Alumni Spotlight: William Long, DPM
By Natalie Hart, Fox '19
Can you talk about your path to podiatry as a profession, how you got to where you are and why you have chosen podiatry as your field of medicine?
Dr. Long discovered the profession of podiatry while he was working in the United States Coast Guard. His wife’s uncle had a foot issue and asked Dr. Long, then not even in podiatry school for advice. Dr, Long new nothing about podiatry and moved on. One week later he received a brochure in the mail from The New York School of Podiatric Medicine thinking it was a joke from his wife’s uncle, and he then decided that it was fate for him to research more about the profession. He went on to shadow a podiatrist in the navy before enrolling in TUSPM and then graduating with the class of 2009.
What was your favorite part of podiatry school?
Clinic, Dr. Long spoke about how much he loved seeing and treating so many different cases, and patients. Temple has always had a very active clinic, so having the chance to work in that environment was awesome.
What has been your proudest accomplishment so far?
Dr. Long has recently been elected to the board of trustees of the APMA. He is currently in the process of expanding his practice in Simpsonville, SC (Upstate Podiatry), he is planning on opening up a second location. He was apart of the campaign to acquire ankle treatment and surgical privileges, in South Carolina, which recently became the 47th state to acquire these privileges. Dr. Long has had an eventful year and has attained many of his goals.
What is something you know now and wish you knew or wish someone told you before? Do you have any advice for offer to current/ prospective students?
“I wish I knew about the profession earlier in life.” Dr. Long said that the biggest advice he can offer is to work hard. He said that “this a wonderful profession and it will benefit you greatly if you dream big and work hard.” He went on to discuss with me that he wishes to change nothing about his experience with the profession and only that he wishes he knew about podiatry and the treatment of patients earlier in his career. I’ll go on to quote that Dr. Long “absolutely loves his profession and would change nothing.”
What have been the challenges of your position and how have you learned to overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges Dr. Long has faced was getting a bill passed that allowed South Carolina Podiatrists the privilege of ankle surgery and treatment, South Carolina became the 47th state to acquire these rights thanks to the hard work of Dr. Long. He also quotes this bill being passed as one of his greatest accomplishments as well. He discussed with me that this was difficult because it was one of four states without these privileges, he went on to say that if you continue to work hard, you can overcome any challenge.
What are the rewards and opportunities of your position?
Dr. Long and I discussed many of the rewards and opportunities he’s experienced. Some of the ones he highlighted were helping people and his patients. Dr. Long did not hesitate when saying that he doesn’t consider going to work everyday as a job, because it is something that he is passionate about and that he absolutely enjoys what he does.
Dr. Long went on to discuss with me that one of the most rewarding parts of his job is the ability to mentor. He said that in his community and in his practice he has the ability to educate prospective students from elementary school to college students which gives him the opportunity to get the word out about podiatry so that younger generations will find the spark and pursue podiatry.
Dr. Long went on to say that making changes with in the profession, getting laws passed in his state, and having the opportunity to make changes nationally with the APMA Board of Trustees in Washington D.C., and getting the equity bill passed, have all been incredible opportunities that he would not have if you was not apart of this profession.
What are you looking forward to in the future? Do you have any goals for the upcoming year?
One of Dr. Long’s biggest goals was to be elected to the Board of Trustees for the APMA, which he has accomplished. Aside from that Dr. Long hopes help to refine and revamp the equity bill as well as in 2019 the title 19 bill, which will require podiatrists to be defined as physicians under Medicaid, he is looking forward to accomplishing that.
Do you have any advice to offer to students who are starting to work with patients?
Dr. Long offered the following advice for students getting ready to work with patients: give patients 100% of your attention and knowledge, work hard, and understand that your job is to help people. Understand that medicine isn’t just a business, and that we are here to help people. We are here to discuss the lives of our patients, and their families. Dr. Long said that by taking the time to get to know your patients you will have the opportunity to treat them more effectively. He said to take pride in what field you are in and be proud to be a podiatrist. Dr. Long also offered the advice that you should always challenge yourself, and the more you have on your plate, often the bigger the reward you receive.