We sat down with Dr. Jacqueline Sutera from the Vionic Innovation Lab to learn a little bit more about her experience as a doctor of podiatric medicine.
My name is Dr. Jacqueline Sutera and I am a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon with private practices in New York City and New Jersey. I am also an attending physician at Hackensack University Medical Center at Pascack Valley. I have been in private practice since 2004.
What made you want to get involved in the podiatry industry?
I always joke that podiatry chose me! Back when I was a pre-med student at Fordham University, I had the opportunity to work with a podiatrist. He brought me into a treatment room where I observed an elderly woman who had her toe joints reconstructed by this podiatrist. Having suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for over 30 years, she was crying tears of happiness because she was now able to walk without pain. That was the defining moment where I felt that this was what I was supposed to do – to help people stay active and live life pain-free.
What are some challenges you’ve experienced in the podiatry industry and how do you overcome them?
There have been many challenges that I’ve faced as a female in my field. I can recall many moments where my male counterparts were treated differently. Honestly, it still happens occasionally, but because of my steadfast demeanor, resilience and confidence, I have found my niche and excelled. It also helps to have tough skin and never give up. I have built a practice with partners who appreciate the diversity I bring and patients who seek my advice and services because I am devoted to my work, and I work with a company like Vionic that highlights me and my expertise.
Running a practice with the ever-changing insurance landscape has been – and continues to be – a challenge for all medical professionals. In New York, I have two partners who share the responsibilities equally. In New Jersey, I am part of a large medical center. We all ride the waves and constantly adjust, updating, revising and changing policies accordingly.
The pressure of “doing it all” is something that I have been challenged with. Over the years, my responsibilities have changed. Just last year, I had my first baby! I’m now juggling even more as a working mom, doctor and wife. Being efficient and highly organized has definitely helped,
but I still work hard to find that perfect balance. I do get overwhelmed sometimes but I take a moment for some quiet meditation and I prioritize my responsibilities. The laundry can wait, grocery shopping is often done online, we cook in batches and I am getting better with accepting help when it’s offered and asking when I need it. These simple steps have allowed me to be present when I’m at work and at home with my baby. I schedule everything – an hour to work out, time to sit and pay bills, answer emails, return patient phone calls, write articles, make baby food, walk the dog, etc.! Most days I feel like Wonder Woman. Some days, not so superhero-ish, but I hear this is normal… 😂
What are 3 pieces of advice you would give your younger self?
Save more money, travel as much as possible, and take care of your mind, body and soul. Remember that health is paramount, and the choices you make when you’re younger catch up with you later. The food you eat, the friends you surround yourself, even the shoes you wear!
What are you most proud of with your work as a member of the Vionic Innovation Lab?
I am so proud to be a part of the Vionic Innovation Lab. I literally speak about Vionic every day. I recommend these shoes to my patients and family. I even wear them myself! It makes me so happy to hear that my patients who have switched to Vionic shoes no longer have any foot pain and feel amazing! I’m proud to recommend this brand and make it part of my treatment plan. I’m so happy to share my expertise with Vionic and spread the word about foot health. I feel so aligned with Vionic’s message and look forward to our continued work together. I am most proud to share the same goals for people to walk, move, live.