DPM, MD, PHD
Dr. Armstrong's singular focus is to eliminate preventable diabetic foot amputations through clinical and research work.
About Dr. Armstrong
Dr. Armstrong is Professor of Surgery at the University of Southern California. Dr. Armstrong holds a Masters of Science in Tissue Repair and Wound Healing from the University of Wales College of Medicine and a PhD from the University of Manchester College of Medicine, where he was appointed Visiting Professor of Medicine. He is founder and co-Director of the Southwestern Academic Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA). Dr. Armstrong has produced more than 480 peer-reviewed research papers in dozens of scholarly medical journals as well as over 80 book chapters. He is co-Editor of the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Clinical Care of the Diabetic Foot, now in its third edition.
Dr. Armstrong was selected as one of the first six International Wound Care Ambassadors and is the recipient of numerous awards and degrees by universities and international medical organizations including the inaugural Georgetown Distinguished Award for Diabetic Limb Salvage. In 2008, he was the 25th and youngest-ever member elected into the Podiatric Medicine Hall of Fame. He was the first surgeon to be appointed University Distinguished Outreach Professor at the University of Arizona. He was the first podiatric surgeon to become a member of the Society of Vascular Surgery and the first US podiatric surgeon named fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Glasgow. He is the 2010 and youngest ever recipient of the ADA’s Roger Pecoraro Award, the highest award given in the field. Dr. Armstrong is past Chair of Scientific Sessions for the ADA’s Foot Care Council, and a past member of the National Board of Directors of the American Diabetes Association as well as a former commissioner with the Illinois State Diabetes Commission. He sits on the Infectious Disease Society of America’s (IDSA) Diabetic Foot Infection Advisory Committee and is the US appointed delegate to the International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot (IWGDF). Dr. Armstrong is the founder and co-chair of the International Diabetic Foot Conference (DF-Con), the largest annual international symposium on the diabetic foot in the world.
Tell Us About Yourself
My father, Leo N. Armstrong, was a noted Podiatrist from Santa Maria, California, and I grew up around his practice while traveling worldwide with my family and a core group of physicians, mostly podiatrists. This influenced my later career as an ambassador for diabetic foot care and Podiatry.
After surgical training, I was invited to apply for a fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Acceptance into the program brought me into close proximity with two important members of my development, Lawrence A. Lavery, then a junior faculty member, and my chief, Professor Lawrence B. Harkless.
Next, I began a close transatlantic working relationship with Professor Andrew JM Boulton in Manchester. This mentorship led to a period of intense activity and a PhD and MD from the University of Manchester College of Medicine, as well as a Master of Science in Tissue Repair of Wound Healing at Professor Keith Harding’s University of Wales College of Medicine.
What was your path to wound care?
I saw from a very early age the need to alleviate foot pain, but my career took me on the path of treating diabetes—a disease which ironically causes the loss of feeling in feet. Diabetic foot ulcers occur every 1.2 seconds around the world and every 20 seconds there is a diabetic foot amputation. So my singular focus is to eliminate preventable diabetic foot amputations through our team’s clinical and research work at Keck Medicine of USC.
How are you helping to change the field of wound care?
There are various avenues I’ve pursued to change the field of wound care, including serving as Director of USC’s National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Center to Stream Healthcare in Place (C2SHiP), which placed me at the nexus of the merger of consumer electronics, wearables, and medical devices in an effort to maximize hospital-free and activity-rich days.
I’m particularly proud to be the founder and co-chair of the International Diabetic Foot Conference (DF-Con), the largest annual international symposium on the diabetic foot in the world, and also the Founding President of the American Limb Preservation Society (ALPS), a medical and surgical society dedicated to building interdisciplinary teams to eliminate preventable amputation in the USA and worldwide.
What advice would you give someone pursuing wound care?
Podiatrists are major wound care providers due to the epidemic of diabetes and diabetic foot ulcers, and it is a much-needed field.