one additional time (within 90 days of receipt of results). One retake test may be taken for a fee of $15. You will be responsible for notifying your state of the number of contact hours you have received.

Participants are required to complete a course evaluation for use in developing future issues and to meet the unique educational needs of podiatric physicians.


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Article Authors and Lecturers

  • Arwa Akram, DPM (n.)
  • Marc Alvarez, DPM (n.)
  • Bethany J. Badell, DPM (n.)
  • Sarah Haller, DPM (1. Data Trace Publishing Company)
  • Kayli A. Hurst, DPM (n.)
  • Tzu Lu Lin, DPM, (n.)
  • Robert Middleton, DPM (n.)
  • Tea Nguyen, DPM (1. Data Trace Publishing Company)
  • Neil Patel, DPM (n.)
  • Miguel A. Rodriguez, DPM (1. Data Trace Publishing Company)
  • Wenjay Sung, DPM (1. Data Trace Publishing Company)
  • Blake Wallace, DPM (n.)
  • Faiza Zahid, DPM (n.)

FAQ Journal Planning Committee

  • Chrissy Wesolowski (n.)
  • Kimberly Collignon (n.)
  • Lauren Molander (n.)
  • Stephanie Wu, DPM, MSc (n.)

Foot and Ankle Quarterly 33-2 Contributors

Guest Editor
Wenjay Sung, DPM, FACFAS
Partner, Global Podiatry Partners, Arcadia, CA


Arwa Akram, DPM
Resident Physician, Ascension St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis, IN

Marc Alvarez, DPM
Bethany J. Badell, DPM
Resident, Ascension St. Vincent, Indianapolis IN

Sarah Haller, DPM, FACFAS
Private Practice, Hoboken, NJ; Fellow, Foot and Reconstructive Rearfoot Surgery, American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery; Fellow Member, American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons

Kayli A. Hurst, DPM, MS
Resident, Ascension St. Vincent Indianapolis Podiatry Residency Program, Indianapolis, IN

Tzu Lu “Lily” Lin, DPM

Robert Middleton, DPM, PGY-1
Podiatric Resident, Ascension St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis, IN

Tea Nguyen, DPM
Board-Certified, Minimally-Invasive Foot Surgery and Podiatric Medicine and Surgery; Surgical Director/ Owner, Pacific Point Podiatry, Santa Cruz, CA; Founder, Coaching with Tea, LLC

Neil Patel, DPM

Miguel A. Rodriguez, DPM
Chairman, Department of Surgery, Monterey Park Hospital, Monterey Park, CA

Blake Wallace, DPM

Faiza Zahid, DPM
Resident Physician, Chino Valley Medical Center, Chino, CA; Clinical Faculty, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA

In This Issue:

  • FEATURE ARTICLE: The Role of Social Media in Podiatric Training, Practice and Patient Outcomes
    Miquel A. Rodriguez, DPM
    • Social Media Utilization Trends in Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic
      Commentary by Blake Wallace, DPM
    • Social Media Use among Foot and Ankle Orthopaedic Surgeons
      Commentary by Neil Patel, DPM
    • Istagram and Pilon Fractures: An Analysis of Social Media and its Relationship to Patient Injury Perception
      Commentary by Miquel A. Rodriguez, DPM
    • How Health Communication via TikTok Makes a Difference: A Content Analysis of TikTok Accounts Run by Chinese Provincial Health Committees
      Commentary by Tzu Lu “Lily” Lin, DPM
    • Social Media and Healthcare, Part I: Literature Review of Social Media Use by Healthcare Providers
      Commentary by Kayli A. Hurst, DPM, MS
    • Social Media and Healthcare, Part II: Narrative Review of Social Media Use by Patients
      Commentary by Arwa Akram, DPM
    • TikTok as a Health Information Source: Assessment of the Quality of Information in Diabetes-Related Videos
      Commentary by Mark Alvarez, DPM
    • TikTok and Public Health: A Proposed Research Agenda
      Commentary by Faiza Zahid, DPM
    • Social Media and Well-Being: Pitfalls, Progress and Next Steps
      Commentary by Robert Middleton, DPM
    • Global Trends in Plastic Surgery on Social Media: Analysis of Two Million Posts
      Commentary by Bethany J. Badell, DPM
  • AUDIO LECTURE 1: Social Media’s Impact on How I Practice Podiatric Surgery
    Sarah Haller, DPM, FACFAS
  • AUDIO LECTURE 2: Building a Professional Social Media Presence for Your Practice
    Tea Nguyen, DPM