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Teachers required to have a PHD - have we got it all wrong

Discussion in 'Teaching and Learning' started by mike weber, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    I received an email last week about a new job in Australia-

    see below

    I read the above and the 1st thought that came to mind is do they want the best teachers or just the funding.

    I understand that funding is important but I fear we have lost sight of the true objective.

    I have taught under grad Podiatry and have no extra letters and for the life of me can not think for 1 second how and PHD or Masters would make you a better teacher, unless you are in charge of masters or PHD programs which clearly is not the case here.

    what say you ?

    ps if you want details of the job pm me :D
  2. We talked about this here: http://www.podiatry-arena.com/podiatry-forum/showthread.php?t=79748
  3. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    To digress slightly, I'm surprised that clinical research is not available to higher degree students. I would have thought that a research degree taken within, say, a Med School setting would have automatically guarantee an Ethics Committee hearing (at least).
  4. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    I think this was all done on the other thread. The point is that teaching podiatry clinical, and being a lecturer in podiatry at a university are not the same thing. Whether you like it or don't like it, being a lecturer in universities involves research, grant applications and publications; that is the world we live in - and indeed the world we fought for in the '80's. Now we have got it, you cannot complain.
  5. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    Hi Rob,
    I understand that. What surprises me is that nowadays a Pod in private practice cannot access a degree which will allow them to carry out clinical research under supervision, as I did some ten years ago.
  6. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    Well, let me think. I did pod at a proper age - 17-20 - but at diploma level. I went back as a mature student s and did:
    1) cert ed 1979-80
    2) BA - then BA(hons) with the UK Open University
    3) PhD with the University of Western Australia

    I weas 24 when I started and 39 when I finished. Are these avenues not available now? I honestly do not know - but is is a sad day if they are not. Rob
  7. Jenene Lovell

    Jenene Lovell Active Member

    This is a very sad thing indeed, if that is the case. I am in private practice and would love to go into research... at the moment I am trying to find a reasonable way to stay in private practice AND perform research.

    So far it has not been easy... but I lova a challenge and I will succeed!!! (POSITIVE THINKING)
  8. 3rd_Lumbrical

    3rd_Lumbrical Member

    By my understanding if your are interested in conducting some research all you have to do is get in touch with your local academic instutution or podiatry program. If the staff are anything like me then they may be open to collaboration where they will provide supervision, guidance, and assistance with ethics on the basis that you conduct the field research and contribute to the output (analysis, write-up and publications).

    It shouldn't be too difficult really. However if you're talking about specific qualifications, there are plenty of research masters courses available with only previous degree as an entry requirement (which you would have as a qualified pod).
  9. 3rd_Lumbrical

    3rd_Lumbrical Member

    Also, this is an interesting debate which I'd like to contribute to by asking the forum:-

    1) What value do you think a PhD adds to a podiatry educator's skills?


    2) Do you think that a workforce of podiatry educators who have PhDs does or does not promote any of the following amongst new students and the podiatry profession:

    * Evidence based practice,
    * objective and critical appraisal of current and new assessment/treatment methods,
    * in depth study of patients to inform their podiatric care,
    * extended scope practice,
    * an enhanced ability to develop informed opinion regarding theories and practices underpinning podiatric care.

    The fact that podiatry programs are now all seeking staff who have or are working towards PhDs is an interesting development in our profession. I doubt that all podiatrist with PhDs are simultaneously the best clinicians. However this does not mean that they are not extremely well placed and skilled for facilitating the education of the new generation of podiatrists.
  10. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    I absolutely disagree.

    Coal-face experience is vital if students are to learn what is expected of them on qualification.
  11. 3rd_Lumbrical

    3rd_Lumbrical Member

    That is a very interesting opinion, but I note that you haven't answered my questions. Do you think that there is any value to a podiatry lecturer having a PhD? Bearing in mind that this is the highest formal qualification in research today and we as podiatrists are responsible for delivering safe and effective evidence based therapies.

    The profession's higher education programs' requirement of PhDs for employment is something that has increased recently and it is clear that this is a transition period as a result. I suppose change is always met with suspicion and resistance in every sector. It seems that those who might be interested in teaching on the back of their excellent clinical experience will be left behind, and that is something that will need to be considered carefully.

    In my opinion the main problem comes with clinical hands on experience of pod educators with PhDs. This could be tackled easily through internal & external placements where students are exposed to the top clinicians in the field for hands on work. However do not forget that pod educators with PhDs are also clinicians who must be registered to practice. To suggest that they cannot teach hands on on the basis that they have spend some time doing research (much of which is clinical and designed to extend their scope of clinical practice) is quite frankly ludicrous.

    Looking at the other side of the coin, a clinician who has extensive and specialised research training can beging to focus on the big issues during clinical teaching of students such as:
    •discussing the evidence for callous debridement
    •discussing the evidence for lateral wedged FOs for knee pain/OA
    •discussing the evidence for platelet rich plasma therapy in tendinopathies.
    (For example)

    My point being that an excellent clinician may be great at the practical technique, but the evidence supporting many of the therapies delivered today is sketchy and requires further investigation by those who understand research. Lectures on specific conditions aren't just a info giving session on specific conditions, foot problems and their management. Lectures are carefully constructed through thorough investigation of the relevant research coupled with the lecturers relevant clinical experience. They are delivered in many formats many of which have been shown to be effective through the pedagogical literature (ie introduction of more interactive lectures through polling handsets, concept tests, integrated group work etc etc). Whe clinical experience is enough to demonstrate excellent practical techniques to undergrads, it does not automatically hold adequate weight to permit eligibility for an academic position within a university.

    Please let it be clear that I believe there are many clinicians who are well placed and adequately skilled to appraise the literature without having a phd. But to generalise and state that podiatrists with PhDs do not possess the necessary skills to educate appears to be borne out of fear of change and naivety about what is required from an academic podiatrist role.
  12. bob

    bob Active Member

    I would add that I think that students may benefit from some of their lecturers having PhD's. There are many facets of podiatry and one area of specialist interest is research and audit. Having a PhD would help in these ways and would also provide a format for practitioners to reflect on their own and others' current practice in a scientific manner - but I would struggle to say it would be necessary on an individual basis or be necessary for every university lecturer to deliver a complete education in podiatry. PhD's are a research degree and that is about all really as far as I can see.

    Would my own practice be significantly improved or changed if I had a PhD? Would my outcomes be improved? Are there any podiatrists out there who believe their patients significantly benefit from them having a PhD? I am not trying to take anything away from the individuals that have sought to expand their academic experience by completing these research degrees, but I am genuinely curious to know if people who have a PhD believe that their day to day patient contacts are improved by their research degree? I doubt that this has been scientifically proven to improve patient outcomes (which I would put forward as being the best yardstick of quality in our profession). I believe that having a PhD will help with improving an individual podiatrist's ability to specialise in podiatry research. This is a specialist aspect of podiatry (just as surgery is). So doing a PhD might help a tutor teach research methods and reflective practice in podiatry in the same way that doing podiatric surgery might help a podiatry tutor teach undergrads a basis of podiatric surgery. This is all accompanied by personal clinical experience and common sense to provide a rounded podiatric practitioner of course! Hmm!
  13. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    "Academic" staff at LTU do next to no clinical supervision of students. The vast majority of clinical teaching/supervision is done by full time clinicians.
  14. 3rd_Lumbrical

    3rd_Lumbrical Member

    I agree with some of the points you make in your first paragraph to an extent, but I don't see how a PhD limits the educational advantages only to research methods and reflective practice. Research and audit is integral to every facet of podiatry ranging from (but not limited to) reliability of diagnostic techniques, to development of patient reported outcome measures and evaluation of current therapies from simple routine care to complex interventions.

    I'm not saying that it is necessary for every individual lecturer, but I suspect that it would be hugely beneficial for every individual lecturer to have a phd or research training, and (possibly in the longer term) their undergraduate students may benefit as a result. This move towards all lecturers having a PhD is a positive one in my opinion because this should promote critical (objective & scientific) thinking/reasoning amongst the new generation (potentially leading to more quality research) which is important in our profession where there are more grey areas than absolute rights and wrongs with regards to care. This is unlikely to result in an immediate or indeed measurable change in the quality of new graduates, but I can see it being a positive in the long run. Further, all lecturers now are expected to publish, develop new PhD grads, and bring in external funds so again it is logical for universities to seek a formal research qualification.

    With regards to your points in the second paragraph I think it is necessary to make a distinction and clarify my standpoint. The original topic was centred on the query regarding whether or not PhDs are necessary for academic podiatry lecturing positions. I think that this move is justified, and there may be benefits in the long run to undergraduate education and subsequently (through research, NOT individuals with PhDs improving care through their own clinical practice) patient care.

    I do not think that pods with PhDs believe that their patients' outcomes have improved directly as a result of being handed their PhD certificate after 3-5 long years of study. However, it is the end product of research i.e. quality studies written up as journal articles (through PhDs, masters, internships or otherwise) that have the capacity to lead to improvements in overall patient care. More and more the value of clinical experience alone as justification for certain treatment methods is becoming moot. More people with PhDs (or indeed any research training) should lead to increased quality and quantities of research. Increased quality and quantities of research emerging from our profession is the only thing that has the potential to improve podiatric care and patient outcomes on a grand scale (based upon scientific evidence). Universities have recognised this, which is why you see the PhD routinely required in eligibility criteria for academic podiatry positions.
  15. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    I have watched this debate from afar, and also from the front. The argument is essentially very simple; we argued, eventually successfully, for a university course, not a tech college (UK) / TAFE college (Ozz) course. With that goes changes that are not debatable - they are not negotiable. It is not a question of whether podiatry teachers should be required to have a PhD, it is a question of "what is the benchmark at university"? Answer? A PhD. So, if we wish to be taken seriously, as I am quite sure we all do, that is where we go. This is not open to debate, it is simply fact. I am bemused by any arguments that suggest that having a PhD in some way detracts from clinical expertise - not sure what to say. It may be useful to benchmark our academic staff against other professions; what are their criteria? Do you hear Physios arguing whether their teaching staff require a PhD? I suspect not. Rob
  16. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    I would like to add a facet to this debate. For those of us that work ( worked past tense as I have been retired 2 years) in University teaching hospitals it is part of the JDF that the applicant should be able to and will engage in research.That is, they are in possession of or working towards a higher degree. It goes without saying that the treatment given will be of the highest quality using evidence based protocols. The bar was not just raised for podiatric educators in universities it was raised for those of us in the public sector podiatry.
  17. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    Err, excuse me, the above post is from the boss, not me, Rob
  18. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    Di I think Pod teachers should have PhD's?
    Do I think that the emphasis of a three-year course should be clinical skills with some research thrown in?
    Are there newly qualified pods on here who may have less than optimum clinical skills?

    Out of interest - how do students fit a research project AND clinical skills into three years?
    Is a proper research project actually carried out in 3rd year - like designing a study, getting ethics committee approval, collecting data, doing the stats, giving a presentation - type of thing?

    I have a research MSc myself, so I'm all for Pods doing research BTW.
  19. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    What really used to annoy me, and I don't know whether this still happens - I suspect so but hope not, is new graduate Podiatrists being taken straight on as lecturers (however junior).
    Because what happens is that the lectures become theoretical rather than realistic. I saw it happen at Durham, where some bright spark introduced Reflexology - in a Podiatry School!
    It can of course work if the course is longer, so that students are exposed to maximum clinical experience, but a three-year course is short. Students on a three-year course need a good mix of skills, theoretical and practical.

    I remember posting a similar message on the jiscmail forum years ago. I remember S Spooner's rebuke too - every word!
    I was banned shortly after:).

    I'm much older now, and tend not to be as annoyed about these things;).
  20. Perhaps you'd like to post it then, David?

    P.S. I don't remember ever seeing your name on the "banned list" on the JISCMAIL management interface.
  21. I find some of the comments on this thread rather amusing since, here in the United States, faculty for the podiatric medical colleges do not require a PhD degree. Yes, I agree the PhD is a degree that is generally associated with more research knowledge, but this degree is definitely not associated with better clinical knowledge which I believe is equally, if not more important, than having good research knowledge.

    If the podiatric physician was going to be spending their careers doing research full time or even part time, it would definitely be helpful to have PhDs teaching students some of their courses. However, if the podiatric physician needed to learn state of the art clinical techniques, at least here in the United States, they would do best to be taught by Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) or Orthopedic Surgeons (MD), not necessarily PhDs.

    Maybe this is a big difference from podiatric medical education here in the United States and abroad? I don't know. But very few of the most influential and knowledgeable podiatrists here in the United States have PhDs, and these individuals still seem to be sought after all over the world for their clinical knowledge. You are going to eliminate the possibility of having the likes of Drs. Dalton McGlamry, Lowell Weill, Tom Chang, Rich Bouche, Doug Richie, Luke Ciccinelli, Tom Sgarlato, Ron Valmassy, Paul Scherer, Warren Joseph, and Jeff Christensen from being on your faculty at your podiatric medical teaching institution just because they only have a DPM degree and not a PhD degree??!! You got to be crazy!

    I would think it would be better if the podiatric teaching institutions encouraged professors toward a PhD degree, but allowed those podiatrists with exceptional clinical knowledge and skills and also possibly prior research experience to become faculty members at the Podiatric Medical Colleges. It comes down to whether it is more important that our students of podiatry learn excellent clinical skills or learn excellent research skills as to whether a Podiatric Medical College should restrict their faculty to only having PhDs.

    Therefore, I would recommend that the podiatric medical teaching institutions should have a combination of both PhD researchers and non PhD clinicians teaching our podiatry students in order to produce the best, most well-rounded podiatrists. Certainly, for me, I am glad that my podiatric medical education included both PhD instructors and non-PhD podiatrists since I felt I received the best of both worlds during my four years as a podiatric medical student.
  22. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    It was in reply to me saying it would be good if all lecturers could do some work away from college to gain real-life experience. You replied - and I quote - "because we (lecturers) don't know jack-sh*t!". You said some other things too, but that phrase always stays with me for some reason:D.

    Yes, I was banned alright. Or at least I woke up one day and couldn't access the forum, and when I emailed to find out why my email remained unanswered. There were quite a few bans going on at the time.

    Maybe I wasn't banned?
  23. 3rd_Lumbrical

    3rd_Lumbrical Member

    This conceptual separation of research knowledge vs clinical knowledge seems strange to me. Surely most podiatric research in some way shape or form is designed to inform clinical practice/knowledge, however small the contribution? Indeed, surely clinical practice should be based on the research evidence. I think that the newly qualified podiatrist who has been educated in a research-rich environment, where there has been integration of research & clinical practice throughout their degree, will likely be an excellent clinician. Too often you overhear at conferences podiatrists complaining about not understanding presentations' research content. The net result is no change to their own clinical practice, even when the evidence suggests that their should be a change.

    There also seems to be an intepretation that academics with PhDs just sit behind a desk all day without ever having any patient contact. Most academic podiatrists are urged to at least 'keep their hand in', and many will recognise the importance of clinical work and community engagement in order to maintain their professional integrity. I know of many academic podiatrists with and without PhDs who are research active, have heavy teaching loads, and are exceptional clinicians who work in highly specialised and/or general areas of clinical practice.

    I acknowledge that many of the big names in podiatry are major assets to their academic institutions and to the profession itself. No one is doubting that. Although it would be fair to say that most of the big names you have dropped have conducted research and/or published their work, received research funding, or at least have utilised the research evidence to develop their lectures and inform their clinical practice.

    Perhaps the way that academic institutions have drawn the line in the sand with the 'PhD or no lecturer's job' seems drastic. Indeed I think it would be deplorable for universities to force someone already under their employment to undertake a PhD for the purposes of ticking a box. I can see the value of research/teaching experience and other research qualification such as masters degrees and would recommend several podiatrists without PhDs for academic positions. However this move by universities has clearly come from a recognition that health science professions such as podiatry, physio, OT should benefit and evolve with a more research active academic workforce.

    We are in the middle of a transition towards (in the UK and NZ/Aus anyway) all/most academic staff having PhDs. This will gradually take place over a number of years. Until then, those big names in podiatry will continue to be major contributors and the leaders in the field until they retire (and likely beyond!). In 10-20 years or so more big names will emerge, the only difference will be that most of them will have extensive research training in addition to their clinical expertise in the form of a PhD. We may not see the benefits to our students/patients for a while yet, but I for one think that this is a positive move.
  24. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    Why anyone in Podiatric Medicine would aspire to have a long term career as an academic teaching clinical podiatry is beyond me. Sure if you want to use it as a career pathway to become a Dean or Vice Chancellor - but seriously you do a PhD because you love it - its a passion, a logical step for your interests. A PhD is and should not be done simply to get a job. I can name on my left hand the number of amazing clinical Podiatrists with a PhD. A PhD does not automatically make you a good clinician. I have to agree with Kevin here, without the excellent work of most clinicians research would never get done. There are some amazing clinicians/academics in Aus without PhD's with more peer reviewed published research than their PhD counterparts!

    My two cents worth, which is not worth much!
  25. 3rd_Lumbrical

    3rd_Lumbrical Member

    So podiatrists who have PhDs make poorer clinicians, but clinicians who don't have PhDs are better researchers? Come on now, behave yourself. There are always going to be exceptions such as you have described but this is obviously not the norm, unless you're comparing a brand new PhD graduate with someone who has years more clinical research experience. This all of a sudden is unnecessarily becoming a 'Who is better? Us or them?' argument. The question at the beginning of this thread was surrounding whether or not teachers should be required to have PhDs. If it was 'What makes the best clinical podiatrist?', then no a PhD would clearly not be required. But research competency (as in the ability to critically and competently appraise and synthesise the best research evidence) definitely would be.

    In my previous posts I have highlighted the importance of research, evidence based practice, research competency amongst podiatrists, and a research active academic and clinical workforce as important for the progression and advancement of our profession. Otherwise we would be stagnant. On this particular subject I agree with you; research competent clinicians are vital to the conduct of field research, and without them there would be very little being done. But this again highlights the important of developing a clinical research culture that is embraced by podiatrists, not feared and resented.

    Have universities got it wrong by limiting appointments of new academic staff to those with PhDs? If they ignore those with other forms of research experience/competency/training, then yes they probably have got it wrong. If the supposedly excellent clinician is completely unable to understand the most basic of research concepts then there is no way they should even be considered for an academic position, and in that case I would doubt their ability as a clinician as well. Can you honestly say that you know an excellent clinician who doesn't adequately keep up to date with the new and emerging research evidence?

    Nowadays (UK, NZ and Aus, not sure about US) there are no (or very few) lecturers who are not expected to publish and/or undertake research projects in addition to their teaching duties, as part of their overall academic role. The only exception would be in the case where there are part-time/casual staff, and even then there will be a general level of research competency that would be assumed or need to be demonstrated. As such, the inclusion of PhDs in eligibilty criteria for academic roles is entirely logical. But I would add that candidates should be considered on a case-by-case basis, and a clinician with 10 publications or a masters degree versus a PhD grad with 2 or 3 should not be ignored for such a role.

    The final point would be does an entire academic podiatry staff complement who have PhDs improve the education of podiatry students? No one knows the answer to this yet, although time will tell. I understand from following this discussion that the main concern of many of you would be centred on the practical clinical aspects. If there was a podiatry school with 10 lecturers who all had PhDs and were currently undertaking no clinical work at all, and had not done so for a long while then yes this would be very worrying. However that is a very unlikely scenario, and I also think it's unfair to assume that academic podiatrists who have PhDs:-

    1) are automatically poor clinicians,
    2) do not recognise the importance of keeping up-to-date clinically (similar to the clinician keeping up-to-date with research evidence),
    3) are not currently undertaking some clinical work.
  26. 3rd Lumbrical:

    Your opinions on these matters would carry far more weight with me, and many others here on Podiatry Arena, if you would give us your real name and what your practice situation/teaching situation is. I really don't have the time or interest to carry on a conversation with someone, or read long posts from someone, who, for whatever reason, doesn't want to give us their real name on ther public postings on an academic website for medical professionals.

    In other words, who are you?
  27. 3rd_Lumbrical

    3rd_Lumbrical Member

    So all of a sudden you have to have credentials to post on a public website, but do not to teach podiatry? You are aware that you don't have to read this thread if you don't want to. You obviously have followed it, because it is an interesting topic that is worthy of discussion.

    If you feel that the points I have made are not valid or you disagree then that is your prerogative and I respect that. I can sense by your tone that you appear to have taken the points of my discussion personally, which was not my intention. However and as such, I can see no benefit in me disclosing my personal identity to this forum. I have not posted regularly on here despite following threads an topics regularly over the years. I'm beginning to regret getting involved now, even though this topic is one that I felt well placed to contribute to.

    If it is credibility you are looking for then I think the following should suffice; I am a podiatrist, I have a PhD, I have published my research, I am in an academic role, and I undertake clinical podiatry on a fairly regular basis. If those factors do not sufficiently provide weight to this argument, then I'm not sure how my name would. Please let me know if you would prefer me to refrain from posting, although if that is your preference I'd like to be given a reason as to why you think that is necessary.
  28. How are we to know that you are a PhD, have published research and are in an academic role unless you provide us your name? Are we supposed to believe you just because you say it is so when you are unwilling to have the common courtesy to provide you with your name? Really, what are you afraid of??

    As far as we all know, you could just be another one of the internet trolls that frequents academic medical websites masquerading as someone with knowledge and insight in order to push forward your agenda...whatever that is.

    Assuming you are a PhD, how credible do you think someone is viewed in any academic setting when they don't have the confidence in what they say to at least give the other academic professionals involved in the discussion their own true identity? I can answer that question for you....they will always think you are trying to hide something and your opinions will be meaningless to many.

    If you want to continue posting anonymously, then, by all means, please do so. But, your opinions will have no weight with me or many others on this academic forum unless you tell us who you are. Why not put your advanced degree into the light of day where it will do some good for you and the rest of us, and not hide behind a cloud of secrecy where your opinions will influence few, if anyone at all?
  29. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    Arguably you may have just described most Podiatry programs in Australia ;) The primary focus in academia is teaching and research. I would argue most academics I know are so loaded with teaching (non-clinical) that research is kept to a minimum - even the ones trying to finish PhD's. Its counter intuitive by most Universities really.

    Sure - but you have to admit if your focus is on finising a PhD then you are very limited in time spent clinically.

    Agreed - but again see point one. If you are buried in research on a specific area for 5 years or so how can you be expected to be clinicallly up to date? SUrely no one could blame you for not being so.

    Full time academics? If you are referring to "Uni-Clinic" based work I would not call that clinical Podiatric Medicine as you are not exposed to the daily rigor of clinical practice and randomness of patient presentation.

    I dont think deep down there is large disagreement with your thoughts lumbrical - it simply comes down to "all rounders are difficult to find". There would be an extremely small populous of Podiatrists who are "all rounders". There are some though, I agree - and they are true gems! Fact of the matter remains - PhD's dont make good clinicians. They make good researchers. I don't know if we have touched on the real reason for universities wanting all staff to have PhD's. Maybe a look at the funding models might answer this better?

    As for Kevins response above, I have had this debate with Craig, Kevin and Podiatry Arena for years. Although I respect the fact that people want to post anonymously here I don't know if it helps anyones cause. Won't stop me responding to the posts though - I would assume that from the info provided the list of people fitting your criteria could be narrowed down to a handful or two anyhow! Good to know where you are coming from though!
  30. 3rd_Lumbrical

    3rd_Lumbrical Member

    This is laughable. What else do you want? A certified copy of my academic transcripts? My pin number?

    If the points I have made don't appear to be well informed to you then I quite frankly do not care whether or not you believe my opinions have any weight with you whatsoever. Anyone in their right mind can see that the points I have made are articulated in a fashion that suggests I am credible. In fact, even if I wasn't a podiatrist, a phd grad or an academic the points I have made speak for themselves anyways. The thing is, deep down you know this is the case and this irks you.

    Interesting how you only ask for my name after I have made fairly well reasoned rebuttals against your opinions. Even more interesting how the important discussion taking place in this thread has effectively been successfully hijacked by you in attempt to smear someone with a differing opinion.

    There was absolutely no need to make things personal here. I sincerely hope the readership of this board will realise that credibility is not measured by the number of posts delivered on Podiatry Arena. I also hope they will get back on track and continue contributing to an interesting and important discussion in spite of you.

    I've made my point, it is your right to take it or leave it. Just as it is my right to remain anonymous.
  31. You can believe anything you want about me, that is your right. I have a whole list of people who don't like me here on Podiatry Arena and Chris McDougall even calls me the "Angry Podiatrist". I'll be sure to add your name to the list. Pretty soon, I will just have to tell people to take a number and get in line.

    Honestly, I enjoyed your opinions and was only trying to help your case in allowing you to see that by giving us your real name, your opinions and views would have much more weight here on Podiatry Arena. Otherwise, you will just be known as a possible PhD, possible academic podiatrist and possibly someone who teaches, but definitely someone who calls herself 3rd Lumbrical.

    I'll just go away and let you carry on your anonymous discussion with those who are still interested. I'm not.
  32. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    Hi Paul, long time - no see; next time I am in Sydney we must have a cleansing ale. With the odd exception, my 32 years in education have been charmed with good staff and grateful students - and I take all your points above. I never wanted to be a VC! I just wanted to be a good teacher............. But as a clinician needing a PhD - well, there was once one that took a lump of glass out of my hallux that had been there for over a year and had begun to point - nastily close to a neurovascular bundle. This Pod did not have a PhD and did it really well. As you know, my boss (ie she-who-must-be-obeyed) is (was) a clinician, no PhD and a relatively productive publication record. The problem lies in not recognising the difference between clinical educators, and Podiatry lecturers - but you knew that! Take care, Rob
  33. If you say so. I wonder if I was being facetious?
  34. 3rd_Lumbrical

    3rd_Lumbrical Member

    Absolutely in agreement with your first point, when you are in the final stages of finishing writing up a PhD there is very little time for anything else.

    Sure someone who is buried in researching a specific topic won't be an expert in all areas clinically. Academic pods tend to have adequate generalist clinical skills and knowledge with specific expertise in a few specific areas.

    University Clinics/Podiatry Schools will vary from place to place and I would probably argue that many actually do have sufficient randomness. Although obviously there are some that definitely do not. That probably says more about the patient catchment area, the respective health service systems, and practice management as opposed to the actual clinicians themselves.

    You have hit the nail on the head with your final point. The podiatrist with research training/track record and clinical expertise who is also a top notch teacher is a very rare breed. There aren't many, and definitely not enough to fill all academic podiatry roles in all podiatry programs. Further, it is unlikely that they would be satisfied with a higher education salary compared to the relatively lucrative nature of private clinical practice/consultancy work.

    PhD graduates (depending on the individual and their clinical/teaching experience before, during and after the PhD process) likely make adequate clinicians, good researchers, and good educators. Plus they will likely have the ability to promote the necessary production of the rare breed you have described. University motives aside, this should be positive in the long run.
  35. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    I think you may have been.
  36. Do podiatry schools in the USA require their academic staff to hold the DPM qualification?
  37. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    Absolutely!! Been far too long....

    Ahhh but you are one of the gems I was referring to - you shouldn't be allowed to comment as you are one of the few! ;)

    Just goes to prove my point even further. And if I remember correctly you said the piece of glass couldn't be anymore than a few mm long - what was it when I finally extracted that thing? I've seen smaller head gaskets on cars than that shard of glass. I'm sure I have the picture you took with it sitting next to the digital caliper somewhere!!! :D

    Absolutely and very elegantly put! Your boss and if I recall correctly my boss as well at times :D is another great example of my point. The line in the sand is not those three small letters - because lets face it, spend five years doing anything and you get good at it. I have a cleansing ale awaiting for you Rob - whats Bernie up to these days?
  38. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    Agreed - however looking at the longest running degrees in Australia and very few have reached the heights you allude to. Have we underachieved in that arena? I know we are producing some amazing high standard graduates in academic circles - which is fantastic - but is it time we implemented a residency system in this country to make up for clinical shortfall? I mean really - do we really have to have the inane 1000+ hours of clinical time within the degree? Put it externally into internship and residency programs. Would make sense and solve many many issues relating to research, funding and education! However I digress - I think we are on the same page lumbrical - but that doesnt surprise me ;)
  39. A funny thing we talk about evidence based practice and research knowledge etc and people with a PHD being at the forefront etc

    Then why the **** do we still get question from students on measurements of rcsp and ncsp etc

    Excuse the swearing but most people in research are so focused on 1 single thing that the rest gets missed.

    A phd does not make you a better teacher or a better researcher or a better anything, it shows that you have followed through a project imo.

    Great for those that have it but should not be required in Podiatric teaching
  40. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    Precisely Mike. And for me - you swear away!

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