313 – Elan Silver Podiatrist of the Year 2023

Feb 7, 2024

Elan Silver was named Podiatrist of the Year 2023 at the Allied Health Awards. He owns Silver Podiatry in Inglewood, Western Australia, and his podiatry story will astound you. 

He initially studied optometry but had to leave because of colour blindness and astigmatism, so he transferred and got a degree in Anatomy and Human Biology.

After completing his first degree, he decided to study chiropractic. In his final year, he became disillusioned because he felt they did not address the lower limb, especially limb length discrepancies, and how this would affect long-term treatment outcomes for patients. Elan thought, surely you should start at the bottom and work your way up.

He mentioned his concerns to a lecturer who said that’s how you make your money. 

This dissatisfaction led him to investigate the world of podiatry. He decided he would not work as a chiropractor and would go back to university and study podiatry. So, he packed up his life in Perth and started his podiatry degree at the Charles Sturt University in Albury, New South Wales.

Upon graduating, he immediately moved back to Perth. After working for other people initially, he decided, as a mature graduate, that it was time to start working for himself. Since then, he has never looked back; the rest is history.

If you would like to reach out to Elan Silver, his email address is elan@silverpodiatry.com.au and if you have any questions about this episode, you can contact me at tyson@podiatrylegends.com


If you do, I want to let you know you’re not alone, and most of my coaching clients feel the same way, which is why they chose to work with me over a larger cookie-cutter coaching company.

My coaching clients do not have big egos; they are quiet achievers and like to fly under the radar, but they do want to evolve their podiatry businesses into something special, something they can be proud of and say, “This is mine”.

If this sounds like you, we should talk.

You can visit my website, www.tysonfranklin.com, for more information or use my ONLINE CALENDAR to schedule a free thirty-minute Zoom meeting. 

During our call, I will explain to you the Thriving Podiatry Business Model, which I’ve developed over many years. I guarantee that you will have more clarity on what is best for you and your business after we talk. 

“I was a frustrated business owner for five years until I started working with Tyson. He helped me transform my business in a matter of months, resulting in an instant increase in revenue and the ability to attract and retain top quality podiatrists. Over the past three and a half years, working with Tyson has changed my life drastically. I was able to take time off to start a family, triple my business revenue, and finally achieve work-life balance. I highly recommend Tyson to anyone who is looking for a business coach.”

 – Jessica Haydock (Sole Focus Podiatry, Toowoomba)


Have you checked out my YouTube Channel – TYSON E FRANKLIN

Full Transcript

313 – Elan Silver Podiatrist of the Year 2023

[00:00:00] Tyson E Franklin: Hi, I’m Tyson Franklin and welcome to this week’s episode of the Podiatry Legends podcast. With me today is a good friend, Elan Silver. He owns Silver Podiatry in Inglewood in Western Australia, which is over there near Perth, if anyone’s wondering. And he was actually named podiatrist of the year in 2023 at the Allied Health Awards.

[00:00:19] So Elan, how are you doing? I’m good. And you Tyson? I’m fantastic. I love having celebrities on the podcast. So you got a trophy, you had a trophy and everything that said that you were podiatrist. And if you got it there, the people on the video, that is a beautiful looking trophy. What was that like?

[00:00:35] How, what was it like actually going along to the dinner itself and winning that award? Were you expecting it?

[00:00:43] Elan Silver: No, there was no particular lead up to it where we were given any idea of what was going to happen. You had your five nominees that were listed. And with the event being hosted in Darwin, I said to my wife, Sarah, what a great excuse to go to Darwin and experience that I’d [00:01:00] never been there before.

[00:01:01] So I booked the tickets, went off. I did have one of the presenters come up to me and just ask me what the pronunciation of my name was. But when all five names are read out, you just figured yours is amongst them. Yeah. And so there were about I think 16 tables of ten, five nominees per table. And I just figured that I didn’t have any expectations.

[00:01:25] I didn’t have any speech prepared, which amused the psychologist who was sitting next to me. And she said, why didn’t you prepare a speech? And I said, obviously I didn’t read that email, but I figure, with five nominees, I’ve only got a 20 percent chance of winning and an 80 percent chance of not winning.

[00:01:40] So the odds are ever in my favor that I won’t have to get up and give a speech. So we went through the five people and I said, Oh, I reckon, this person’s going to win. And if she doesn’t win a previous guest of yours here, I reckon this guy will win. I’ll put myself in at number three, number four, great work.

[00:01:58] If he wasn’t [00:02:00] there, someone else would take the work and. I didn’t give myself much of a chance. So when my name was read out, I I might have dropped the F bomb quite loudly at my table. My table burst out laughing because then they knew I had to go and give a speech. So a lot of people had prepared speeches.

[00:02:19] Some people were reading from scripts, some people reading from their phones and I go up there and I’m staring, the microphone’s up here because the guy before me was about six foot five in the spotlight and I’ve got the coat hanger smile and I was stood there for about five seconds, not saying a word.

[00:02:34] And I’m just, you’ve got this award. You’ve just been nominated the Australian Podiatrist of the Year. And the first thing that came out of my mouth was, oh my goodness, imposter syndrome is real. So thank God my speech was after dinner and after a truckload of drinks for the people there.

[00:02:52] So they had a good laugh. And what else can you say,

[00:02:55] Tyson E Franklin: they’re the best speeches. Sometimes I think they are the best speeches when, [00:03:00] geez, was it 2003. We went in the Queensland Government and Telstra Business Awards, same thing, five nominees in the final. .

[00:03:07] And I jokingly said to my wife, Hey, so when we win this, are you gonna go up and do the speech or am I, ah, you can do it? I said, yeah, okay. We’re seeing a table full of strangers. I didn’t even invite anybody because I didn’t think we were gonna win. Yeah. And I remember saying to my mom, oh, we’re going we’re in the finals of the Telstra Business Award.

[00:03:25] My mom went. You’re a podiatrist. Why are you there? Which is why you didn’t get invited, mum, because that’s what you would have been saying to everybody. And I didn’t invite my brother. I didn’t invite staff. I invited no one because I thought, okay, it’s good to be there. I just want to see what happens on the night.

[00:03:39] Maybe next year we’ll learn something from it. And when they called out our name. We just looked at each other and went, it was almost like Steven Bradbury. Holy, what the, no speech prepared either.

[00:03:49] Elan Silver: Yeah the podiatry side of things, I think was the second award after dinner. So there were about, I think, 26 awards being out on offer. And I was the first one to [00:04:00] go up and say, Oh, I just can’t wait to go home and tell mum and dad, look, mum and dad, I won a Darwin award. So that just cracked him up.

[00:04:10] I did have a few people coming up to me afterwards saying it was a great speech because it was really awkward that night because it was the same night as the referendum. Yeah.

[00:04:18] Tyson E Franklin: Oh, okay.

[00:04:20] Elan Silver: So a lot of people were politicising their speeches. And a lot of them were politicising in the way of they believe that the majority of the population should have voted yes.

[00:04:29] Whereas statistically speaking, most of the people in the room voted no. Yeah. So it was really awkward. So I had a bit of a spiel there about, you treat the person not the problem and, do so without bias or agenda.

[00:04:43] Tyson E Franklin: I always find referendums funny. I always think when they, whenever they have a referendum and it’s yes, no, there should be a, I don’t give a rats in the middle.

[00:04:52] Yeah. Oh, you’ve asked the wrong question. Yeah. It’s just give me three options because yes and no what if I’m in between undecided [00:05:00] and therefore they get a true idea of what everybody really thinks because sometimes yes or no votes they’re very black and white and there’s a lot more to it than that. Geez, we just got political all of a sudden. That’s not what this podcast is all about. But it’s good. We wouldn’t have liked to be having you on here. One, because I know I knew you before you won the award. So now that you’re famous, it’s good that you still came on the podcast. But Joe Keain, who won in 2022, came on the podcast last year.

[00:05:26] So I’m going to try and make this an annual thing. Whichever podiatrist wins the podiatrist of the year, I’m going to try and get on the podcast every year, just to get their experience. I think it’s great.

[00:05:36] Elan Silver: I think it’s a really good idea because you get the list of questions and yeah, you’re filled with that self doubt, are you worthy of this award?

[00:05:43] But, even if you don’t submit your answers, just answering the questions will reveal what your story is and what you’ve done. And with micro storytelling or overt storytelling, you can actually add that potentially to the way you market yourself [00:06:00] and just see how you feel about your own profession.

[00:06:04] Yeah. I

[00:06:04] Tyson E Franklin: think it’s great. When we did the Telstra award, I remember all these questions that we had, there were like 20 questions that we had to fill in. And just going through that process of answering those questions, I learned a lot about myself and about business. And I remember writing our whole submission, gave it to my wife, said, Hey, you read this.

[00:06:20] She read through it and she went, that’s the biggest load of crap I’ve ever seen you write, when you go back and rewrite it, but this time rewrite it like Tyson’s answering these questions, not what you want them to hear, what is actually going on in your head. So I rewrite the whole thing.

[00:06:37] There were jokes in there. I had funny photos of us dressed as Mexicans and rowing competitions coming last and really just showed them this is what our business is all about. This is how it works in the community. When I spoke to the judges afterwards, they said that was why we won, because it was so real.

[00:06:53] There’s two things on my mind. There’s that old saying of nothing sells better than a [00:07:00] true story told by a genuine person. Yeah. And the other thing is, just with the whole going through the process one of the, because with these awards, very little of it is based on your clinical skills.

[00:07:12] Elan Silver: There’s no way for them to actually assess how good you are with your hand. So the nomination is more about recognition of the journey. Of the person, they’re resilient that their passion for the work and, what they’ve actually done with their clinical skills. I think a lot of, one of the reasons why I might have been selected, I don’t know what that process was but.

[00:07:35] I think some of it was to do with the fact that I do some work that I actually don’t want to do. Yeah. And if I wasn’t doing that work, there would be no one else to do it. Okay. So it’s nice to get a little bit of recognition for that.

[00:07:49] Tyson E Franklin: But it’s one of the other things when we got feedback afterwards.

[00:07:54] They said you can tell the difference between an application where it was written by somebody else in the business, not the business [00:08:00] owner. Yeah. Because they could just tell by the way it was written. And then when they did the interview during the process, they could tell that the person that was in front of them was not the person that actually wrote.

[00:08:10] The submission, they said it was really obvious. I

[00:08:14] Elan Silver: think a lot of my personality and my sense of humor was quite easy to read. A little bit of self deprecation in there as well. Oh, you’re

[00:08:22] Tyson E Franklin: quirky.

[00:08:23] Elan Silver: You are quirky. I’m a flighterist. Aren’t we all?

[00:08:28] Tyson E Franklin: So since winning the award, how’d you feel as a podiatrist and as a business owner after winning the award?

[00:08:34] Did you share that excitement with your patients? Oh,

[00:08:37] Elan Silver: I was, I’m still feeling, a fairly decent set of denial. To get an award like this, it’s not a state award.

[00:08:44] It’s the national award. There were over 200 entrants for this award. Ceremony. And I was so stoked. I had this big A3 poster in my reception saying, nominated for podiatrist of the year. And people were so excited. And then when I got back, I put a [00:09:00] big line through it and wrote winner and people would came in and said, yeah, congratulations.

[00:09:05] But they also basically said, But we’ve always known that. And that was really nice to actually see and hear from people. It’s, I just I’m don’t know how to actually deal with it when people come up and say, congratulations, you won this award. I’d rather go hide in the corner.

[00:09:22] Yeah. I did get into a little bit of trouble and still am with the Allied Health Awards people, because one of the things that they really want you to do is to spruik it. Okay. We’re doing it now. Exactly. This is actually my first one and the reason is I just haven’t had the time capacity to do it.

[00:09:40] So now that things are settling down a little bit into the new year I can think about how I want to use this to encourage others to do it and also to to make use of it.

[00:09:55] Tyson E Franklin: Yeah. And what I like about these awards in particular is [00:10:00] it’s not an award that’s handed out by say a coaching company that just has a coaching clients.

[00:10:06] I don’t know how many are in the group and the handout, these trophies that, Hey, you can tie up your shoelaces faster than everybody else. Here’s your award. And everyone wins a trophy for doing something, which is good. It’s still recognition for putting in the work, but because this is external, like you’re not a necessary a member of any particular group that’s actually doing the award. This

[00:10:26] Elan Silver: came about because a nurse that I was working with in the country was working with physios and one of those physios got nominated. So she brought this to my attention. Yeah. And that alone was really nice that she suggested it.

[00:10:41] And then. You go through the process and wonder if it’s actually going to if you’re worthy of it.

[00:10:46] Tyson E Franklin: And that’s where the whole imposter syndrome comes in. Like I do know other podiatrists that have, I’ve entered the allied health awards and not won. And I know some that have entered other awards outside of podiatry who [00:11:00] have not won.

[00:11:01] And like we said before the process I went through, they learned a lot from that, but at the same time, most of the people I know that win these awards are quite humble podiatrists. They’re not the ones that are shouting from the rooftops and going, Hey, look at me. They just get in there, do the work, and then they’re recognized for the hard work they actually put in.

[00:11:22] Elan Silver: That was actually a little bit of feedback that I got when I sent a draft of my submission to someone not really associated with it. And the response that I got was, cause what I wrote was actually fairly just clinical and their response was, look, you’ve got the opportunity, you’ve got the microphone.

[00:11:39] This is where you can be. And I quote. Immodest. Yeah. And boastful. I think my response to them was, hold my beer. You’ve got your word limit, five or six or 800 words. And my first draft, I think one of the questions I answered, and after 200 words, I was done. There was nothing more to add.

[00:11:58] So I just left it, if you’ve got [00:12:00] nothing to say, don’t say it. Yeah. But let’s just say I was able to flesh it out.

[00:12:04] Tyson E Franklin: Yeah, I think I remember a similar sort of question and I pretty much gave all the recognition to my wife and the team that was around me, because it doesn’t matter how many ideas I had, unless you’ve got the people supporting you, you’re never going to achieve anything anyway.

[00:12:22] So those other people that are in your life are so important.

[00:12:26] Elan Silver: You do know that you got a mention in my application. Oh, that’s good. I can’t remember what it was. Oh it was something along the lines of your favorite comment of a confused mind says no. Oh,

[00:12:39] Tyson E Franklin: yes. That’s

[00:12:40] Elan Silver: true. If you bamboozle people, you’re not going to get too far, so it was the question on communication.

[00:12:46] Yeah,

[00:12:47] Tyson E Franklin: but that is so true though. It’s, it doesn’t matter whether you’re explaining a treatment plan, whether you’re explaining orthotics. If you’re talking to a child about doing something, a confused mind will always say no. Because if it’s not quite sure, our automatic [00:13:00] response is just say no until I can give myself some time to figure out the information.

[00:13:05] Elan Silver: That’s it. So what’s it? Your success is determined by your your technical skills, your technical knowledge and your technical experience, but success really comes from your communication

[00:13:17] Tyson E Franklin: skills. I’ve had podiatrists work with me who clinically were bloody awesome.

[00:13:22] You couldn’t ask them a question. They did not know the answer, but you put them in a room with a patient and they, for some reason could not. Communicate what was going on in their head through to the patient and the patient would leave confused and then you’d say that to see somebody else who probably was nowhere near the same skill or knowledge level and bang straight away that they could explain anything so easily and patient go, Oh yeah, that makes sense.

[00:13:48] So communication is everything. So did you mention in your application that you were a chiropractor before you were a podiatrist?

[00:13:57] Elan Silver: Yes, you did. Yeah, [00:14:00] this is part. This

[00:14:00] Tyson E Franklin: is part of the Elan Silver story because I was going to bring that up that prior to being a podiatrist, you were a chiropractor. Why did you

[00:14:10] Elan Silver: change?

[00:14:12] Oh, how much time do we have? One of the reasons I actually went into chiro was a really the chiropractors that I went in that I was exposed to had this wonderful kind of Zen like Philosophical feel to them, that was actually quite admirable. So it wasn’t just cracking a neck or a joint, it was I guess you could say a very much more holistic sort of approach.

[00:14:35] So that attracted me to that sort of profession. Going into Chiro, because of my reactions to it, I thought it was really, It worked very well for my body. So, Oh, that’s an awkward question. I always hesitate when I say this because I was in the first group to go through the university and the education that we got was a little bit iffy compared to what I had.

[00:14:58] So chiropractic was my [00:15:00] second degree, podiatry my third. What was your first degree? I I was studying optometry.

[00:15:05] Tyson E Franklin: I knew the chiropractic part. I didn’t, you probably have mentioned the optometry thing before, but. No, I don’t recall it. Oh, you failed. Okay. That’s probably why you haven’t mentioned it before.

[00:15:16] Elan Silver: Yeah, so I started doing optometry, but my vision was so bad, I was really crap at doing the experiments. So my the technical knowledge was fine, but I couldn’t actually see what I was doing. So I failed every single experiment. So eventually I went into the head of the course and I said You never thought about getting glasses?

[00:15:34] I, oh colorblind astigmatism. Yeah. I basically went to the head of the course and I said, I think I need to change courses. And his comment was, if you hadn’t come to me in the next week, I would have pulled you aside. Yeah, I went and just did a general degree in anatomy and human biology and then went on to Chiro.

[00:15:54] Okay, . Yep. Cracking the neck was lots of fun. But what I discovered was chiropractic, and [00:16:00] this really came up through all my years of education, was right, so someone comes in with a scoliosis, a chiropractor will attempt to liberate the joints, get them moving more freely to reduce their scoliosis.

[00:16:12] Yeah. But as we should all know and appreciate that a lot of people have a leg length difference. So if you’ve got a leg length difference and you’re walking around a flat ground like we do every single day of our lives, that leg length difference will cause a tilt in the pelvis and it will give you a dynamic scoliosis so you can crack the back as long as you like but you’re never going to fix the person’s problems.

[00:16:31] Tyson E Franklin: So they were never addressing the limb length difference.

[00:16:34] Elan Silver: It wasn’t made that obvious. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I would have to edit a swath of this out for legal reasons. Yeah, no, that’s okay. Yeah. There, there was an episode where one of the students basically said if there is a leg length difference or tilt the pelvis, give us scoliosis, surely you should start at the bottom and work your way up.

[00:16:54] And the lecturer then might’ve turned around and said that’s how you make your money.

[00:16:59] Tyson E Franklin: Okay. [00:17:00] And that didn’t go well with

[00:17:01] Elan Silver: you. I don’t think two or two or three people walked out of the Yeah. The lecture room never to return. I was in my final year and I was the one who asked that question.

[00:17:10] So you rabble rouser? . Oh, yeah. So yeah, I discovered that in order as soon as I would see someone for, any sort of condition outside of the lower limb. And one day I thought, what the hell am I doing here? I’m doing the work of a podiatrist. Yeah. Ding. So I thought, I didn’t see me lasting all that long in Chiro because every now and then I’d pinch some sort of soft tissue in my wrist and that I’d be out for a week.

[00:17:39] So when that starts happening, you think your time’s limited. So I thought, I’ll. Try and do something that is less intensive on the hand and wrist. Let’s do podiatry.

[00:17:48] Tyson E Franklin: Oh yeah, that’s really less intensive on your hands and

[00:17:51] Elan Silver: wrists. Not. The funny thing is I actually turned around to Sarah, my wife at the time, girlfriend at the time, and I said, Oh, this podiatry thing, it looks like an easy [00:18:00] profession.

[00:18:00] It looks like a bit of a skive. I didn’t actually realize how ironic that comment was at the time. I met a true legend. of podiatry in Australia, Harriet Farquhar at Charles Sturt University in Albury, New South Wales. And I’d missed the cutoff date for intake, but they invited me to go to the uni and we met up there.

[00:18:21] And after being absolutely grilled by Harriet, if anyone has met Harriet, they’ll know. How intense of that day in the clinic to an impromptu OSCE could be, and I was offered the ability to do the four year course in three years. Okay. If I failed anything, I’d have to start from the beginning. So I did the four year course in three years with honors.

[00:18:47] Because I just podiatry just gelled with me perfectly from, just trimming toenails. I’m ambidextrous, we discovered, so I was trimming with both hands.

[00:18:55] Tyson E Franklin: Did you still work as a chiropractor part time while you were studying? No, you didn’t you gave it up [00:19:00] all together.

[00:19:00] Elan Silver: Yeah there was a switching states, you’d have to change registration and yeah.

[00:19:05] Okay. Yes technically speaking, I never actually registered as a Chiro because there’s always in that period of time where. You had to wait for the registration boards to meet and I never actually ended up registering.

[00:19:18] Tyson E Franklin: So you finished the course of chiropractic and then never ended up registering as a chiropractor.

[00:19:24] Correct. Okay. So that was the fast transition from chiropractic to podiatry because I always knew you, you always told me that you’d done chiropractic beforehand. So I just assumed it worked for a number of years and then eventually worked your way into podiatry, but it was pretty much, it was an automatic transition straight from chiropractic to podiatry.

[00:19:41] Yep. Your parents must have been thinking, my God, Elan, will you just make up your mind?

[00:19:47] Elan Silver: Yeah, the word professional student came up all the time. Yeah. Yeah,

[00:19:51] Tyson E Franklin: they must be thinking, what are you doing dentistry after podiatry? That’s fantastic. I was offered a

[00:19:55] Elan Silver: scholarship to do medicine. Yeah. And I rejected that.

[00:19:59] I went, no, [00:20:00] I want to work plus no, I think working as a podiatrist will give me my happy medium. That offer expired.

[00:20:06] Tyson E Franklin: And your wife is a podiatrist as well? She

[00:20:09] Elan Silver: is indeed, yes. You met her as a student? Yes, doing chiropractic, actually. Oh okay. And yeah, and in that, at the end of that last year of uni, I basically said of chiro, I just don’t think chiro was going to be a long term proposition.

[00:20:24] And she said what’s next? And then I mentioned podiatry and much to my surprise and delight, she said, I think I’ll come with you. So that was a huge leap of faith. Yeah. Left Perth, traveled to the other side of Australia. And she had to do the four year course in total. And so

[00:20:45] . Yeah, basically the transition there was actually really quite nice.

[00:20:48] I just, I guess I, you could say I found my calling.

[00:20:51] Tyson E Franklin: Did you know, once you started podiatry, like you did your first year, you brought it down to three. As soon as you finished the first one, did you know you were in the right place? That you’d found the [00:21:00] right profession for

[00:21:00] Elan Silver: you? Absolutely. Just everything fits so nicely with the biomechanics side of things was second nature.

[00:21:07] It just all made sense to me, just the whole biophysics, but my background in chiropractic made a huge difference there because looking at the closed and open kinematic chains. So even say putting any sort of wedge underneath the foot, I would think, okay what sort of moment of rotation is that going to cause in the lower limb?

[00:21:26] What’s that going to do to the pelvis and essentially what’s that? What is that going to do potentially to the spine and can we take someone’s haemorrhoids away?

[00:21:34] Tyson E Franklin: That’s a Simon Bartold theory with orthotics. That was a joke I had with Simon Bartold when first, first conference I ever went to Simon Bartold was speaking and he, I can’t remember what he was talking about, but all I remember him saying is, yes, orthotics fix a lot of things, but there’s still no proof yet they fix haemorrhoids.

[00:21:53] And everyone cracked up laughing. When I finally. Yeah, Simon and I become really good friends. And then a few years ago, I mentioned [00:22:00] that particular conference and he said, so out of everything I said that day, that’s the only comment you can remember from my speech. I went, yeah, it was actually, it was really fun.

[00:22:14] Elan Silver: And it’s also just one of those comments. I’ve always remembered it as well. So yeah being able to use clippers with both hands meant that I was able to get a pretty symmetrical trim on toenails. I had this theory on how to get ingrown toenails out that has actually worked out quite well for me.

[00:22:32] And that was actually one of the other reasons I went into podiatry was I had a fight with my podiatrist David Whitelaw. And he either speculated ingrown toenail, and he was a UK trained chiropodist, and he was having a bit of trouble getting this self inflicted ingrown toenail out. And he was pushing in with the side, the scalpel, and look, I really was trying to be in my happy place and to basically say, this is not my pain.

[00:22:59] This is [00:23:00] someone else’s pain. I’m just looking at this pain. Look, I need you to stop. Now, you’re pushing into the ingrown toenail. Is there a possibility that you can change your angle, come at the ingrown toenail from behind because I reckon if you do that, I’m not going to feel a thing.

[00:23:15] And he slammed that scalpel handle down on the desk and he said, until you’re a podiatrist, don’t tell me how to do my job.

[00:23:24] Tyson E Franklin: So you became a podiatrist.

[00:23:26] Elan Silver: The moment I graduated and I was back in Perth, I gave David a call and said, Dave, I’ve, I’m now a podiatrist. Can I show you how to do this procedure?

[00:23:37] And he was yeah, you’re pleased. Come in any time. There was no malice, no frown. He was just there to learn. And that really caught me off guard. I thought he was going to give me some sort of

[00:23:47] Tyson E Franklin: snikey. See, that’s a sign of an intelligent podiatrist that is always willing to take advice from somebody else if they think there’s a better way of doing something.

[00:23:56] Elan Silver: Exactly. And it’s funny, that [00:24:00] moment, he taught me so much about being a practitioner. Just the way he approached my obstinacy. It was just fantastic. And I’ve always kept that in mind when communicating with people.

[00:24:12] Tyson E Franklin: So when you finished podiatry, the plan was to always head back over to Perth?

[00:24:16] Elan Silver: Yes, it was.

[00:24:17] I got my family roots here and more or less my comfort zone. It never really occurred for me to stay in the Albury area. There were quite a number of people there and I don’t think there were as many jobs in that entire region as there were going in WA because the one university in WA had just shut down and there were no major Increases in the number of podiatrists coming through.

[00:24:42] Yes, it was always my intention to come back here and live off my parents until I figured out which direction I wanted to go in. And so no sooner was I back, I got a job working as a locum and I was working for a chiropractor.

[00:24:58] Tyson E Franklin: Oh no, it’s a full [00:25:00] circle.

[00:25:02] Elan Silver: Yeah, folks, when working for someone else, always keep your own records because he tried to rip me off and it was, came as a surprise to him when I said this is what you’ve paid me and this is what you owe me.

[00:25:14] Yeah. And he just decided right there and then that I wasn’t needed anymore. I left there and there was a job going in the country for the department of

[00:25:24] Tyson E Franklin: health. Oh, before you get into the department of health, that I think it was a good point that you said then though, if anybody. goes and works for a chiropractor or from a physio clinic or from a medical center or anything like that.

[00:25:37] And it’s technically sort of your own business. You must have your own database. Do not rely on that, Oh, no, I’m just going to use their database because it’s just so much easier because when you leave, you do not take the database with you. So if you do not have a separate database where you keep your patients, you don’t actually have a business.

[00:25:55] You really just got, it’s really a job.[00:26:00]

[00:26:00] Elan Silver: Even worse than that. If you just rely on their booking system to keep track of who you’ve seen, just remember they can block your access to those files. Especially if you’re working on a percentage. You need to keep your own notes and your own billing information just to, to double

[00:26:17] Tyson E Franklin: check.

[00:26:18] Yeah. Someone I was doing some coaching stuff with, they had a clinic set up in a physio clinic and I said to them, so if I rang up and I had a foot problem, do they automatically book me in with you or do they send you to the physio first and the physio lets you see the dregs? Oh no they’re always directly with me.

[00:26:34] Okay, not a problem. So I rang up as a fake patient to make an appointment and I got booked in with a physio. And then I called them and said, no, this is what happened. So then I got them to get two other friends to do the same thing and all of them, everyone went to the physio first and then the physio palmed them off the podiatrist if they wanted to.

[00:26:52] Yeah. So I think it’s something you just gotta be careful because the other part too is the receptionist, the support staff, they’re all there. If they’re all being paid by the physio, that’s [00:27:00] who they work for. They don’t work for you.

[00:27:02] Elan Silver: Yeah, it’s an awkward when you think about the morals and ethics of the practitioner, but also the entire practice it’s, it can be a little bit antagonistic.

[00:27:10] Tyson E Franklin: Especially when I rang up and say, Oh, look, I want to make a an appointment with the podiatrist. Have you been before? No. What sort of problem are you having? Oh, I’ve got shin splints. Oh, you’re probably better to see the physio. But I rang up for the podiatrist, I’m thinking the podiatrist should be doing all this marketing to attract patients.

[00:27:25] And they’re only, they’re not seeing every patient that actually comes through from their marketing. Just a word of warning everybody, if you’re listening to this.

[00:27:34] Elan Silver: Oh sorry, I thought you were coming out with something profound there. Oh no, there’s nothing profound at the end of that. What, for that reason, because I was very much a mature age student going into podiatry, I always knew inherently that I couldn’t work for someone else, because if I’m going to put the effort in, I need to reap the reward.

[00:27:51] I don’t want to work for someone else and essentially make money for them and make them look good. For the record, that’s my philosophy. My [00:28:00] wife is also a podiatrist. She does not want to run a business at all. She’s quite happy to be the perennial employee.

[00:28:06] Tyson E Franklin: It comes down to your personality.

[00:28:08] I graduated, worked for myself straight away. My advice that I give everybody when you graduate is go and work for somebody. One or two years, at least before you set up your own business. I don’t recommend setting up your own business, but that’s just my opinion. And that’s it. That’s why it’s good that everyone has their own opinion on it.

[00:28:24] Elan Silver: Which then brings us to working for the department of health in the country, because I discovered I was a solo practitioner and the nearest podiatrist was 200 kilometers away. So I landed up actually being essentially a new grad. And not having any exposure to other podiatrists. So that was an absolute baptism of fire.

[00:28:44] Yeah. I remember the first nail surgery I did out in the little wheat belt town of Narrogin. I blocked off two hours before the surgery just to read up on it, to make sure that the bench was all set up. And, Oh, I just remember that [00:29:00] feeling that icy cold feeling going, Oh man, I hope I don’t screw this up.

[00:29:05] And then you just hit the ground running.

[00:29:07] Tyson E Franklin: I remember my first private patient in my own clinic, nail surgery, did the nail surgery. The guy was a barrister and he jokingly said, if you bugger this up, I’ll sue you. I said, if you sue me, you’ll probably just get a bill. Cause I don’t own anything.

[00:29:21] So anyway, did the procedure. When we finished the whole thing, it went perfectly anyway, when we were doing the dressing everything was afterwards. And he said to me, I said, how many of these have you done prior to doing mine? How many have you done in total of these? I went, oh, let me count through it. I went two.

[00:29:36] He said you did two at uni and then mine. I said, no, I did one at uni and they’re yours. I said, but I observed very well. And it went perfectly. And then hundreds and hundreds of them later, never had one go, never had a problem with one. It’s a fun thing to do.

[00:29:51] Elan Silver: Do you miss that sort of sensation?

[00:29:53] So if you were still working, I remember being a student and then working in the student clinic, then running my [00:30:00] clinic, you’d get a new patient and you get that tightness and go, I wonder what they’re coming in with. And I wonder if I can do this. It’s a bit of fear and excitement.

[00:30:08] And now you get your new patient form and you go.

[00:30:13] Tyson E Franklin: Yeah, I don’t know. It’s it’s one of the things like I really enjoyed doing nail surgery until this one particular day. And from that point onwards, I hated doing nail surgery. And it was a younger kid that was in like 13.

[00:30:26] Pretty bad ingrown toenail. Did the injection, everything was fine. Started the procedure, and just as I started, he screamed at the top of his voice. This big, ahhh! My heart hit the floor. And I just looked at him and said, can you feel this? He said, nah, just messing with ya. And I went, you little shit. I just, I finished doing it, and it, but for some reason, it rattled me that day.

[00:30:54] It really, what it did, it just made me realize that, yes, it’s a simple procedure and I’ve [00:31:00] done hundreds of them. Nothing ever went wrong. They always healed well, never a problem, but they drove the point home that, you know what? Sometimes things can go wrong. And I was rattled from, I reckon from that point onwards, I probably only ever did about another six.

[00:31:16] Over the next 10 years. I just referred to about everybody else that was working with me. So yeah, psychologically scarred little shit.

[00:31:26] Stories like that.

[00:31:27] Elan Silver: Oh, let me introduce you to my motivator.

[00:31:30] Tyson E Franklin: The hammer? Oh, rolling pin. For those that can’t see it, it’s a rolling pin.

[00:31:36] Elan Silver: This motivator motivates people to do what I tell them to do, and if they misbehave themselves, I have been known to use it. Yeah. But

[00:31:46] Tyson E Franklin: it was one of those things that that just rattled me that day and I never recovered from it.

[00:31:52] I just. Just didn’t regard did a few after that, but yeah, just never fully got back into it. And if somebody said to me, now, do you want to do one again? [00:32:00] Nah, rather not. I missed the sensation of putting the needle in that used to love that feeling as you went through the layers of skin, that

[00:32:07] Elan Silver: resistance.

[00:32:08] Yeah. Yeah.

[00:32:09] Tyson E Franklin: It felt so good. It felt so good. You ever done one on yourself.

[00:32:13] Elan Silver: I’ve got the needle free injector yeah, no, I just use that, thanks.

[00:32:17] Tyson E Franklin: Yeah, I remember giving my, I didn’t grow a toenail, and I didn’t trust anyone, so I did my own, and the hardest thing was giving myself the injection.

[00:32:24] Yeah. But once I did it, everything else was fine with that, but even when we were doing acupuncture and dry needling, I remember doing that to myself, and oh, I just turned my stomach every time I did it on my, when I did, anybody else, fine, did it to me. Oof, couldn’t stand it.

[00:32:39] Elan Silver: Just talking about that, it’s so important to know your limitations.

[00:32:42] I have had a number of people that have come in here from another local podiatrist and they’ve said, Oh, she doesn’t do nail surgeries, isn’t that weird? And I’ve gone, no, it’s not. No. Now, the fact that she’s honest and open enough to know that she doesn’t want to do it, it’s her [00:33:00] limitation and that she’s happy to refer, I think makes her a fantastic podiatrist, she’s doing the right thing.

[00:33:06] Because if you’ve got someone doing a surgery that doesn’t have the confidence then you’re going to have bigger issues. It’d

[00:33:11] Tyson E Franklin: be one of those things, if my daughter needed done. And I could go into somebody’s clinic and do it, I would do it. I wouldn’t have a problem doing that. If I had my own clinic, I wouldn’t really have a problem doing it.

[00:33:22] But I just don’t like doing them now. So I would refer them onto somebody else within the clinic. But if I was opening up another clinic, I probably wouldn’t do them. I’d probably refer them to somebody I trusted that was close by. Because it just doesn’t float my boat to do them anymore. And I agree with you.

[00:33:37] I think if there’s certain things, if you don’t like doing orthotics, have a relationship with another podiatrist who is really good at them and refer your patients on for that particular work, don’t make shit orthotics, don’t make crappy orthotics, give them out to a patient because it just reflects poorly on you and the profession.

[00:33:56] Elan Silver: Exactly. And even if your lab doesn’t do what you want to do, [00:34:00] so for example, one of the local Perth labs, they can’t do a full length EVA orthotic, and if the person needs that, you just need to find someone who can actually do that. Yeah.

[00:34:09] Tyson E Franklin: You can do that, can’t you? Are you making orthotics for other people?

[00:34:14] I know you’ve got your own milling machine and everything set up. Are you doing orthotics podiatrists?

[00:34:20] Elan Silver: I’m not yet. I’ve got a couple that are interested and also a couple of other allied health professionals that are very curious, much as if they just send the people in to me and then I do it for them.

[00:34:34] But it’s turned into quite a boon. I need to knock a wall down in my my workshop area to actually expand my operation because I’m just getting too crowded. That’s that’s actually going quite well and then I think once I’ve got that extra room, then I can offer more productivity in that way.

[00:34:55] Tyson E Franklin: Yeah, I think if you do start making orthotics for other podiatrists, knowing how [00:35:00] much you pay attention to detail. I think the end result, the product at the end of it all, the orthotic itself will be fantastic. Oh,

[00:35:07] Elan Silver: it’s just, it’s rather than trying to describe the person’s problem, pathology and what you want the orthotic to look like to a lab technician, you just get a, you’ve got the person’s foot in front of you and you know exactly what you want to design.

[00:35:21] And then you just go in and design it and out it comes. So you can really make the most custom orthotics for these people. With the machine that I’ve got, you can change the density within the orthotic itself. So you can, have a firm heal. rim a soft arch and a firm forefoot. Yeah.

[00:35:40] You can make sure that the Morton’s extension is in the exact right spot. If they’ve got some sort of lesion under the foot, an ulcer or a corn, you can offload it precisely because you’ve got all that information right in front of you. When you

[00:35:52] Tyson E Franklin: do get it all up and running, let me know.

[00:35:54] And I’ll give it a plug on the podcast. And. Let people know it’s there.

[00:35:58] Elan Silver: Yep. Once, once I’ve [00:36:00] got a little bit more room, it’ll look a hell of a lot more professional. That would be awesome. Yeah. Because I think this is the future, especially making squeak free orthotics. Oh, squeak

[00:36:07] Tyson E Franklin: free. That’s always good.

[00:36:09] Before we finish up, the last thing I want to touch on before we wrap up is Your needle free injection stuff that you’re doing. I was your Guinea pig when we did when we did the two day reboot in Brisbane and you brought it along and you needed to volunteer. And of course I just put my hand up straight away and said, Oh yeah, please pick me.

[00:36:28] I don’t know how many people holding me when we started. But I was good. I was good in the end. My recollection

[00:36:34] Elan Silver: was quite different. A bit different? I thought you had a few people holding you down.

[00:36:39] Tyson E Franklin: Oh wouldn’t you say it’s needle free and it’s not going to hurt? Yeah, I’ve heard that before. But, after you did it the first time, how many times?

[00:36:46] I think did eight times to me after that. Just everyone just wanted to have a go at it.

[00:36:51] Elan Silver: Yeah. Yeah. So this came about because I’ve had it here. I think this is just one of the better things. I think every podiatry practice should have one of these [00:37:00] because the number of people that are quite happy to have say prolotherapy or ingrown toenail surgery.

[00:37:07] And their biggest concern is having the needle penetrate the skin to have one of these on hand is just brilliant. I’ve actually had people saying thank you afterwards because it took the anxiety away. You still need to, for the most part, use a needle afterwards depending on what you’re doing, but you can do an entire ring block.

[00:37:24] It just takes a little bit longer I’ll quickly grab it.

[00:37:27] Tyson E Franklin: There it is. You’ve got it there right in front of you.

[00:37:30] So anyone who’s listening to the podcast, you have to go and watch the video to see what this thing looks like.

[00:37:34] Elan Silver: Yeah, so it essentially looks like a cigar shaped tube. . And it does squirt liquid out the end.

[00:37:42] And basically, you put a little ampule on the front here and it can hold up to half a mil of liquid, anesthetic or whatever you want to inject. You can actually I’ve had a lot of people purchase these when they have to give themselves injections.

[00:37:56] . You can do an insulin injection, a vitamin B12 [00:38:00] injection with this anything that you need. And it’s you just dial in the amount that you want, so it’s graded. You load up the ampoule, the little cartridge, and then you cock the cylinder and then hold it up against the skin, depress the trigger.

[00:38:16] Elan Silver: And before you can go, Oh my God, it’s done.

[00:38:19] Tyson E Franklin: Probably when you did on me, the most you feel is the pressure of your pushing on it, but the actual injection part, you don’t even, you don’t even feel it. And it does break the skin because it did bleed afterwards.

[00:38:30] Elan Silver: Yes. And what happens as the manufacturer describes it, when you inject using the needle, it’s like it’s equivalent of a rifle bullet, whereas using this is more like a shotgun.

[00:38:40] So it’s the dispersal of the actual liquid spreads out using this. So you actually get a broader coverage as well. And also what happens is you can actually readminister over the exact same spot you’ve been on and what happens, and this is actually visible on like a CT scan. So there’s a video of this where you can, [00:39:00] if you do it a second time over the same area, it pushes the first injection liquid further down.

[00:39:06] So it is,

[00:39:08] Tyson E Franklin: are you doing any training courses on this? I know you talked

[00:39:11] Elan Silver: about it at one stage. Yes, I did a a demonstration at the University of Western Australia here to the podiatrists and it just descended into absolute anarchy. Never have I seen such childish podiatrists running around stabbing each other with this.

[00:39:24] It was hysterical. That was

[00:39:26] Tyson E Franklin: happening at the reboot as well. Yeah. Yeah. With the one victim. It was just me. Aw. You were so good. The volunteer. Oh, when you, when you put on the event, you’ve got to be the volunteer, I suppose. it’s just the way it

[00:39:37] Elan Silver: works. Better you than me. I had to walk home after that.

[00:39:41] And yeah it is possible to do a um, tib ant block in as a one shot wonder with that, which is really useful. Yeah, I

[00:39:50] Tyson E Franklin: was real, I was really impressed with it. I think everybody else was too, when you did the demonstration. Everybody was just going, wow, that is really cool. And then they would, everyone was talking about [00:40:00] the different applications and what you could use for it.

[00:40:02] Or

[00:40:02] Elan Silver: use it for? Yeah, that’s right. And, there, with that anxiety to do procedures on kids, like if they’ve got a foreign body stuck in their foot to use that. It’s just, it is so much easier. Yes, they will scream and yell, but it’s more from the shockwave of the piston in there going off.

[00:40:19] And, you say, did that hurt? And they’ll just say, no, it didn’t. Is the area numb? Yeah, it is. Can I get that shot of glass out of your foot? And it just makes it so much easier. Yeah. And

[00:40:30] Tyson E Franklin: that was my reaction when you did it to me and everyone said, did that hurt? I went. No, it was more just the anxiety, the anticipation of it and the pressure.

[00:40:37] But once it did the thing, I went, actually, no, that didn’t hurt. Who else wants to have a go? Yeah. Eight goes later.

[00:40:46] Elan Silver: So very, very useful to have. I think every clinic should have one of these because it’s just another feather in our cap where you can say to people, if you need these sort of procedures done.

[00:40:57] You should come to us because we have the best [00:41:00] equipment to, to get it done.

[00:41:02] Tyson E Franklin: Yeah. And it’s also something that you could then, if you had one, you could talk to your professional referrers and you get to let them know, Hey, I have this is what we use it for. So it’s just a, it’s another string in the bow.

[00:41:12] Absolutely. So Elan, I want to thank you. For coming on the podiatry legends podcast, being Australian podiatrist of the year 2023. It’s been fantastic catching up with you. So thank you very much for sharing your experience of winning the award and your journey in podiatry.

[00:41:31] Cause it has been a little bit different to the, to some of the journeys that uh, that other people have spoken to and also for telling us about the needle free injector.

[00:41:40] Elan Silver: Not a problem. I look forward to telling you more about Inner Arch Orthotics in the future as well.

[00:41:46] Tyson E Franklin: Yes. Yeah. When that comes out, please let me know and I’ll pass on the information to everybody.

[00:41:50] So thanks for that.

[00:41:51] Elan Silver: Thanks Tyson. Okay. Bye. See ya.