Get to Know CPMA President James DeJesus
The Connecticut Podiatric Medical Association has been pushing forward podiatry in our state since 1910, and we have the strong leadership of the CPMA Board to thank.
We’re proud to introduce the newest President of CPMA, Dr. James DeJesus. He was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to give us a glimpse into his career, his experience and goals regarding CPMA, and his thoughts on the future of podiatry during and after COVID-19.
Persuaded by Passion: Dr. DeJesus’s Introduction to Podiatry
Dr. DeJesus’s career wasn’t always based around podiatry – in fact, he entered the medical field as a pharmacist at a hospital in White Plains, New York. While he enjoyed his work, it wasn’t as fulfilling as he would have liked. However, he warmed up to podiatry after discussing the field with a fellow pharmacist that was enrolling in podiatry school. They talked about the potential connections and relationships they could create with patients – something he felt he wasn’t achieving as a pharmacist:
"The more I listened to my pharmacy colleague, the more I wanted to join the podiatric profession. When asked about treating feet, my response is I don’t treat feet, I treat people with foot problems."
As he kept learning and growing, he wanted to do more to help patients directly, ultimately leading to his decision to focus on podiatric surgery. He’s maintained his drive to practice because of his patients. Getting to see people routinely, meet their families, and build relationships with them inspires him every day.
"I’m inspired by treating patient’s foot problems and alleviating their pain and discomfort."
Dr. DeJesus enjoys the academic side of the field, too. Over 30 years as a podiatrist, and he’s still learning and teaching others. Indeed, delivering seminars and driving innovation in the field are two more of the endless benefits he gets from being a podiatrist.
The President’s History with CPMA
During his 30 years as a CPMA member, Dr. DeJesus has found enrichment both professionally and socially. He, like many other podiatrists, became more involved with CPMA when the association began offering educational programs. Approximately 10 years ago, he joined the board and starting attending cadaveric podiatric surgical labs to help others learn new procedures. Although he’s gained much from his involvement with CPMA, his biggest takeaway is the solidarity he’s experienced among fellow members:
"[At CPMA,] you’re not alone. There’s envy in a lot of professions. There’s no envy here. If you’re a member, we speak out and help each other. If you’re a Connecticut podiatrist, you’re doing yourself a disservice not being in CPMA."
Dr. DeJesus joined the CPMA board, taking on more responsibilities and higher positions until becoming the latest President of our esteemed association.
A Two-Pronged Vision for the Future
As President of CPMA, Dr. DeJesus is tasked with guiding the association’s strategy, goals, and vision for the future of podiatry in the state. According to Dr. DeJesus, there are two major initiatives CPMA will seek to address during his time in leadership.
First, advocating for equal pay. Insurances can be discriminatory against podiatric medicine, paying doctors in our field much less than other medical professionals. Thus, the top task on Dr. DeJesus’s agenda is to achieve fee parity, ensuring that podiatrists receive equal compensation when compared to other allied professions.
The second initiative is raising awareness about podiatric medicine. By showing the importance of our field, we can help patients and others in medicine recognize the true value of podiatry. More patients will have their problems treated sooner and more limbs will be saved. Additionally, spreading information will also get younger generations interested in and excited aboutpodiatry. This will increase the awareness and interest in the Podiatric profession.
COVID-19 and Podiatry
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of daily life and none more acutely than the medical field, including podiatry. Having to close practices for extended periods of time created difficulties that were, thankfully, mitigated by the Payroll Protection Program.
As far as safety regulations, much has changed in the medical community. Masks and social distancing efforts, as well as more stringent disinfecting protocols are of upmost importance. The safety of our patients, staff and physicians is our top priority. The new safety measures are expected to extend far beyond the pandemic.
Dr. DeJesus was pleased to note that podiatry is as strong as ever after the challenges posed by COVID-19.
To learn more about Dr. DeJesus, CPMA, and how our association can help your practice, reach out to us anytime!