Dyane Tower, a current Master of Public Health (MPH) candidate, is the first ever American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Public Health Fellow at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice (TDI). She will be graduating in June 2013. Tower’s accomplishments leading up to TDI and since starting the program have been nothing less than impressive.
Tower grew up in Maryland Heights, Missouri, a St. Louis suburb. She graduated from Truman State University (Kirksville, Missouri) in 2005 with a BS in exercise science. There she also captained the women’s golf team. Most recently, Tower earned her Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree from the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine (Chicago, Illinois) in 2009 and completed her residency at the Northern Colorado Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Program (Greeley, Colorado) this past June 2012. During her podiatry studies, she also earned an additional BS in biomedical sciences and an MS in healthcare administration and management.
Tower always knew she wanted to pursue a career in medicine. When asked why podiatry, she explained that she felt as though it was the most direct route to hands-on patient care. While podiatry school is just as long as medical school, its residency requirements are typically shorter than other surgical specialties.
Asked what in her studies has been the most eye‐opening thus far, Tower said it has been learning more about the patient perspective, something TDI emphasizes. “Understanding healthcare from a societal perspective has really opened my eyes to how people receive healthcare in general. I now know that understanding and acknowledging the social determinants of health will only make me a more empathetic clinician.” She said understanding how our healthcare system has sometimes let patients down helps to expose areas of opportunity for making it better in the future. Tower’s own final capstone (the final deliverable to receive her MPH) will focus on healthcare accessibility. She will assess patient wait times at the podiatry clinic where she used to work and identify ways access to this type of specialty service can be improved.
In between studying, Tower still finds the time to enjoy hobbies such as crocheting, scuba diving (she recently went diving off the coast of Honduras over winter break), and running. Tower’s husband, Adam, is a PhD candidate at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado; he flew out to run with her in the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth Hero Half Marathon this past fall. She has several other races and half marathons planned this spring and summer as well. Tower also serves as a departmental representative to both the Graduate Student Council and the Geisel School of Medicine Student Government and is a live-in volunteer at the Outreach House, an assisted living facility located across from the Dartmouth campus.
Tower has been a joy to learn from, and her dedication to podiatry and healthcare are very inspiring. She has certainly set the bar high for future APMA Public Health Fellows that will follow her. We wish her the best as she finishes up this spring’s coursework at TDI and moves on to other grand adventures after graduation!
by Lisa Jackson