Meet Dr. Dave Williams, an El Paso Podiatrist. A compassionate individual I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know a little bit over some conversations about his life, practice and family. Enjoy the interview…
Bob: Can you tell us about your Podiatry practice and how you got into it?
Dr. Williams: I was born and raised in El Paso, where my father and uncle both practiced podiatry. So
growing up, I was pretty familiar with what foot doctors do. I got into podiatry after years of
coaching and playing sports. I was a professional volleyball coach in Odense, Denmark and
coached as an assistant at both Southern Arkansas University and Eastern New Mexico
University. I recognized that podiatry and sports are a perfect fit for one another. Athletes are
always hurting their feet. As a coach, I would get frustrated by long recovery times after
players got injured. I made it a goal of mine to learn how to get people back to full strength
as safely and quickly as possible after an injury or surgery. Everybody has a life, and no one
wants to spend it sitting on the sidelines nursing and injury.
Bob: What one thing that you did early on, would you say, contributed to your success?
Dr. Williams: I am just tenacious. I don’t know how to quit. I don’t like to lose and I tend to get hyper focused
on my goals. If you have tenacity you will be able to claw out of adversity each and
every time. I know plenty of talented people who think the world should come to them. I
know a lot of smart people who aren’t willing to put in the hours needed to be successful.
Some of the most successful people I know are not the smartest, not the most talented, but
will out-work just about anyone. I try to fit that mold as much as I can.
Bob: What would you recommend to someone just getting out of high school or college
and wants to get into the health care industry?
Dr. Williams: Find a bunch of doctors in different specialties and shadow them as much (and as long) as
possible. You will find out a few things very quickly. Some specialties spend most of their time
in the operating room, in clinic, in a lab, or at the hospital. Other specialties deal with
certain types of patients like kids, seniors, diabetics, cancer patients or athletes. By taking
the time to shadow different types of doctors you will also learn there are certain areas of
the body you can’t deal with day in and day out. This is important to learn BEFORE you get
into medicine, so do as much shadowing and volunteering as you can.
Bob: How have past failures and or rejections affected your self-confidence?
Dr. Williams: First of all, I don’t know any successful person who hasn’t had to push through adversity.
Failure can be devastating to your ego. But, at some point, you have to pull up your bootstraps
and move on. The great thing about failing is that it gives you the perfect opportunity
to learn. When I have a set back, I take the time to try and figure out where things went off
the rails. How could I have made better decisions, or reacted differently, to change the
outcome? Sometimes the chips just fall where they fall and there is nothing you can do about
it, but most of the time you can trace the demise of the situation to something that is
tangible and fixable. That is wonderful because it gives you the opportunity to can make the
necessary adjustments to be successful the next time around.
Bob: What parts of your profession or running your business do you find most
Dr. Williams: Delegating. I have a very hard time passing off tasks. Over the course of my podiatry practice
I have set up and run my own websites, updated multiple social media sites, answered
phones, set up appointments, called insurance companies, and everything else under the sun.
The problem is that, at some point, you get too big to do it all yourself. I am getting better,
but I recognize this is something that I have to keep working on as my practice grows.
Bob: How vital is a strong self-belief system to your success?
Dr. Williams: Believing in yourself is essential. People will always find ways to undermine you. Whether
they are competitors, “negative Nellie’s,” or just jealous. You have to have thick skin.
Sometimes you are the only person who will “get it” when it comes to your vision, and that’s
okay. Listening to the nay-sayers will only suck up your time. Your time is far too valuable to
pay attention to people who have absolutely nothing invested in YOUR business. You are the
Captain and have complete control over where you want your ship to go. Look at the map, set
the compass, and have faith that you are headed in the right direction.
Bob: What are your success habits?
Dr. Williams: I work very hard to keep balance in my life. I exercise 4 to 5 times per week. I try to get 7-8
hours of sleep every night. I eat as healthy as possible (with a few cheats). I read a lot of
business books. Right now I am reading the No B.S. series by Dan Kennedy. I keep up with
medical advancements in podiatry. And…I keep my weekends sacred. I save them for my
family and try to do as little office work as possible during the weekend.
Bob: How would you describe a good culture or work environment?
Dr. Williams: I like a relaxed work environment. I hate ties. The staff can look nice but also be
comfortable. Personally, I wear scrubs. I encourage input from my employees. If they have
ideas to make things better, I am all ears. I learned early on that doctors tend to have big
egos. I saw first hand how those “big heads” were debilitating to their practices. Everyone
has a voice, it is important to listen. It is important that your employees know that their
voices matter. Working in my practice can be stressful, but it is important to have
perspective. After all, we run a podiatry practice, not NASA. We aren’t trying to bring the
Apollo 13 back home!
Bob: Do you believe raw talent is better than a good work ethic?
Dr. Williams: Here are 2 quotes that echo how I feel about raw talent vs. hard work:
“Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard” -Tim Notke (High School Basketball
Coach, Motivational Speaker)
“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful
one is a lot of hard work.” – Stephen King
Bob: What advice would you give someone who has a foot issue and looking for a
Dr. Williams: This advice is true when looking for any doctor, not just a podiatrist: Ask your friends who
they like. Once you have a few names, start doing your research. Go to their website, watch
their videos, ask about their experience in treating the kind of problem you have. What
makes them stand out? Once you have narrowed down your list, schedule an appointment. Go
to the doctor, get advice about your problem and get a treatment plan. Then, get a second
opinion. Sometimes you may have to see a few specialists before you feel comfortable with
your doctor’s knowledge, plan, bedside manner and the flow of their office. As for podiatrists,
you should know there are many sub-specialties of podiatry. I focus on sports medicine, heel
pain and forefoot surgery, but there are podiatrists who specialize in diabetes, ulcers,
children, ankle surgery, and more. It is important to find out what your podiatrist focuses on
to make sure you are in the best hands for your problem.
Dr. Dave Williams specializes in treating heel pain, ingrown toenails, bunions and
hammertoes. He is proud to be board certified by the American Board of Lower Extremity
Surgery and is a fellow of the American College of Lower Extremity Surgeons. Dr. Williams
belongs to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, Academy of Ambulatory Foot
and Ankle Surgery and the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery. His practice, El
Paso Feet, is always accepting new patients and takes most major insurance. Dr. Williams is
“Saving Soles, One Step at a Time!”
To contact his office please call (915) 239-0003 or visit his website at http://www.elpasofeet.com/