Sabina Malhotra, DPM, second-year podiatric medical resident at Washington Hospital Center (Washington, DC), was paged for a 3 a.m. consult for a patient who came into the hospital's emergency room with foot trauma during the Fourth of July weekend. At this point in her three-year podiatric medicine and surgery residency program, she was accustomed to being on-call. Dr. Malhotra also knew this lifestyle is what she signed up for, and frankly wouldn't have it any other way.
Dr. Malhotra grew up in Northern Virginia, where she was very active playing sports such as soccer and tennis throughout her high school and undergraduate education. Many athletes experience foot and ankle injuries, and Dr. Malhotra was no exception to this rule. As a result, she formed a strong relationship with her local podiatrist and in doing so, learned a lot about the profession and considered it as a career. Taking the medical career path was inevitable; she comes from a family of physicians, and for her, it was a logical path to take. "I grew up in a family that stressed serving, and helping others was the highest calling one could have in life," she said. "This family value, alongside my love for the sciences, chiefly impacted my decision to pursue medicine."
Dr. Malhotra considered allopathic and osteopathic medicine, as well as dentistry, as viable options. It was towards the end of her undergraduate college career at The College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA) when she decided podiatric medicine was the profession for her. "Shadowing four different podiatrists showed me the variety the profession had to offer. Meeting and talking to a podiatric medical school representative, and the fact I knew I wanted to work with my hands [and perform surgery], made my decision to choose podiatric medicine easy." A graduate of Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine, Dr. Malhotra is now putting to use all of her training and education as a podiatric surgical resident.
Residency for Dr. Malhotra is what she expected--a lot of hard work, but extremely rewarding. "Since I've started my residency program, I've performed numerous foot and ankle reconstructive surgeries while learning and appreciating the value of team-work. I've been blessed with both the opportunity and the responsibility of being at the front line of treatment for patients as their doctor. It is exciting!"
Podiatric medicine is allowing Dr. Malhotra to fulfill her passion for helping people, especially by bringing care and treatment to communities where people are economically disadvantaged. "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step ... and if people can't take that step, I want to help them do it."
For more information on careers in podiatry, contact APMA or call 301-581-9281.