Dr. Mary Ann Bender of Advanced Physical Medicine

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Editor's note: This story is part of Women in Business 2011, a special advertising section produced by Wednesday Journal and Forest Park Review. Click here to view the entire Women in Business Section.

After working for a large podiatric group practice on the far South Side of Chicago for the last eight years, I have always longed to work in my own community of Oak Park (ten years and counting). After the birth of my daughter last year, I realized I had the perfect opportunity to decrease my commute; so I opened my podiatry practice at North and Woodbine in June of 2009.

I came to podiatry as a result of competitive figure skating. Skaters typically wear a size, sometimes two, smaller than their conventional shoes. As you can imagine, that means the skater's foot, specifically the toes, suffer. I trained as a competitive figure skater for nineteen years, and the result has been several surgical procedures, most recently three years ago while working as a Podiatrist.

A fellow Podiatrist performed the procedure on a Friday and the following Monday I was back at work, wearing a surgical boot and treating patients who were more than a little amused that the doctor was also a patient. But their amusement aside, the additional benefit to my patients is that I know what it is like to have serious foot problems, and more importantly, how to effectively and compassionately help my patients heal comfortably with or without surgery and recover with minimal disruption to their everyday lives.

My dream of opening a business in my community is now a reality, and I could not be more excited and eager to showcase my skills and services to the people in my community. The feet are truly the foundation to the entire body, and happy feet lead to happy people!

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