Being a Southaven native, Dr. Robert W. Appling, DPM, knew that he wanted to open his podiatry practice in the heart of Mississippi's third-largest city.

Conveniently located, almost directly across the street from the Snowden Grove Water Tower along Getwell Road in the Deerchase Office Park, Appling Podiatry, PLLC, is easily accessible from almost all nearby transportation corridors.

"It's a great clinic — a great location," said Appling, who grew up in Southaven and graduated from Southaven High School in 1999. The Christian Brothers graduate, now 35, said Southaven is home.

It's the place where he and wife Jenny are raising their two children.

"If you don't like all the traffic on Goodman Road, you can reach us by Church Road," Appling said. "We're pretty easy to find."

The aspect of making patients feel at home is something that Appling and his staff have strived to achieve in the look and feel of the clinic.

A toasty fireplace greets patients as they walk through the door. A Christmas tree, all decked out in tinsel and trappings, stands majestically in the corner.

Each treatment room — there are at least four, including an X-ray room — are decked out with a different motif and theme. There is a room dedicated to his cousin Luke Appling, formerly of the Memphis Chicks and the Chicago White Sox. Another room is dedicated to America's veterans, with all the branches of the military represented. Another room is a "Mississippi" room which celebrates "all things Mississippi."

"We're aiming for a home-type feel," Appling said.

Many of Appling's patients are individuals that he has known while growing up in the community.

"The first surgery I ever did was on a cheerleader I went to school with," Appling said.

Yet, it's the professional service and expertise, along with a caring and attentive staff, that Appling believes will keep patients coming through the door.

With chronic diseases such as diabetes as one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, a "podiatrist" or foot doctor, as the practice is more colloquially known, has taken on greater emphasis.

Appling has practiced in the Southaven area for the past five and a half years.

Diabetes, which affects the extremities and limbs, is a growing problem that causes circulatory and ambulatory issues with the feet which the practice of podiatry can diagnose and treat.

"Diabetes affects every organ system in the body from the eyes to the feet," Appling said. "Even from a foot exam, I can uncover things that might get overlooked. I've had people with symptoms of leg pain that correspond with foot pain that turns out to be arterial disease. It's something that can strike all ages. I've had patients who have had to have amputations when it (diabetes) was not keep in check."

Appling is on staff at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto in Southaven. Appling is the consulting podiatrist at Baptist Memorial Hopsital-DeSoto.

The clinic is open from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., with first appointments at 9 a.m.

Appling Podiatry, PLLC, is located at 5779 Getwell Road, Building A, Suite 5 in Southaven.

Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at rlong@desototimestribune.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.

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