Dr. Miguel Cunha is a leading-edge Podiatrist and the founder of Gotham Footcare PC in Manhattan. He earned his degree from Temple University’s School of Podiatric Medicine in 2007. Following this, Dr. Cunha went on to complete his residency at Washington Hospital Center and Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., where he was Chief Resident. His residency training provided Dr. Cunha with extensive opportunities to practice treating trauma to the lower extremities, reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle, as well as diabetic limb salvage. He received additional training in skin and chronic wound care at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Cunha and his team serve patients at Gotham Footcare locations in Downtown, Manhattan and Midtown, Manhattan, New York. He treats foot pain, bunions, arthritis, hammer toes, plantar warts and much more. In 2019, Dr. Miguel Cunha was voted one of the top three Podiatrists in New York.
Tell us a bit about what you do.
I am the owner of Gotham Footcare, an organization made up of six highly-trained surgeons serving patients in New York City. My practice is focused on all aspects of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery. I provide both non-surgical and surgical treatments of all conditions affecting the lower extremity ranging from dermatological issues to musculoskeletal and biomechanical issues causing pain and suffering such as bunions, hammer toes, plantar fasciitis, neuromas to name a few. I specialize in cosmetic surgery of the foot and ankle as well as the treatment of sports medicine related injuries, particularly as they affect long distance runners such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis using the latest leading edge minimally invasive techniques. Some of which include TENEX microdebridement, cryosurgery, extracorporeal shockwave therapy, and platelet-rich plasma and amniotic injections. My team and I at Gotham Footcare are dedicated to providing leading-edge care in a professional, comfortable, and compassionate environment. I enjoy developing a personal relationship with each and every patient, which helps me develop the best overall treatment plan.
What gave you the idea for (what you do/your company)? How did it start?
Since I was younger, I always wanted to be a doctor. I am passionate about health and wellness and I have always enjoyed the ability to help others. Initially, I wanted to be a dermatologist but then I developed an interest in orthopedic surgery. Once I became exposed to podiatry, I decided to pursue this field of medicine because it allowed me to become both a dermatologist and surgeon of the foot. I admit that I am somewhat vain in the sense that I enjoy looking at beautiful things. I like the idea of alleviating pain and suffering while at the same time surgically correcting a foot that is cosmetically unappealing into a foot that a patient would be proud to show off because it not only feels great but also looks beautiful with no surgical scar visible. Initially, I worked for another practice in New York City, but I decided to open my own practice after two years to pursue my vision of offering patients an experience that they could not get anywhere else. I wanted to offer the most compassionate care with exceptional results along with the most cutting-edge technology in state of the-art facilities in all of New York City. I also wanted to captivate my patients and impress them the second they walked through my front door from the aesthetic and the vibe of the office, to the music playing in the background, and most importantly the culture and personalities of Gotham Footcare. I now have two offices with a team of six talented doctors, one office located on Fifth Avenue in midtown and another office with an out-patient surgical facility in the Financial District at the Woolworth building.
What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?
Be passionate and perseverance.
What are your favorite things to do outside of work?
Spending time with my family is my favorite thing to do. My greatest passion is music; I play the drums and I love discovering new particularly non-commercial, eclectic, and rhythmic sounds from Africa, Brazil and AfroCuban rhythms. My favorite music is electronic lounge and melodic house music. I enjoy seeking spiritual rejuvenation through music and traveling to exotic places to experience the sun set while listening to my favorite DJ’s at festivals such as Burning Man, Big Burn, and Day Zero in places such as Istanbul, Telaviv, Tulum, Ibiza, Mykonos, and Porto. I enjoy reading about psychology, sociology, history, culture, politics, and I have a great interest in architectural development particularly in New York City and Miami where I reside. I enjoy culinary experiences and discovering new places to dine. I love to barbeque and cook with my wife. I really enjoy traveling especially to Portugal yearly with my wife and two boys to visit family and experience the food and culture. I really enjoy walking and experiencing all the New York City has to offer. Last but not least, I enjoy photography and working out.
What’s your favorite thing about your chosen profession?
The most rewarding aspect of my profession is the ability to alleviate my patients from pain and suffering. My interaction with my patients is also tremendously satisfying. I have the privilege of owning a practice in Manhattan where my patients are highly educated, cultured, and diverse from all walks of life. Sometimes, I don’t feel the need to interact with friends after work or on the weekends because I have such fulfilling relationships and conversations with my patients. I have had conversations with patients ranging from topics as simple as what they did over the weekend or what restaurants or travel destinations they recently visited and recommend, to more in-depth topics regarding philosophical and sometimes even sociopolitical conversations when appropriate. I really enjoy the ability to be personable with my patients and connect with each and every one of them.
What keys to being productive can you share with us?
To practice the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen which means to focus on creating continuous improvement in all aspects of life by performing short term tasks day to day that over time results in tremendous long-term accomplishments. I try to practice Kaizen professionally, personally, and spiritually. A simple way to practice Kaizen is to get in the habit of making “To Do Lists.” My “To Do List” never ends as I keep replacing each task completed with a new task, but at least this list helps keep me productive and focused on my long-term goals. This list also allows me to maintain work life balance because I can put my work obligations to rest and enjoy my personal time when my work tasks are completed because I know that I am working daily to achieve my long-term goals.
Tell us one long-term goal in your career.
To expand Gotham Footcare’s business model to other parts of New York City and other major cities, such as Miami and Los Angeles. And eventually internationally to Porto, Portugal.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Besides not being afraid to fail, I would give my younger self advice to ignore negative people. It takes courage and strength to ignore negative people especially when they commit a wrong against you. I am a passionate individual and I highly value self respect. Passion is certainly a virtue because it is the reason why I succeed in life. However unfortunately sometimes passion leads to pride, and I am guilty in my younger years of having relentlessly vindicating others for their wrong doing. Maybe I did so because I felt insecure, vulnerable, or hurt, but as I have gotten older, maturity has made me realize that most of the time I don’t have to retaliate. Its healthier for me to ignore some people because doing so allows me to channel my energy in a more positive and productive direction. It really annoys people when you don’t care, ignore, and dismiss their actions rather than letting their actions get under your skin. It empowers you and makes them feel irrelevant. Negative people are their greatest enemy. You don’t need to vindicate their actions. They will inevitably punish themselves by virtue of their own misery, and oftentimes if you are patient you will witness them doing so.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?
As Julius Cesar used to say, “Experience is the teacher of all things.”
Name a few influential books you’ve read and/or websites you keep up with that you’d recommend to readers.
I like to read real estate and food blogs such as Eater, New York Magazine, Time Out, Guest of Guest, Curbed, Yimby, and Gothamist and Resident Advisor for weekly music events. I enjoy reading conservative and liberal news sources for opposing perspectives on current events such as The Wall Street Journal, Politico, Fox News, and CNN. I recently enjoyed reading the book Sapiens by Yuval Noah.
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