Name: Traci Bologna-Jill
School: New York College of Podiatric Medicine
Hometown: Albany, NY
Undergraduate school and degree(s): Hartwick College: BA, Biology (three-years honors degree program)
Why did you choose podiatry?
I first discovered the field of podiatry when my eighth-grade class took a career aptitude test. Oddly enough, based on my personality, likes, and dislikes, podiatry was my number-one match. At the time I did not think much about it and decided to explore other branches of medicine instead. I revisited the field of podiatry while working with Hartwick’s athletic trainers, who were performing most of their work from the knee down. After shadowing one of the local DPMs, I was drawn fully into this field. From working with diabetics and wound care to pediatrics and orthopedics, I have found the opportunities within podiatry are endless. Ardent, erudite doctors make up the community of DPMs, and I knew I wanted the opportunity to be a part of this elite group.
What is the biggest surprise/challenge about podiatry school so far?
The sheer volume of work you are thrown into is very intimidating. Our first semester consists of five classes, 19 credits, and two tests per week. Learning to manage your time and switching focus from one topic to another has to happen quickly so that you do not fall behind. It’s hard to sit in on a Saturday night studying for the upcoming week when you are in the city that never sleeps. However, different events around school, foot screenings, seminars, and talking to older students in the clinic all help you remember why you are here and what you will eventually achieve. The time goes by fast and it will be worth it.
Where do you see yourself in 2040?
I believe enthusiasm can start an epidemic. The field of podiatry has come so far and continues to grow. This growth is due to the enthusiastic podiatrists who have come before us. These individuals continue to research existing health problems and how the field of podiatry can contribute to the improvement of one’s health. By 2040, I hope to follow in their footsteps. I hope to be working in my own practice complete with nail salon and shoe boutique. I would like to educate the population on the importance of taking care of your body and feet as well as presenting young people with the idea of becoming podiatrists.
What is something surprising about you?
I love to cook and experiment with new foods. New York City is the best place for foodies like myself. From authentic soul food in Harlem to Little Italy and Chinatown a short subway ride away, there is something for every palate. There are a plethora of gourmet grocery stores to find the unique, authentic ingredient for the recipe you’ve been dying to try. Cooking a new meal or trying out a new restaurant is my favorite way to relax and take a quick study break.