SEARCH KENT STATE
The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) plays an integral role in the life of a podiatry student at Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine (KSUCPM). The organization exists to aid in developing school functions like surgical workshops and charity social events, and also allows students the opportunity to participate in podiatry and surgery-focused research, an area that according to second year student Natasha Bhagat, always has room for growth. In fact, the vast opportunity for research at KSUCPM was one reason she fell in love with the school, leading her to enroll in 2016. “The surgery professors at KSUCPM have played a tremendous role in helping students get involved in research,” Natasha recalls.
ACFAS understands that research posters present a valuable educational experience for students, and so all nine podiatry schools in the country are required to present a foot and ankle surgery-focused research poster at the ACFAS National Scientific Conference each year. President-Elect Natasha, President Britain Wetzel, MSIV and classmate Kelly Rogers, MSIV, were given the opportunity to represent KSUCPM and attend this year’s National Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. The girls worked closely with Dr. Duane Ehredt (DPM’11, FACFAS), Assistant Professor in the Division of Foot & Ankle Surgery and Biomechanics at KSUCPM to formulate their study, A Novel Technique for Percutaneous Harvest of Calcaneal Autograft: Evaluation of Complications and the Effect on 1st MPJ and Lapidus Arthrodesis. Using Dr. Ehredt’s patient database, the girls were able to extrapolate information on forefoot procedures in which he performed a calcaneal autograft. With this data and an in-depth literature review, they dove into looking at the fusion rates and morbidities associated with his modified calcaneal graft technique.
Through hours of research and teamwork, Bhagat, Wetzel and Rogers took 1st place in Student Posters at the ACFAS National Scientific Conference in March. “Doing research is a great way to take a break from reading for classes to see what we could be performing as foot and ankle surgeons one day”, Natasha states. The girls are looking forward to participating again next year at the 2019 ACFAS Nationals in New Orleans, Louisiana!