Lee Hlad, DPM, Class of 2009
Dr. Lee Michael Hlad is from a small town in upstate New York - this rural upbringing afforded him many opportunities that otherwise would have been hard to come by in a large city. He is the first in his family to pursue a career as a doctor, but not the first to be involved in the medical field. In a town where the saying goes "there are more cows than people", his primary care physician helped to introduce him to a variety of medical specialties. However, it was not until his sophomore year in college, at Mount Saint Mary in Newburgh, New York, that he was introduced to podiatry. Dr. Hlad received his Bachelor of Arts and upon graduation chose to pursue podiatry after his introduction to the field by a professor from the New York College of Podiatric Medicine (NYCPM).
Dr. Hlad's decision to attend NYCPM was tied to the schools history and reputation of providing a strong and comprehensive clinical exposure. During his time at NYCPM, Dr. Hlad assumed a leadership role in the Class of 2009, serving as class president for two consecutive years, and upon graduation was recognized by both faculty and peers for his service. He was the recipient of the New York College of Podiatric Medicine Student Service Award, APMA Foundational Scholarship, and JT TAI Scholastic Scholarship in 2008. Following that, he was also awarded the Joseph "G" Levitz, DPM Clinic Prize in 2009.
Much of his penchant for surgery is attributed to the "hands-on approach of the clinic [FCNY]" and the in- depth surgical courses and hands- on OR etiquette training that were offered. Dr. Hlad also attributes his understanding of surgical principles to the dynamic teaching and demonstrations both in lecture and in the clinic from NYCPM's own Dr. Cusack and Dr. Levitz. Completing a highly recognized reconstructive surgical residency program at Grant Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio paved the way for his current undertaking as a Fellow of the International Center for Limb Lengthening at the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. The fellowship's focus is mainly on pediatric and neglected clubfoot correction, pediatric and adult deformity correction, limb lengthening, and infection management. Dr. Hlad enjoys participating in research that contributes to new techniques and advancing current surgical outcomes. He is involved in several areas of research at Rubin
Institute for Advanced Orthopedics that he will complete by graduation. As a third-year resident, he was awarded first place in the Gerard V. Yu, DPM Scientific Paper Competition at the Central Academy meeting of the Ohio Podiatric Medical Association (OPMA).
As Dr. Hlad approaches the end of his fellowship year, he advocates that residency graduates apply for fellowships "in an area of personal medical/surgical interest that they wish to excel in". The fellowship chosen by Dr. Hlad has increased his expertise in both pre-operative radiographic and clinical analysis for level and type of deformity, as well as appropriate selection of correction procedures for appropriate long -term outcomes. His surgical training also transcended the boundaries of the U.S. operating rooms. He was able to travel abroad on a recent trip to Port-au- Prince, Haiti where he worked with a comprehensive surgical team to perform 33 surgeries. Dr. Hlad remarks about his mission trip that one of the many satisfactions as a foot and ankle surgeon "was to see people come to our team with extreme deformity and disability, and gain more independence in their daily life after surgical intervention was performed."
Upon completion of his fellowship, Dr. Hlad looks forward to returning to Columbus, Ohio to be with his wife of six years (also a DPM) and his puggle named Gertrude Moon Unit. There he will be joining a large surgical podiatry practice and is working on becoming one of the first podiatric surgeons in the area with privileges at the local Children's Hospital, where he would like to stay involved with overseas missions and local work to serve the pediatric community suffering from complex foot and ankle deformities. He is excited for what the future holds, and eager to share what he has learned with future generations of podiatric surgeons - "To be successful in the ever-changing environment of medicine, you must be willing to learn, change, mold, adapt, and collaborate with a team for the best medical and surgical outcomes for our patients".