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Discussion in 'Introductions' started by sonyaj, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. sonyaj

    sonyaj Welcome New Poster

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    Hi all,

    I just joined this forum yesterday after finding it on a google search. I thought I'd give a brief background about me so no one thinks I'm one of those spammer freaks.

    My name is Sonya Johnson, and graduated from CCPM in '94. Did a PSR 24+ (are they still called this?) residency based in SF. I relocated to northern AZ in the fall of '97 and opened my private practice in '98.

    For the next 8 years, I was in practice but really failed to make a decent living (I don't really consider $28K, which is the most I ever took home, to be a decent living) despite what I thought were my best efforts. So, at the end of '06, I made the decision to retire from podiatry. I am an artist now, and anyone reading this that went to school with me might remember me for that, since I designed our class t-shirt and did commissioned medical illustrations.

    I didn't come on here to be a downer on podiatry or anything; actually, I was looking for some place where I could possibly sell all my expensive (and now useless to me) surgical textbooks that I purchased over the years...under the eternal ray of optimism.

    I was reading some posts where people were calling the naysayers about the profession and the "podiatry bytes" doc "losers". Sigh...I wish I could jump on the "rah rah" boat with everyone, but I can't, so I suppose that makes me a loser as well. I have a student loan that I will never be able to pay off (it is now close to $300K with the compounded interest over the 10 years since I consolidated it, and I never made enough money to be able to make payments on it), and it will literally follow me to my grave and never allow me to have a normal financial life.

    I have former colleagues and a friend from podiatry school (the one that I still keep in touch with) that have found success in the profession and I'm happy for them, and everyone here who has done the same. I certainly wished and hoped it could have been like that for me, but life has different plans for some of us and the path is often rocky and not well-defined. I originally went into podiatry because I thought it would be a more viable way to make a living than an artist - who wouldn't think that :rolleyes:? I don't make much money as an artist at this time, but at least my stress level has dropped (money issues aside) and I do enjoy what I do.

    Anyway, I hope I don't get banned from this list for posting this. My experience in private practice wasn't all bad - I came into my own as a surgeon over the years and did some awesome surgeries and had many neat and wonderful patients. That, unfortunately, can't make up for the angst of having Medicare and other insurance companies decide not to pay you for your work after the fact, and a hideously incompetent billing service helping that right along. They didn't want to pay me...and that in turn kept me from being able to pay them back for the loans. Robbing Peter to pay Paul, I think, would be the apropos metaphor here.

    I should also post some time about my "parting gift" from the profession: the med-mal complaint I was served a few months before I closed my practice. It was nightmarish throughout most of the process, and even went to trial (this past April) back in AZ where I don't live anymore. It ended up being a fascinating experience, however, and one life experience I don't regret. I know that sounds really odd, but I learned a ton from it, and my attorney and I became friends as a result of it. Greedy people were denied undeserved riches and my good name and reputation were restored thanks to the legal system and competent jurors. Look for those silver linings, I always say :D.

    Thanks for reading and I will be posting photos and info about the textbooks I have for sale, which includes the latest edition set (I think) from McGlamery and a fantastic set from one of the foot & ankle orthopods (NOT Mann!), a paperback "surgical pearls" book by Sigvard Hansen (I think) and many others. I loved having these books and reading them just for the sake of learning new things and applying them to my surgeries; I hope others will be interested in them.


    Sonya (formerly known as: Sonya K. Johnson, DPM)

    Mystic, CT
  2. twirly

    twirly Well-Known Member

    Hi Sonya,

    :welcome: to Podiatry Arena.

    I am sorry to hear of your unfortunate beginnings in Podiatric practice.

    However, you are truly one of the fortunate though as you have an invaluable skill being an artist.

    I hope all goes well for you.

    I don't know what Admins' take will be on your post so in the meantime how about posting your books in the 'Classified' section on the Arena for all to view (& hopefully buy). Just click on the link if you have any difficulty.


    All the very best for the future,


    Mandy Brooks, AKA

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