From Our Editors
Jim Pruchniewski peered down his leg at his blackened toes. He'd been rushed to the hospital after a blizzard waylaid him on a mountainside in Lake Placid. "You have third-degree frostbite," the doctor confirmed. "We'll have to amputate." Fortunately for Jim and his digits, the US Olympic ski team was training nearby. The team's podiatrist hurried to the hospital like a long-lost lover hurries to interrupt a wedding before the end of a movie. "Stop!" he might have shouted as the buzz saw probably descended toward the patient's toes. The hero, our Olympic podiatrist, examined the foot and concluded that the damage was superficial. The toes would recover. And they did. The episode moved Jim Pruchniewski, a former biology teacher, to earn his medical degree. Over the last 20 years, he's gained fourfold board certification in podiatric orthopedics, surgery, primary care, and the treatment of diabetic foot wounds. At North Lakeland Foot Clinic, he examines feet with the same attention that saved his toes decades ago. He and his staff do everything in their power to keep feet healthy and, in the case of diabetic patients, avert extreme measures like amputation.