Dr. O'Dell - 2023 Graduate

Dr. Brennen O'Dell with Dr. Michael Munson and Dr. Gary Rothenberg
Dr. Brennen O'Dell (middle) with Dr. Michael Munson and Dr. Gary Rothenberg

Congratulations to Brennen O'Dell, DPM, upcoming graduate of the Michigan Medicine Podiatry Fellowship Training Program!

Dr. Brennen O’Dell completed his residency at Intermountain Medical Center, received his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree from Des Moines University College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, and then joined the Michigan Medicine Podiatry Fellowship Training Program in July 2021.

Dr. O’Dell is an outstanding and valued member of our team. In addition to seeing patients in the podiatry clinic and at the hospital for inpatient care, he's actively involved in our program’s research efforts, including a program improvement project that impacted surgical care by improving the program's surgical preference cards. Dr. O'Dell has also published four articles, along with an additional publication that's been submitted, while in the program.

Dr. O’Dell was a third place award winning presenter at the 2023 Michigan Podiatric Medical Association (MPMA) Great Lakes Conference and has given over 22 presentations at various internal and external conferences, including the Symposium on Advanced Wound Care, the American Podiatric Medical Association Annual Conference, and the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Diabetes 3rd Annual Diabetic Foot Conference.

Dr. O’Dell will stay on at Michigan Medicine as a new faculty member beginning July 1. Below he shares his experience in the program and what he's learned.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned while doing your fellowship?

The most important thing that I have learned is managing multiple projects at once. During fellowship, there are many demands and projects that are constantly happening, such as inpatient management, research projects, presentations, and clinic responsibilities. This fellowship helps to develop each of these areas, while also teaching how to better manage time to ensure that each is given the appropriate time and attention that is needed.

What aspects of the fellowship do you enjoy the most?

There are several areas that I enjoyed, but I think the most gratifying is seeing the progression of an idea turn into a research project and into publications. It is a long process, but one that you feel very proud of by the end.

How do you think the fellowship has prepared you for the future?

Fellowship has really helped me to identify how I wish to practice podiatric medicine and surgery. I enjoy the academic setting and working with a multidisciplinary team. I believe it helps to provide the best patient care. I have also learned the importance of research and education and striving to continue contributing scholarly work.

What research projects did you work on, what were the goals, and why were you interested in the topics?

My main research project was to evaluate the effect of statin therapy on the healing of diabetic foot ulcerations. Unfortunately, we did not find that it was helpful in the healing of diabetic foot ulcerations, but it was important to contribute this knowledge. I think strong research on healing diabetic foot ulcerations is always needed, so this was an area that I wanted to try and contribute.

How do you spend your day when you’re in the clinic?

We have admin time on our clinic days and I spend that hour of admin time chart checking our inpatient list so that I am current on each treatment plan. Then, we have clinic and usually see five-six patients during the morning and staff it with our assigned attending. Following clinic, we go to the hospital for any inpatient care that needs to be done (rounding, orders, surgeries, etc.).

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I am proud of reaching the end of my formal training period. Undergraduate studies, podiatry school, residency, and fellowship is a long educational road, and I am proud to have completed each of these. I am most proud of my wife and two young boys that have been part of the entire journey with me.

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of the job is clearing diabetic foot infections and healing wounds. Whether these are healed through surgery or with continued wound care, I am proud to get them on the road to returning to their daily lives.