Local podiatrist mends broken feet
December 4, 2007
Dr. Doug Lister, his wife, Elizabeth Lister, and their two children recently moved to Park City to start a podiatry practice in town.
Lister says having a local podiatrist in Park City is unusual and new. Most physicians in this practice, he said, live in Salt Lake or Provo and just drop into the local clinics as needed.
"I don’t think they’ve had [a podiatrist] living in the community," Lister said. "Part of the thing I hope to be successful with is not somebody just coming in and out of a clinic, but actually living and practicing in town."
Lister specializes in all types of medicine for the feet. He is a certified foot surgeon, but was also chief of staff of the Mendocino Coast District Hospital in California.
After completing his medical training in 1993 at the San Francisco College of Podiatric Medicine, Lister completed three years of surgical residency outside of Atlanta, which is associated with the Podiatry Institute, one of the top organizations for furthering education in foot and ankle surgery, he said.
The Podiatry Institute often hosts its annual meetings in Park City. Lister said he enjoyed coming out to Park City for ski vacations with his family. After completing his residency program, Lister moved to Northern California to the rural community of Mendocino where he worked at the Mendocino Coast District Hospital, practicing all aspects of podiatry, from simple toenail procedures to emergency room calls for ankle fractures.
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He was eventually nominated to chief of staff of the hospital, which he says is unusual for a podiatrist.
"Not many podiatrists become chief of staff of a hospital," Lister said. "It’s just through the election within the medical staff. The medical staff appoints someone to act as the presiding chair person."
After working as chief of staff of the Mendocino hospital, the Lister family decided it was time for a change. Doug and Elizabeth Lister moved to Park City in August with their two young children, Wyatt, 4, and Piper, a 10-month-old baby girl.
Lister said there were many good reasons to move to Park City, but the biggest draw was the great family environment and good schools.
"We moved here primarily for the family and the environment," Lister said. "One of the biggest motivators for coming here was for the kids. We heard a lot about the school systems and the good opportunities and activities available for them."
Lister is commuting to California until his practice in Park City picks up more speed. He is usually in town when his schedule calls for it. But, he said, he hopes to eventually move his practice here permanently.
"My main goal is to eventually have the [Park City] office open full time," he said. "I’m here every other week, but I’m ready to expand as the schedule increases."
Lister said he was influenced by his father, who was a pediatrician, and also his friends who became interested in the podiatry field during his college days.
"My dad was a pediatrician, and I think I was always looking toward the medical field from the sports medicine perspective, initially," he said.
While Lister focuses on sports injuries a lot in his practice, including ankle sprains and fractures, he also deals with everyday foot problems, including ingrown toenails, corns and calluses, discolored and fungus nails, diabetic foot problems, joint pain and arthritis.
"When your feet hurt, there’s something we can do," Lister said.
The doctor said a common foot problem he sees is heel pain, or Plantar Fasciitis. It is usually associated with pain in the heel area when people take their initial steps in the morning. He said it’s a non-specific injury. A lot of times, it results from over-activity, but can be very debilitating and painful, Lister said.
"It’s a very common ailment to the foot," Lister said of Plantar Fasciitis. "A lot of people have it."
Lister usually treats the problem with shoe inserts, shoe modifications, pain medications or at-home physical therapy.
Other common foot ailments include ingrown nail infections, various joint pain and problems associated with sports, including tendonitis, where a muscle attached to a tendon becomes strained. Lister certifies in all of these foot problems and said he is willing to help wherever it’s needed.
He is also surgically trained in bunion deformities and major flat foot reconstruction.
"If you have a deformity and as your symptoms increase, sometimes more aggressive treatment is needed," Lister said, referring to surgery. "My standard line is, when treating people, their symptoms will indicate the treatment."
Lister said hammer toe can also be a problem for people.
Hammer toe, Lister explained, is a contracture of the toe where it tends to stick up or rotate.
"Shoe pressure or ground pressure causes it," he said of hammer toe. "Shoes aggravate the problem."
Another huge part of Lister’s practice, he said, is working with diabetics who have circulation or sensation problems in their feet or other limbs.
"A lot of times, with diabetics, circulation can be an issue. A common cause is lack of sensation in the feet," Lister said. "Diabetics get an injury on the bottom of their foot, and because it doesn’t hurt, they continue to walk on it and the pressure most often opens a portal for infections. As the infection gets into the tissue or bones, some people are looking at amputations."
Lister said diabetics who have circulation or sensation problems in their feet and have not yet received medical treatment should see a podiatrist immediately.
"Most times than not, [amputation] can be preventable through education about the risks that diabetics have," Lister said. "Typically, what we do with diabetics is we evaluate circulation and sensation and give them foot care according to the evaluation as far as the risk goes, and then educate them to look for those problems, such as redness or open sores. Diabetics may err on the side of caution of whether or not to come in."
Lister said his office is open any time for new patients who need to evaluate their everyday foot problems or to get serious medical care.
The doctor lives in Pinebrook with his wife, Elizabeth, and their children. Elizabeth is a wine broker, who works with the state and wineries around the world to import wine to businesses in the Park City area. She has always worked in the wine industry, Lister said, and often did business in Park City before they moved here.
Lister said his family enjoys the Park City community and looks forward to getting to know more people in the future.
"We love it," Lister said of Park City. "We’re into a lot of outdoor activities, a lot of skiing and mountain biking. We’ve met a lot of nice people."
Lister’s office is located at Kimball Junction at 1441 West Ute Blvd., Suite 160. For more information, visit http://www.drdouglaslister.com. To schedule an appointment, call 604-0449.