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International Womens Day 2023

The CFPM is deeply proud of the fact that its current Board comprises of mainly women and we are led by an exceptional president, Stephanie Playford.

In Canada there’s currently no shortage of inspirational female role models within the Podiatry/Chiropody sector. The CFPM would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank three inspirational female Podiatrists/Chiropodists amongst our CFPM members. These amazing women have kindly allowed me to share their personal stories about being a Woman in the Podiatry/Chiropody field.

1)Julie DeSimone D.Ch.  B.Sc. Podiatric Medicine

2)Tina Rainville D.Ch.

3) Alicia McQuistan D.Ch.

Question one:What would you say are positives/ benefits of being a Woman in Business?

Tina quoted “Being my own boss allows me to follow my life’s purpose and I look forward to every day and look at challenges as opportunities for change. Even though I put tons of hours into my work, I can still make my own schedule and do my best to find time for my hobbies of gardening and tending to my hens.

Tina explains how “owning our businesses has helped me develop my self confidence and self determinism and given me a passion for helping other Chiropodists and Podiatrists gain confidence and be inspired in their Foot health Businesses.Dealing with a variety of patients and employees with differing personalities has helped me develop strong interpersonal skills and the ability to confront difficult situations and communication challenges. Like a lot of women I have developed a ‘spidey sense’ over the years and learned to listen to it, hopefully, most of the time, not too late.

Question Two:Challenges for Woman in Business?

Owning a business can present many challenges and at times failures, Arianna Huffington, the co founder of Huffington Post quoted “We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” 

Julie like many of us have faced challenges with our profession, she states “Probably one of the biggest challenges I was faced with was Educating people on what Chiropody was. It was not a known field in Northern Ontario. There was much to do to make people understand the importance of foot health. Being a women proved to make things a little more difficult when going from Doctors office to Doctors office educating the educated!I made it my mission to educate on every media available. I wrote articles, made TV commercials, even did radio talk shows.

Question Three:Misconceptions, Inequalities?

Tina and Alicia both discuss that being a woman often leads to misconceptions. Alicia states They would ask me all the time when would the "doctor" would be in, assuming I was the nurse.Tina shares the same problem When I first started out in the late 90’s, I looked really young for my age so it was a constant challenge with clients to gain their trust and respect and get past their assumption that I was a ‘nurse in training’ , after 26 years in practice, I don’t have to worry about that anymore!!!”

Question 4:Being a woman and balancing life

Not only do Women face challenges in their profession we also have personal challenges combined with business challenges.

Alicia states Balancing my business and being a new mom was one of the most challenging things I have ever done. I remember wishing I had more other women in similar circumstances that I could relate too.  I graduated in 2010 but bought the practice in 2008.  So I was a full time student, a full time mom and a new business owner. Our oldest daughter was born in 2007 and she was 4 months old when I went to school full time. When I graduated, I was pregnant with our second.  I started working when she was about three months old.  I remember patients constantly asking who was home with the kids. 

Tina explains “It is always a challenge too juggle patients, employees, three clinics and our consulting company and still have time for home and family. I have a hard time ‘relaxing’. Having grown up on a dairy farm I was taught a very strong work ethic from a very young age. I find it a challenge to just relax and turn my mind off from the businesses. I believe this is a big challenge for most women who run businesses as well as homes and families. It can be tough to find a work/life balance.

In Conclusion….

As you can see woman can face challenges when working in the Healthcare sector, but also these women have informed and inspired us that we can be successful and make a huge impact.“If you are committed to creating value and if you aren’t afraid of hard times; obstacles become utterly unimportant. A nuisance perhaps; but with no real power. The world respects creation; people will get out of your way.” Candice Carpenter, founder of

Here are some final pieces of advice from our amazing inspirational woman

Alicia “I would say it is amazing what you can accomplish if you let go of your fear and anxiety and just try.

Tina Balance your work, hobbies and personal life, “Being my own boss allows me to follow my life’s purpose and I look forward to every day and look at challenges as opportunities for change.

Julie “believe in what you do! When you practice from the heart people listen.” She has truly been an inspiration as her daughter is now following in her foot steps and continues to share her passion!

Thank you to these amazing, inspirational women! On behalf of the CFPM we will be sending you a small token of our appreciate. The CFPM are going to continue to support all our members, we strive to ensure we listen to you and allow you opportunities to shares your amazing stories. 

Copyright 2022
Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine


P.O. Box 62026

Burlington RPO, Burlington Mall

Burlington, ON L7R 4K2


Phone:  1-888-706-4444

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