Sure footed: Podiatrist Dyane Tower,
TDI ‘13

By Lisa Jackson

Dyane Tower, DPM, MS, always knew she wanted a career in medicine. She chose podiatry because she saw it as 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.) When she graduates from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice (TDI) in June with an MPH, she’ll be ready to not only help her own patients but also improve the health system in which she works. 

“Understanding healthcare from a societal perspective has really opened my eyes to how people receive healthcare in general,” says Tower, the first-ever American Podiatric Medical Association Public Health Fellow at TDI. “I now know that understanding and acknowledging the social determinants of health will make me a more empathetic clinician.” At TDI, she’s learned how healthcare systems sometimes let patients down and how to turn those challenges into opportunities for positive change. Tower’s capstone project at TDI focuses on healthcare accessibility. She plans to assess patient wait times at the podiatry clinic where she used to work and identify ways to improve access to this type of specialty service.

Tower grew up in Maryland Heights, Missouri, a St. Louis suburb. She earned a BS in exercise science from Truman State University in Missouri in 2005. She then earned a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine from the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, as well as a BS in biomedical sciences and an MS in healthcare administration and management. Tower completed her residency in the Northern Colorado Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Program in June 2012, and came to Dartmouth last fall. 

Tower is active, not just in her field, but in the Dartmouth community, too, serving as a representative to both the Graduate Student Council and the Geisel School of Medicine Student Government. She is also a live-in volunteer at the Outreach House, an assisted-living facility in Hanover. In between study and service, Tower somehow finds time to enjoy hobbies such as crocheting, scuba diving (she 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; he joined her last fall in the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth Hero Half Marathon. She has several more races and half marathons planned for this spring and summer. And we can be sure she’ll be taking good care of her feet along the way.


March 2013

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