Dr. Yolanda Ragland Helps Women Get Back On Their Feet For Comfort and Correction

Dr. Yolanda Ragland Helps Women Get Back On Their Feet For Comfort and Correction

Dr. Yolanda Ragland Helps Women Get Back On Their Feet For Comfort and Correction

The entrepreneurial spirit built within people has a way to manifest itself once you realize that you want to pursue your passion or as some say, “your calling.” A young lady decided to pursue a career in podiatry because she suffered a medical condition and decided that there needed to be a doctor in her family and why can’t it be her? Dr. Yolanda Ragland used that as fuel to take the specialty she learned and turn it into a business as a medical entrepreneur.

Dr. Ragland decided to utilize the teachings she obtained from the University of Maryland, College Park, New York College of Podiatric Medicine, and Weil Medical College of Cornell University to open her own practice. With over 20 years of medical experience, she has offices located on Park Ave in Manhattan, NY, and the Washington Metropolitan area located in downtown Bowie, MD. The “Queen of Toes” helps women not only feel comfortable with their feet again but she also performs cosmetic surgery to make their feet look better as well.

BLACK ENTERPRISE spoke to the busy enterprising woman to find out about her practices, the reason she entered the medical field, and gives advice on how others can be successful entrepreneurs.

What led you down the path to be involved in the medical field and why did you choose podiatry? 

As fate would have it, during my first year of college, I suddenly fell ill to an unknown complication that no medical professional was able to diagnose, nor did I have any family members who could provide me with referral relief or advice. Shortly thereafter, I was forced to drop out of school due to insidious physical pain and suffering. Even worse, it would be years later, until I was given a definitive diagnosis of my illness which turned out to be an “inguinal hernia.” During this agonizing process, the light bulb lit up for me: Someone in the family had to become a doctor and I was up for it!

But what kind of doctor would I be? After taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), I had my sights set on dermatology; however, it was one of my colleagues who introduced me to the possibilities of the medical field of feet. A light went off again! Feet have skin, hair, and nails, so if I applied for the proper training, I could practice dermatology as well as podiatry.

How important is it, for you as a Black woman, to have this practice where you have a large client base of women of color? Is there stigma of some sort when it comes to the feet? 

As a Black woman, it’s imperative to have a practice with a client base of women of the global majority. I was forced to halt my academic education for several years because an easily diagnosable condition was dismissed, just like my voice. During training, I witnessed these similar offenses inflicted on faces that looked like mine. My credence is: all doctors of color should prioritize a likewise patient base to ensure excellent medical prognosis and treatment for our community.

The stigma surrounding unsightly feet is especially true in the African American community. I receive messages daily with confessions such as, “My husband has never seen my feet” or “I wish I found you first because the scars they left on me are awful!”.

You’ve created a special technique or two for your patients. Could you tell us what they are and why you felt the need to create them?

I have observed that most practitioners weren’t concerned with obtaining cosmetic results. I recall one actually saying to a patient: “I can get rid of your corn, but if you want it to look pretty, I don’t do that.” This demeanor baffled me, but I, to that end, created the Pedi-PlasticR Tiara-ToeR technique. Pedi-Plastic refers to applying cosmetic plastic surgical techniques to the foot in addition to targeting strategic incisional placement for the optimization of aesthetic results. The Tiara-Toe procedure is a culmination of various approaches I learned combined with independent research and common sense. My thoughts– “I’m a black woman so I know what it’s like to walk in their shoes.”  I was 100 percent correct and the latter part of my thought process remains one of my mantras to this day!

As an entrepreneur, what advice would you give to others who have the passion to turn something they enjoy doing into a successful business?

After you’ve worked out a sound business plan, you can turn to the resources around you such as family, colleagues, and other organizations to acquire financing. If you establish your small business first and register it as a majority minority-owned business, then you can apply for specific small business loans and grants. Keep in mind, your dreams will take time to manifest, and do not give up!

Building brand recognition goes hand in hand with establishing funding. You can begin with access to the world of FREE social media marketing. Even an ambitious grandmother with a mobile cookie wagon can’t claim she doesn’t have access to social media because all you need is a mobile phone device!

How has your upbringing, education, and determination shaped your business prowess? What is in the works for you and your practice? 

I grew up with humble beginnings, although my family had plenty because they were rich in character and hard working. My mother immigrated from Trinidad-Tobago; however, she kept close ties to our Afro-Caribbean heritage by sending me to Trinidad for summer breaks where my aunt owned a retail store, a restaurant, and later a beauty shop. My aunt did that while balancing her husband, home, and five children. I did not realize it then, but she shaped my life. My aunt didn’t have to work. Her husband was well educated and gainfully employed. She loved providing a product or service to people where there was a need. My aunt knew the currency of entrepreneurial success. She infused me with the same sentiment.

Currently, I’m working on my docu-series “Dr. Foot Fixer’’ to highlight my practice which focuses on African American women and the transformation of their feet. I’m also launching a foot health product, “Fix Your Fungal Nail.” All fungal nail products currently sold in stores are only designed to penetrate the skin, but mine is formulated to permeate through the much smaller pores of the nail, making its efficacy second to none.

Dr. Yolanda Ragland Helps Women Get Back On Their Feet For Comfort and Correction

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