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Podiatric Physician Dr. Daniel T. Hall IV on Learning to Run a Practice in the 21st Century

Daniel T. Hall IV, DPM ’11, took seriously the advice of Dr. Neil Horsley, Assistant Professor and Chair, Department of Podiatric Surgery and Applied Biomechanics for the Dr. William M. Scholl College Of Podiatric Medicine, to maximize his podiatric surgical residency for every opportunity to grow, learn and practice.

“He told me that I had 1,000 days to make the most out of what I was getting, and after that it was on me,” recalled Dr. Hall, who served as chief resident and performed over 2,000 procedures, including diabetic limb salvage, reconstructive trauma surgery and uniquely complex plastic surgery flaps and grafting techniques under the direction of renowned plastic surgeons at South Miami Hospital of Baptist Health in Miami, FL.

Dr. Hall and his wife, Mallory Przybylski, DPM ’11, who completed residency at Yale/New Haven Hospital/West Haven VA Hospital, own and operate Louisiana Foot & Ankle Specialists in Lake Charles, LA. Encouraged by Miami’s entrepreneurial podiatric medical environment and determined to build professional lives that meshed, they opted for independence and bought a small but struggling podiatry practice in Louisiana’s fourth largest city. Mentorship by Dr. Dmitri Sandler, a podiatric surgeon in private practice in Homestead, FL, was crucial to their success.

“I saw how Dr. Sandler ran his practice and learned how you have to run a practice in the 21st century,” Dr. Hall said. “He gave me the opportunity to observe and learn all facets of a high-revenue practice, including front desk, medical assistant, office manager and physician responsibilities. As a senior resident, I would drive the 45 minutes to Homestead several times a week to learn the business of medicine. Dr. Sandler was absolutely instrumental and I will forever appreciate his open door policy.”

Shortly after entering private practice, the young doctors faced a serious challenge: a nationwide transition in 2015 to new electronic medical coding aimed at better documenting clinical information and patient health.

“Everything we knew changed overnight,” Dr. Hall said. “We purchased a paper charting practice and we now had to institute electronic medical records with a new ICD-10 coding system or face decreased reimbursements from insurance companies. Without the foundation provided by Dr. Sandler, we would have certainly drowned.”

Dr. Hall quickly rose to leadership in hospital committees and surgery. He is the immediate past department chairman/chief of surgery at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, the largest level III trauma center and hospital in southwest Louisiana. He also serves on the Medical Executive Committee, IT Committee, Hospital Credentialing Committee and as treasurer of the medical staff.

When he discovered a high number of admitted patients relied solely on a satellite hospital with no podiatric medical service, he and Dr. Przybylski negotiated an agreement under which they provide a weekly clinic, which quickly became one of the busiest at the hospital. Dr. Hall also works at two wound healing centers where he practices advanced wound care modalities, including skin graft substitutes and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Savvy use of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram helps Dr. Hall inform potential patients and the public of the expertise of today’s podiatric physicians and surgeons. A prolific speaker, Dr. Hall delivers lectures at conferences and seminars on wound care, sports medicine, surgery and practice management.

In the profession’s ever-expanding circles of learning and practice, young podiatric physicians reach out to Dr. Hall and Dr. Przybylski in search of advice and direction.

“We welcome residents who have the desire to be independent and run their own practice,” Dr. Hall said. “I feel a sense of responsibility for teaching the next generation of podiatrists how to thrive and help our profession grow. We all look up to those mentors who show us the way, who pick up the phone when we call, who extend a hand when we need help. Even though podiatric medicine is a big profession, it’s still a relatively small community. It’s amazing how fast and easily you can connect.”

Posted April 13, 2020
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