Western University of Health Sciences College of Podiatric Medicine Western University of Health Sciences
College of Podiatric Medicine

Message from the Dean

Lawrence Harkless, DPM, Founding Dean

It is with enthusiasm and pride that I welcome you to Western University of Health Sciences, College of Podiatric Medicine (WUCPM).

Podiatric Medicine is an outstanding career opportunity that is sometimes overlooked by pre-medical students, as it is often considered an alternative instead of an option. As a podiatric practitioner who spent 30 years in an academic health science center, I can say without a doubt that podiatric medicine is an exciting, challenging, rewarding profession, as we are many specialists wrapped up in one. We are the dermatologist, neurologist, rheumatologist, and orthopedist of the foot and ankle.

The podiatric foot and ankle specialist is an integral member of the healthcare team, as they are often the practitioner who diagnoses many systemic diseases which initially present with foot manifestations. The foot has often been coined the “mirror of systemic disease,” as many diseases such as diabetes, vascular disease, arthritis, neuropathy, and HIV Aids would initially manifest in the foot.

Since beginning work on July 1, 2007, we have been busy planning and developing two new facilities. One is an academic and research facility and the second is a clinical facility. The facilities are shared by students from medicine, dentistry, optometry and podiatric medicine and are designed to facilitate interprofessional education and patient care. Recently, the Council on Podiatric Medical Education has granted the College of Podiatric Medicine “Candidate Status”, a key step along the journey to full accreditation.

My reputation as an educator was built on the fact that the student was the most important individual in the residency training program, and it would be no different here at WesternU. Students will be treated professionally, with love and respect and will be mentored from day one. Our goal as a college will be to assure each student s growth and development with faculty serving as mentors. Faculty will be actively involved in the teaching process in assessing how each student learns. I am convinced that if our college leads by example and provides appropriate nurturing and motivation in helping students deal with self esteem and self confidence issues, they will become excited and grow and expand their capacity both professionally and personally.

The goal is to ensure that you obtain the appropriate insight and perspective on everything you need to know so that upon graduation, you are prepared to enter any aspect of the healthcare delivery system whether it is public health, academics, research or private practice.

Once again, welcome to Western University of Health Sciences, College of Podiatric Medicine. I look forward to meeting you.


Lawrence B. Harkless, DPM
Founding Dean
Professor of Podiatric Medicine, Surgery & Biomechanics
College of Podiatric Medicine