Posted February 1, 2013

Temple Made: Michael L. Sganga

Name: Michael L. Sganga

Year: Fourth year

School: School of Podiatric Medicine

Home town: Larchmont, N.Y.

Singular achievement: Founded the first — and, until recently, only — forensic podiatry club at a podiatry school.

Why I chose Temple: "After visiting Temple's School of Podiatric Medicine, I realized how Temple opened up so many doors for a more complete medical education. I have access to Temple University Hospital. I can do rotations in cardiology, orthopedics, neurology and more. I can meet medical students and dental students. It makes all the difference. Podiatrists don't look at just the foot and ankle — they look at everything attached to it upstream. Often the first signs of cardiovascular problems or diabetes are manifested in the feet. We have to a full understanding of that to do the best for our patients. As soon as I saw the clinical affiliations, the hospital, as well as the podiatry school with its campus and atmosphere, I knew Temple was the right choice."

Transformative moment: "My transformative experience at Temple was my first week in clinic — getting out of the classroom and seeing patients for the first time. Learning about podiatry in the classroom is one thing. It's another thing entirely when you're sent to a room with a patient and chart in your hand, and you need to figure out what's wrong by asking the patient questions and listening to his or her answers. You have to piece the story together and present to the attending physician. It has to hold together. It was nerve-wracking, and it was so busy. We were thrown to the sharks. We were seeing four patients a day in the morning alone. I had shadowed a doctor before, spending time with him in surgery and with patients, but clinic — where the burden is on your shoulders — was another experience entirely. Sometimes it felt like I was on an island. But it transformed me. It changed me from a nervous medical student to someone who can see patients and figure out things quickly. It gave me all the confidence in the world."