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WesternU College of Podiatric Medicine welcomes Dr. Ebonie Vincent-Sleet from ‘My Feet Are Killing Me’

by Rodney Tanaka

March 29, 2024

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Western University of Health Sciences College of Podiatric Medicine students received sound advice and life lessons from foot and ankle surgeon Ebonie Vincent-Sleet, DPM, MBMS, who practices in Orange County and who gained a large following from her appearances on the TLC series “My Feet Are Killing Me.”

On March 21, 2024, Dr. Ebonie Vincent-Sleet (from “My Feet Are Killing Me”) visited WesternU for a Q&A with a group of College of Podiatric Medicine students. (Steven Webber, WesternU)

As “America’s Foot Doctor,” Dr. Vincent-Sleet has been featured on E! Daily Pop, Dr. Oz, Daily Mail, NBC, ABC, Fox, and the Tamron Hall Show, where she shares about the advancements in foot care and surgical technology for the treatment of foot and ankle conditions, according to her website.

Dr. Vincent-Sleet grew up in Temecula, California and earned her DPM degree from Des Moines University.

“I’m happy that I chose this career in podiatry. It is incredibly rewarding,” she said. “The patient-doctor relationship is very important. One of the best things I love to do in my practice is to get to know the patient, learn what their goals are, and treat the patient, not the problem.”

When asked how to avoid burnout, Vincent-Sleet talked about a time when she was struggling to focus on her studies. She is a huge Broadway buff, so she and a friend decided to get tickets to a live local performance of Les Misérables in order to take her mind off her struggles.

“Find whatever it is that does that for you,” Vincent-Sleet said. “You have to make a point to do it. Don’t feel guilty about it.”

Taking a break from her studies to get the tickets allowed her to free her mind and gave her something to look forward to. And she could refocus after returning, knowing she had a set amount of time to get her work done before going to the musical.

“Having personal wellness goals for your mind is so good. Set a small personal goal and set that time aside and that way you can work hard, to the point where you can enjoy what you set your mind to,” Vincent-Sleet said. “You can hit a wall and say, ‘Let’s go to Disneyland. That was the refresher I needed to refocus and recharge.’”

Vincent-Sleet provided advice for students when they reach their fourth-year rotations and prepare to apply to residencies. She encouraged students to always be helpful – always have pockets full of gauze, cultures, tape and scissors.

“That way they will remember you were actually really helpful, that you would be a good addition to the team,” she said.

She also encouraged students to explore their creativity.

“You can be creative with entrepreneurial ideas you have. There are a number of people I know who have a sock company or a skin care line,” Vincent-Sleet said. “That’s a side of podiatry that is not highlighted enough. You don’t just have to be in it with your science and your surgery. You can definitely be in it for other entrepreneurial ideas. For me, I started a CBD skin care line for my patients after surgery. It’s only sold in office. That’s something that’s fun for me.”

Left to right: Dr. Ebonie Vincent-Sleet, CPM Dean Dr. Jonathan Labovitz, and CPM student Isaiah Claudio. (Steven Webber, WesternU)

Second-year CPM student Isaiah Claudio, who is also WesternU’s California Podiatric Medical Association (CPMA) representative, invited Vincent-Sleet to campus on March 21, 2024 because she has so much influence in the field.

“She’s very easy to relate to, being part of a younger, newer generation of health professionals in the field of podiatry,” Claudio said. “Just hearing her perspective on a time and place we are (experiencing), it’s nice to know we will get through it. Hearing someone as successful as her has also gone through the same hardships that we have was very comforting.”

Vincent-Sleet’s appearances on “My Feet Are Killing Me” and her strong social media presence is helping podiatric medicine grow as a profession, Claudio said.

“Some people who are not interested in health care will learn about podiatry because of her show,” Claudio said. “She is using her exposure for good, to really be able to get more people going their podiatrists and more people applying to the field. I’m glad we have her for that.”

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