Find Your Footing

A KSUCPM Publication for Prospective Podiatry Students


May 2016

Hello World!

It can be said that Graduation is a time of completion, of ending; however, it is so much more fulfilling to see it as a time for celebrating countless achievements and embracing new beginnings. On May 20th, Kent State University proudly shifted 107 former students to our growing KSUCPM alumni family.  

The Class of 2016 is particularly special, as it represents the class to have graduated in our Centennial year; it is the first class who was admitted into Kent State University following the merge; and it is also the first class to have entirely been accepted by the Director of Enrollment Management, Carla Ronnebaum. This class was filled with tremendous individuals: individuals who have found their spouse among their classmates, individuals who have expanded their families with children, individuals who have made major strides in the profession, and individuals who have overcome adversity.


The ceremony featured guest speaker, Dr. Richard, Derner who received his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree from the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine (now Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine) in 1987.

As these recent grads embark in their journeys as Doctors of Podiatric Medicine, we cannot help but feel proud, as we wish them luck in the next steps of their careers, and remind them to visit home!

Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon

Slow and steady wins the race... or at least that's what they say! Students from the Kent State College of Podiatric Medicine are always looking for ways to give back back to the community and to increase their involvement in the Greater Cleveland area. Last month, students attended the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, and supported in the way they know best, by treating runners' foot and ankle problems.

Since its inception over 35 years ago, this 26.3 Mile marathon has featured more than 250,000 runners, walkers, and wheelers, with proceeds of over $1 million being directed to local charitable organizations. Though it was a very chilly and rainy morning, participants did not succumb, including our very own KSUCPM staffer , Kristin Savannah, and even enjoyed the Finish Line Rock Party! 

Graduating Medical Student's Final Reflections - 

Dr. Alton Johnson, DPM

Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA and Houston, TX

Undergraduate college: Barry University in Miami Shores, FL

Residency Placement: Aventura Hospital and Medical Center in Aventura, FL

What will you be specializing in? 
Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Traumatology and Limb Salvage

Have you started preparing for Boards III? If so, how is it different from Boards II? 
Yes, I am taking Boards III this June. Based on what I have heard from my peers, the exam is very similar to Boards II with the exception of the internal medicine question being a bit more detailed.

What experiences personally motivated you to pursue podiatric medicine?  
When I graduated from college, I chose to take a year off and join the Americorps/Community Healthcorps in Baton Rouge, LA. It was during this year off I was able to shadow various doctors in different specialties ranging from podiatry to infectious disease. It was the podiatric medicine aspect of this shadowing experience that stood out to me the most because of the diversity in patient population and scope of practice. The rest is history.

If you had to do it all over again, would you still become a podiatrist?
Yes, if I could do it all over again I would become podiatrist because I enjoy what I do and I enjoy what we do for our patients.

Why did you choose to attend KSUCPM? 
I chose KSUCPM because I wanted to witness Lebron James' redemption first hand. Just kidding, I chose KSUCPM because it's one of the first podiatry schools in the nation with large amount of alumni. The facility and classrooms are state of the art. Furthermore, the faculty, staff, and student body are amazingly friendly and helpful which sealed the deal for me.

What activities/research projects were you involved in at KSUCPM? 
I was involved in several research projects while at KSUCPM. The first project I was indirectly involved with three other student who discovered a low cost simulated suture pad that will allow the surgery department to give the student a better surgical experience. The second project I was involved with was a geriatric falls project looking at foot deformities and its correlation with falls in the elderly. I was able to present that research at three different local research symposium and currently submitting the research review to a national journal in the coming months.

How was your 4th year experience? 
My experience as a fourth year was rather enjoyable and highly educational. I chose to extern at several Cleveland hospitals, one hospital in Houston, another in Miami, and lastly one in Atlanta. Each hospital was unique and allowed me to better my clinical and surgical skills. I came to understand that there is always more to learn and that reading is essential to success especially in the medical field. The best advice I can give to any 4th year is to keep an open mind and to be optimistic while on externships because you never know what you may or may not like until you have tried it.

How did you prepare yourself for your CRIP interviews? 
I prepared for CRIP interviews throughout the year with the residents at the hospitals. Anything from informal mock interviews to rapid fire question drills. I also spent a lot of time studying the externship/interview manuals like PRISM and Crozer. The days leading up to interviews I would call friends with random questions on various topics just to discuss with them how they would respond.

Looking back on your experience at KSUCPM, would you have changed anything? 
Nope! I think everything that I have experienced made me what I am today. But, if you are forcing me to choose at least one thing I would say I would have taken the time to learn more about Biomechanics throughout my four years at KSUCPM because it's a very valuable subject that not many physician or surgeons truly grasp.

Do you have any final piece of advice for prospective podiatry students?
READ READ READ...I am pretty sure I stole that line from Dr. Osher but as he once told me "No one ever suffered from knowing too much; however, plenty have suffered for knowing too little." Also build solid relationships with your faculty members; they are very valuable and helpful in the long term.

From your perspective, what is the biggest problem in healthcare today? 
I wouldn't used the word problem more like obstacle. I think the biggest obstacle is getting the power of healthcare decision making back to the physicians and allied health profession by taking away the power from the billion-dollar insurance companies. Let the healthcare professionals do their job and place more regulation on what the health insurance companies can and can not do.

How did you manage school and life/family? 
Three words: my beautiful wife. My wife has been my lifeline this entire journey she makes sure that I spend time with the family but also knows when to tell me that it's time to get serious and go study.  Also sticking to a schedule which helps with managing both a work and social life. Remember, life is all about balance regardless of what you are doing. 

How do you spend your free time? 
Spending my free time with family and friends. Golfing, binge watching my favorite shows on Netflix, reading medical and personal finance literature.

Now that you are getting ready to leave Cleveland, what will you miss the most, other than the snow obviously?
Believe it or not I will miss the people of Cleveland: the people of this city are one of a kind, they have a lot of pride about their hometown which I truly grew to appreciate. I have become a fan of all the local sports teams even the unmentionable Cleveland Browns. I would love for Lebron James to send me off with a NBA championship this summer.  

THANK YOU CLEVELAND AND KSUCPM for allowing me to call this place home over the past four years. 

Student Profile - Jaime Avtar Ahluwalia


Hometown : North Babylon, New York

Undergraduate College: The University of Texas at El Paso

Current year at KSUCPM: 1st Year

What is your favorite class at KSUCPM and why?
Anatomy is easily my favorite class because KSUCPM provides one of the finest labs to enhance  our study of the subject. The state of the art design of the lab allows one of the best experiences  to get a real hands on perspective of the human body and to visualize anatomical structures first  hand. The class is nicely supported with guidance from upperclassmen, tutoring, and excellent  demonstrations of the dissections along with special dissections to get extraordinary views.

How do you strike a balance between class work, studying, and social activities? Any suggestions for prospective students on building/maintaining a balance?
Maintaining a balance between classes, studying, and personal life is vital to a successful  medical student. I think being well rounded is much more important than neglecting an area like  personal health or relationships. I make sure to take breaks while studying, perform routine  fitness, eat healthy meals, get enough sleep, and keep in touch with family. I accomplish this  necessary balance by setting goals and structuring a schedule that will budget my time  appropriately. This approach can really help people struggling to find equilibrium.

What are some activities you are involved in at KSUCPM?
KSUCPM having a relatively larger student body offers a nice array of student organizations  making it convenient to get involved and find similar minded individuals. I make sure to  participate, whenever possible, in clubs and activities that offer volunteering, workshops aiding in  skills like suturing or taping, shadowing opportunities, and lectures that will enhance my  knowledge base in the field of podiatry.

What advice do you have for anyone considering podiatry school?
Choosing to be in the field of medicine is the first big step and having clarity regarding personal  reasons for the choice will make it worthwhile and lasting. It's important to shadow different physicians/specialists of interest such as primary care, emergency medicine, pulmonologists and
so on to get a good idea of what exactly each does to determine whether or not Podiatric  medicine is actually right for them. I personally have no regrets, only a growing passion to be a  part of such an outstanding profession.

What do you enjoy most about KSUCPM?
I enjoy the community and people. T  he unity of faculty, staff, and students makes for an easy going and friendly environment which is nice to have when dealing with the stressors of class  and the workload associated.

How did you hear about KSUCPM?
While applying to medical schools, KSUCPM actually reached out to me with an e-mail and  caught my interest.

Why did you choose to attend KSUCPM?
I chose to attend KSUCPM because I felt like it was the overall best fit for me. I know each  podiatry school I was accepted into provides a solid foundation for success and has its own set  of strengths and weaknesses but I believed KSUCPM would deliver the best educational  experience for me and I'm extremely grateful to be here.

As a first year student what are some of the challenges you faced (if any) while transitioning into medical school?
I never took 27 credit hours before and the volume of information can simply be overwhelming.  Managing my time became a priority like no other.

What advice would you offer to any prospective students wishing to attend KSUCPM and currently in the application process?
It's important that they are clear about what they're looking for from a medical school. Honing in  on those elements which they believe to be necessary for their success as a medical student will  help them ensure the best decision is made. Finally, this should be a personal decision because  the "one size fits all" philosophy does not apply when picking a school and career in podiatry.

What is your favorite thing about Cleveland?
I love the Metroparks that have been built and maintained here in Cleveland. They make it  possible to get away and enjoy nature with a casual walk, barbecue cookout, or even a bike ride.

Get your Feet Wet in Cleveland!

Add an Italian accent to your summer at the Little Italy Murray Hill Art Walk.

Join the watch party or even the game for the NBA Finals Game 3 at the Q arena, June 8 at 9:00 PM.


Java and Jive in the Warehouse District on Tuesdays from June to September on the Lawn at West Sixth Street and St. Clair Avenue, with lunchtime music and free coffee.


Watch a sunset from Lakewood's stunning new Solstice Steps.


Make a phantastic musical experience when "The Phantom of the Opera " returns June 15-July 10 in Playhouse Square's State Theatre.


Feed a four-legged friend at the 48-acre Stears Homestead in Parma, a working farm right in the city!


Celebrate native Ohio wildlife at the unveiling of the all-new Perkins Wildlife Center & Woods Garden at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in June.



From classic, antique and collector car owners, treat Dad to a day at Stan Hywet Hall's 59th Annual Father's Day Car Show, June 19 -- one of the oldest car shows in America!


Get on the greens for the World Golf Championships, Bridgestone Invitational, June 30-July 3 at Firestone Country Club, Akron.

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College of Podiatric Medicine

If you have any questions about KSUCPM or would like to visit the campus, please feel free to contact the Office of Enrollment Management at podiatry@kent.edu  or 216-231-3300.