By KEVIN CHIRI
Slidell news bureau
SLIDELL – There are many ways a doctor can help someone feel better.
But the more Dr. Tyler Mancil, DPM saw the relief and appreciation patients showed after getting help for foot problems the more he knew it was the right field for him.
Mancil is a lifelong St. Tammany Parish resident who is the new associate working with longtime Slidell Podiatrist Dr. William “Bill” Dabdoub, DPM at Associated Foot Surgeons.
Mancil was patient and thoughtful in deciding which field of health care he wanted to specialize in after he was guided to becoming a doctor by the high school career placement tests most seniors take.
“It was kind of funny that I actually was told through the test results that I should be a doctor,” he said with a laugh. “I never thought about being a doctor before that. There are no doctors in my family.
“But after I took the test the results suggested I should try health care and perhaps even become a doctor,” he said. “It seemed to fit so I pursued it.”
The St. Paul’s High School graduate was originally considering a career where he could utilize his love of math, but once the idea of becoming a doctor got in his head there was no turning back.
“My father had a friend who was a heart surgeon and I shadowed him during high school and college and he actually told me that his career was pretty hard since you have to be on call 24/7,” he said. “Then my grandfather, who lives in Slidell, was a friend of Dr. Dabdoub and got me connected to him.”
Dabdoub has had a stellar reputation in the St. Tammany healthcare field for 36 years and is respected at the state level for his work at the executive level of the Louisiana Podiatric Medical Association, including time served as president. He is also one of the few certified podiatrists to deal in the advanced practices of the ankle, lower leg and foot.
Mancil spent time with him as an intern and quickly saw the appreciation from the patients when they got relief for foot problems.
“When your foot hurts you are miserable,” Mancil said. “You can’t walk, your foot hurts all the time and it really affects almost everything about your life.
“I saw so many thankful people for fixing even small problems,” he said. “The gratification people showed for the work Dr. Dabdoub did really convinced me it was a field I wanted to go into.”
After three years of surgical residency at East Jefferson, Mancil was fortunate enough to end up back in Dabdoub’s practice since Dr. Steven Watson was close to retirement. Now he is working side-by-side with his mentor and is also one of the few advanced practice podiatrists in the state.
“That’s what makes our practice different,” he explained. “We are qualified by the state board to treat more pathologies and actually have more surgical training.”
Mancil said there is now a three-year surgical residency standard for podiatrists, whereas it used to be two years. Dabdoub came up at a time when there was no requirement for that, but his commitment to excellence was clearly seen as he put in two years of residency when he didn’t have to do a day.
Mancil said he sees a lot of diabetes-related problems that come with infections, something with a high percentage of cases in the Southeast United States.
He also treats all manner of foot pain, with heel pain being at the top of that list.
“There is a ligament in the foot that gets inflamed and creates pain,” he said. “It’s a common problem where podiatrists see over two million people a year nationally.”
Otherwise, Associated Foot Surgeons can handle any problem involving the feet, ankle or lower leg, from ingrown toenails to bunions and hammertoes.
Offering a little free advice, Mancil said that you can avoid common foot ailments by simply remaining active.
“The best thing you can do is exercise and keep moving, especially as you get older,” he said. “Stretch, remain flexible and get a shoe with good support.”
Mancil is board qualified in both foot and reconstructive rear foot and ankle surgery by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. He is also an Associate of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
Mancil is recently married to a young woman he met in podiatry school and she will complete her residency at East Jefferson General Hospital next year.
For more information please visit www.associatedfootandanklesurgeons.com or to make an appointment, call Associated Foot Surgeons at 985-649-0002.