TUSPM Alumni Spotlight Interview: Dr. Laura Virtue-Delayo, '01


How were you introduced to the podiatric field?

“I didn’t know what a podiatrist was until I was in college; one of my friends was going to get their ingrown toenail taken care of by a local podiatrist, who is actually a fellow TUSPM grad, Dr. Lana Grzybicki. I went that day and asked if I could shadow her because I didn’t know what kind of medicine I wanted to go into, and she made it seem like a great profession with a great balance between work and family life. I shadowed her for a few weeks and fell in love with the profession.”


What led you to TUSPM?

“[Dr. Lana Grzybicki] always said Temple was the best in the country. There were only seven podiatry schools at the time, and TUSPM was the clear number one. It was a very easy decision for me!”


How was your experience at TUSPM?

“Being a part of Temple was great! The mens basketball team was really good for a few of my years, so that was pretty cool. The professors were all lovely, and the clinic was great. We would do minor surgeries and then head to Temple for the bigger ones. I also loved being in downtown Philly!”


How do you feel TUSPM prepared you for your career/early post-grad?

“Temple did a great job preparing me. I don’t believe I had a single issue. For my residency, I was with two other residents.  Two of us graduated from Temple, and I definitely think we were more prepared for the program. I never even thought for a minute that I wasn’t prepared. We were the only residents in the whole hospital, so we were thrown into the mix with every type of surgery. Even in the emergency room I felt fully prepared by Temple.”


Tell me a little about your career path.

“I did my three-year surgical residency with Dr. Guido LaPorta, and at that point he was doing major foot reconstructions and had people coming from all over the country. Then, after having my first child, I asked my pediatrician if they like working for their group. I asked if they needed a podiatrist, and everything fell into place from there. I’ve worked for Physicians Health Alliance in Scranton for the last 19 and a half years. Originally, I was the only podiatrist, but now I have a partner who is also a Temple grad, Dr. Jennifer Dempsey. I just stepped down as immediate past president for PPMA, so I am now a consultant. I’ve been a part of the board since 2012. I’m also the Medicare CAC Rep for podiatry in PA.”


What is your favorite area of podiatry?

I love that we do all aspects of the lower extremity. In one day, you can see a broken ankle, an ulcer, a baby with an ingrown toenail, a rash, etc. Everything is different from patient to patient, and every day is not the same. I love seeing older patients and getting to know them and their families over the years. Every patient brings a new topic and experience for me.


Do you have any advice for the first years? Recent graduates?

“First years. Stay on top of your studying and don’t let that get behind. The first year is really tough, especially when it comes to anatomy and other intense subjects. Review your notes as much as you can.


For recent graduates, get involved. Learn from everyone you can, especially other professions. We were the only residents in our hospital, so I learned a lot from orthopedic surgeons and vascular surgeons who needed assistants. If you have any opportunity to help other surgeons in your hospital and scrub in with them, you can learn so much from them no matter the procedure.”