Afsaneh Latifi, DPM
By Ria Sajnani, Class of 2020
Afsaneh Latifi, DPM graduated from NYCPM in 1995. She completed her undergraduate studies at Old Dominion University, where she earned her BS degree in Biology with a minor in German. She believes the most rewarding part of being a podiatrist is creating special bonds with patients on a daily basis, while integrating concepts of generalized medicine into this highly specialized field. One thing she urges us all to keep with us throughout our podiatric education is that we’re not just treating feet, but the genuine humans attached to them.
Dr. Latifi completed her internship at the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center for one year and then spent the second year of her residency along with a one-year surgical fellowship at the Brooklyn Hospital Center. This residency experience was very influential; it was her first time working in the emergency room with nothing but gut instinct and trust in her education and experiences from NYCPM. Dr. Latifi remembers treating her first patient and surviving her first night on-call; in those moments, every aspect of her preclinical and clinical education finally clicked and came together naturally, and she was able to continue on with genuine confidence.
Today, Dr. Latifi owns her own practice on the Upper East Side: Lenox Hill Podiatry, which she founded in 2012. Her subspecialties include diabetic wound care, sports medicine, custom orthotic treatment, nail care, and pediatric podiatry. Much of Dr. Latifi’s work is focused on conservative podiatric care which she believes is often more challenging but much more successful in the long run than more invasive treatment.
While most of her time is spent at Lenox Hill Podiatry, Dr. Latifi also spends two days a week working at Settlement Health Center in East Harlem which is a non-profit community health center dedicated to providing quality healthcare to anyone who needs it regardless of a lack of proper health insurance. She claims this has been one of her most rewarding experiences, as it puts healthcare over the ability of patients to pay. With her great knowledge in the field of podiatric sports medicine, Dr. Latifi has also been a terrific asset to the medical teams participating in the New York and Boston marathons in previous years.
During her time at NYCPM, Dr. Latifi took as much advantage as she could of all of her clinic hours, and believes that her third and fourth clinical years really made healthcare come to life in ways she could never imagine. The East Harlem community around NYCPM provided Dr. Latifi not only with a diverse patient care population but also with invaluable knowledge of diabetic foot care, which has become one of the main focuses of her current practice. Dr. Latifi was given the opportunity during her fourth year at NYCPM to complete an externship at the University of Brighton in England, which was focused on orthotic treatment. Through this experience she was able to gain valuable skills from an institution that pioneered the first podiatric degrees in England, and was able to take advantage of the advanced nature of orthotic treatment there.
Dr. Latifi's main advice to students is to enter a field you are passionate about without the influence of others; once you do what you genuinely love, your daily life becomes that much more fulfilling. She urges us to create genuine bonds based on compassion with all those we meet during our clinical studies, as we never know just how much we can learn from others. While the curriculum here at NYCPM is intense, it's worth it. Concentrate on your end goal, and appreciate that as each year goes on you add more pieces to the puzzle, so that one day you'll be able to face a patient in need and know exactly what to do.