Podiatry Student Wins National Competition

Yumi Wilson, SMU News

The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) has named Tiffany Tram Tran, DPM '23, the winner of the inaugural APMA-PICA full-tuition scholarship

Tiffany, a third-year podiatry student with a 4.0 GPA, co-edits the National Foot and Ankle Review, an academic, peer-reviewed journal and website published annually by SMU’s California School of Podiatric Medicine. She also volunteers at the Suitcase Clinic, a Bay Area nonprofit that provides health and social services to unhoused people. Currently, she’s organizing a sock drive for the clinic.

“Tiffany’s contributions to the program, the community, and the profession of podiatric medicine are already numerous and impactful,” Cherri Choate, SMU’s associate dean for educational affairs, said in her nomination letter. “Her leadership abilities in both her Suitcase Clinic project and as co-editor-in-chief are far beyond her years.”

Tiffany was chosen first among nine students, each of whom was nominated by one of the nine podiatric schools in the country. The scholarship was based on financial need, academic excellence, community service, research involvement, and peer support.

Father's wise words

Tiffany credits her late father, who died last year, for pushing her to succeed.

“As the firstborn and kind of like the big sister of the family, my dad raised me to believe that as a woman, I can do as good or even better as any man,” she says. “And you know, He always told me that if I work hard, I can do anything if I put my mind to it.”

Tiffany, who studied physics as an undergraduate at UC San Diego, said she became excited about podiatry after hearing a woman who raved about her podiatrist.

“She couldn’t stop talking about her podiatrist,” Tiffany recalls. “So, I shadowed some podiatrists. And they all told me they really loved their jobs and had really good relationships with their patients.”

That’s when she knew podiatry was her calling. Tiffany chose SMU because of its 9:1 student-teacher ratio and track record of successfully helping graduates find residencies and jobs.

“SMU is so different from UCSD, which is a big school,” she says. “Here, we have small [graduating] classes of 40 students or so, and we get to know our faculty members really well.”

It was the personal connections with classmates and professors, Tiffany says, that helped her to get through “what happened to me last year. The grief still gets to me, but I couldn’t have done it without them. They are like my family.”

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