The path from locksmith to podiatrist

How do you get from Chicago, Illinois to Mobile, Alabama? The answer is simple: you head 900 miles south. How do you get from locksmith to podiatrist? That question may seem random and the answer is definitely a little more complex.

Yet, the two questions are actually related, with a common denominator of Dr. Scott Doherty, a podiatrist at Ascension Providence. 

The sixth out of seven kids living in the inner city of Chicago, Scott Doherty didn’t come from privilege. “I’ve had a lot of near-death experiences. Driving home from work one day, I had my window shot out,” he said. The family’s neighbor owned a locksmith company and from his early teenage years, Doherty worked for him. The owner took him under his wing for six years, even promising him the company one day. But fate had a different plan and when the owner died, his wife sold it to someone else and Doherty realized his life path was shifting. His next move: the military.

After serving in the Coast Guard for four years, Doherty was faced with yet another decision about the trajectory of his life. What was next? He started browsing some college catalogs. Having done lockwork for Chicago Osteopathic Hospital years before, the word “osteopathic” caught his eye. He called the university in Des Moines and asked for a tour. By the time he left that day, he made up his mind that podiatry was his calling. So how did he make that dream come to life? “For eight years, I worked as an electronics technician for a computer company in Cedar Rapids,” Dr. Doherty replied. “During my lunch hour, I’d run to the nearby community college, take a class, then go back to work.” 

In that timespan, he completed two years worth of college credits before taking the bold step to cash in his 401K (which was $10,000) and transfer to the University of North Iowa for the remaining two years of school. Then, he put all of his eggs in one basket when he applied to podiatry college in Des Moines. Doherty got the interview and was accepted. Thus, his new career path was one step closer to becoming a reality.

Over the years, Doherty has bounced from coast to coast, seeing the country, learning new skills, meeting new people, and changing lives. Since 2016, he has called Mobile home and said the Gulf Coast is by far his favorite place he’s lived.

From a locksmith to a podiatrist; so what’s the biggest similarity between being the two? Dr. Doherty said, “At an early age, you start to learn mechanisms that concern a lock/this mechanical engineering thought process: how does this work, what does it do, what is broken? The foot is similar to that, with a lot of biomechanics involved with the foot.”

“I call the foot a big swivel, always searching for planet Earth when you step down. Having early mechanical knowledge has helped me become a troubleshooter as a foot doctor.” 

That early knowledge continues to lead him as he focuses on healing his patients and forming lasting relationships with them. Dr. Doherty has special interests in sports medicine, diabetic foot care, pediatrics and geriatrics, trauma and elective surgical cases. And now, his life is coming full circle as he is president and CEO of his own company selling smart-lock home technology.

From making and repairing locks to healing and removing pain: the path from locksmith to podiatrist.