Meet Dr. Christina Pratt
Dr. Christina Pratt believes that the wellbeing of patients involves a holistic approach to their foot and ankle concerns. For her, this starts with active listening and a natural empathy to her patient’s concerns.
“I want to be able to offer a patient everything within my scope of practice as a foot and ankle surgeon,” she says. “If you truly want your patient to get superior care, you have to continue to be the best you can be and elevate your career on a daily basis. This is what I strive for every day as a physician.”
The Youngstown native is a graduate of John Carroll University (Bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Neuroscience), Case Western Reserve University (Master’s degree in Medical Ethics) and The California School of Podiatric Medicine. In Northern California, Dr. Pratt recently served as an Assistant Professor of Surgery and as a physician at Highland Hospital (Oakland, CA) before returning to her Northeast Ohio roots to join Balance Foot & Ankle. She has continued her academic career here as well, now as an Assistant Professor at the Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine in the Department of Podiatric & General Medicine.
What drew you to Balance Foot & Ankle Wellness Center?
I had a previous connection to Dr. Mark Hardy, who was my residency director. From Dr. Hardy, I learned about the aesthetic and holistic attitude towards patient care that was being built at Balance. I was intrigued and inspired by this type of niche practice, and I felt that joining the Balance team was a perfect opportunity to make a true impact on patient care.
What do you like best about the field of podiatry?
It offers this great balance between being both clinical and surgical. You have the ability to get to know your patients and you have a real and direct impact on their overall wellbeing. That aspect was really important to me. I also appreciate the expertise that is demanded in this field, and that the demand on a new practitioner continues to elevate. Podiatrists spend four years in medical school and three years in a surgical foot & ankle residency. That’s seven years of education and training with a specific focus, significantly higher than many other medical specialties.
What do you enjoy most about being a Foot & Ankle Specialist?
I enjoy when I get to watch patients walk out of here with relief of their pain, and sometimes that journey is brief and other times it’s taken multiple visits. There is a lot of patient and personal satisfaction with being able to help someone back on their feet and back to their daily activities.
What things can people do to keep their feet healthy?
The most important thing is being conscious of what’s going on with your feet and addressing issues in a timely manner, preventing rather than addressing new issues. Understand that your foot health affects your overall health, and that many times small treatments can yield significant benefits in getting you back to your daily routine.
What qualities are important in a physician? What kind of physician do you want to be?
More than anything, empathy is important. And to be empathetic, a physician needs to be a good listener. We get a lot of clues from the interviewing process that can lend to an accurate diagnosis beyond a clinical exam. Another important quality is sincerity for what you are doing. Patients can tell when you’re rushing, if you’re not enjoying the process. They can see if you’re truly wanting to help them get better.
What makes Balance Foot & Ankle stand out from traditional podiatric practices?
Before the place, it’s about the people. Beyond being highly skilled clinically and surgically, our team is one of the sincerest and most caring that I’ve ever been a part of. Everyone talks about how beautiful the space is and how welcoming the environment and atmosphere are, and those things are enhanced every day by the people. What we are doing here is special.