Q&A: Michael Casteel, DPM, FACPM, FAPWHc​

Last Updated on April 19, 2023 by Laura Turner

Dr. Michael Casteel, DPM, is a podiatry specialist in The Villages, FL. He currently practices at The Villages Health Care Center and is affiliated with UF Health The Villages Hospital. Dr. Casteel is board certified in Podiatric Orthopedics and Primary Podiatric Medicine.

Please introduce yourself and tell us about yourself and your professional journey. 

I grew up in Northern Kentucky and completed my undergraduate education at Thomas More University, majoring in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. I completed my graduate-level training at the Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine (c/o 2015), followed by a Podiatric Medicine and Surgery residency at Western Reserve Health Education in Youngstown, Ohio. I am Board Certified by the American Board of Podiatric Medicine and hold additional wound healing certifications from the American Board of Wound Healing and Council for Medical Education and Testing. My professional interests include dermatology, wound healing, biomechanics, and rheumatologic diseases.

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I am a member of the Academy of Physicians in Wound Healing, the Council for Nail Disorders, and the American College of Podiatric Medicine, the latter of which I am actively involved in its Education Committee. In addition, I am a peer-reviewer for multiple medical journals, including Foot & Ankle Surgery: Techniques, Reports & Cases (FASTRAC), Advances in Skin and Wound Care, and the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association.

When did you first decide to become a Podiatrist? Why?

I always knew from a young age (probably elementary/middle school) that I wanted to be a doctor, but I was not sure which specialty. As I grew up, I found a passion for sports medicine, leading me to discover podiatry as a potential career choice. While in college, I shadowed a podiatrist and knew at that moment podiatry was the career for me!

How/why did you choose the Podiatry school you went to?

There are only ten podiatry schools in the country, so location to family was paramount for me. Kent State University was close enough to home and offered a great curriculum (not to mention a state-of-the-art cadaver lab and a nice campus).

What information/advice do you wish you had known when beginning Podiatry school?

I wish I had a better grasp on finances. Unfortunately, many professional students will excessively borrow student loans and live outside their means while in school without considering the long-term financial repercussions of their decisions. My advice to professional students is to live frugally while they are in school and not rely on borrowing more student loans, if at all possible.

If you had it to do all over again, would you still become a Podiatrist? Why or why not?

Absolutely! Podiatry has been very good to me. I am given full autonomy at my job and treat a multitude of lower extremity conditions. Every physician and mid-level practitioner in my group respects me and frequently reach out to discuss patient care; it is very empowering.

What was it like finding a job in your chosen career field? What were your options, and why did you decide what you did?

I started my job search early and aggressively during residency, i.e., contacting recruitment specialists, Chief Medical Officers, etc., so I had a job lined up at the beginning of my third PGY year at a multi-specialty group. Remember there are many other job opportunities available to podiatrists, including FQHCs (Federally Qualified Health Centers), academic institutions, federal positions (Veterans Affairs / Indian Health Services), and orthopedic groups. I knew that I did not want to open my own practice, given the headache of running a business, so that option was not a consideration for me.

What did you like most about being a Podiatrist?

The practice of podiatric medicine varies by state. Where I trained (OH) and where I practice now (FL) offers a similar scope of practice, essentially allowing me to treat any pathology below the knee. I love the variety of pathology podiatry offers: dermatology, sports medicine, surgery (forefoot and rearfoot/ankle), wound care, and lower extremity neurology.

What do you like least?

As I’m sure it’s been mentioned before, dealing with insurance company reimbursements, prior authorizations, and other paperwork headaches. This is certainly not unique to podiatry, and the stress of this is probably more apparent for those who own a practice.

Describe a typical day at work in your current position.

My practice is primarily clinical, with outpatient surgery cases clumped into one day a month, minus outpatient add-on cases on other days or after-hour hospital cases. I work Monday thru Friday and start seeing patients at 8 AM and finish around 5:30 PM. In addition to my podiatry clinic, I concomitantly oversee our practice’s wound clinics and manage patients there. Hospital work is variable and involves patient rounding before clinic in the mornings / later in the evening depending on urgency; from time to time, I also have hospital surgeries which are primarily limb-salvage related, i.e., amputations.

If you took out educational loans, is/was paying them back a financial strain?

I would recommend anyone taking out loans to start paying them back as soon as possible; the less interest you accrue, the more you will save in the long run.

From your perspective, what is the biggest challenge or problem in Podiatry today?

What puzzles me most about podiatric medicine is the variability of the scope of practice, as each state has its own laws regarding what podiatrists can and can’t treat. I believe podiatric medicine needs to have one cohesive scope for all 50 states and US territories. This is part of the reason why so many of our allopathic/osteopathic colleagues don’t entirely know what we do, what kind of pathology we see, what surgeries we perform, etc.

Do you have any final advice for students interested in pursuing Podiatry?

The best advice I have for prospective students is to shadow a podiatrist (or multiple!) to truly grasp what we do as clinicians. Podiatric medicine is a wonderful profession in that you can gear your practice toward your interests – lower extremity orthopedic surgery, wound healing/dermatology, pediatrics, academia/research, etc. However, even if one chooses to focus on one of the above practice interests, you are still at core a lower extremity specialist. You will see the standard lower extremity clinical pathology (diabetic foot care, callus care, nails, heel pain, venous stasis, etc.). Also, be sure to review the financial implications of your graduate-level training, as podiatry school tuition is quite similar to medical and/or dental school. Best of luck!

2 thoughts on “Q&A: Michael Casteel, DPM, FACPM, FAPWHc​”

  1. He’s not board certified in surgery and he’s doing amputations in a hospital?? That doesn’t make sense and something is fishy.

    • Thank you for your comment. In Florida, podiatrists are authorized to perform surgery, including amputations of toes, as detailed in the relevant statute below:

      “Practice of podiatric medicine” means the diagnosis or medical, surgical, palliative, and mechanical treatment of ailments of the human foot and leg. The surgical treatment of ailments of the human foot and leg shall be limited anatomically to that part below the anterior tibial tubercle. The practice of podiatric medicine shall include the amputation of the toes or other parts of the foot but shall not include the amputation of the foot or leg in its entirety. A podiatric physician may prescribe drugs that relate specifically to the scope of practice authorized herein.

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