Feet First

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Dr. Karsten Weber and his talented team of podiatrists toe the line when it comes to superior patient care and outcomes.

Some people may assume physicians cannot be good businessmen or businesswomen. They argue that science and business blend about as well as oil and water.

Perhaps a second opinion is necessary.

Providing patients with superior care and maintaining the financial health of a medical practice keeps podiatrists Karsten Weber, Alex Stirling, Jason Hancock and his wife, Nicole Hancock, on their toes. However, they manage to put their best foot forward each and every day to ensure the overall health and well-being of both their patients and practice.

As a matter of fact, Leesburg-based Lakeside Foot and Ankle Center recently opened a second location in the Oakland Hills Professional Plaza at 13940 U.S. Hwy. 441 in Lady Lake.

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Not only do the doctors pride themselves in forming strong bonds with patients; they maintain strong bonds among each other, as well.

Those bonds were forged in the early 2000s when all four doctors attended Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine in Miami. They often studied together and even did things outside of school. However, the medical school classmates never mentioned the possibility of someday joining forces and being part of a comprehensive podiatry practice.

Dr. Weber moved to Lake County in 2005. A local banker lent him $250,000 to purchase Lakeside Foot and Ankle Center from Dr. Robert Bewley, who started the practice in the mid-1970s. Needless to say, being the lone doctor at an already established podiatry practice kept Dr. Weber busy. There was little time to enjoy his hobbies, which include customizing cars, spending time with his children and shooting guns recreationally.

“I loved the practice and enjoyed meeting the wonderful people of Lake County, but I was working about 110 hours each week,” Dr. Weber said. “After a while, I realized it was time to add another doctor to my practice.”

To alleviate his workload, he hired Dr. Stirling in 2009. The practice continued growing throughout the years, and in November 2012 Dr. Jason Hancock and Dr. Nicole Hancock joined the team.

For them, reuniting years later in a small Central Florida town has been an extremely enjoyable experience. Their friendship is as strong as ever, and the four doctors routinely enjoy activities together outside the office such as eating at restaurants and boating on local lakes.

“We’re not just associates; we’re great friends,” Dr. Weber said. “I feel so fortunate to have assembled an outstanding group of podiatrists whom I respect so much on a professional and personal level.”

The team, which has nearly 40 years of combined experience, performs a variety of medical and surgical treatment options for problems below the knee. They also treat common foot ailments such as bunions, hammertoes and flat feet and perform surgical reconstruction for foot and ankle deformities.

Most importantly, they share the same philosophy in providing outstanding patient care. Satisfied patients are why Lakeside Foot and Ankle Center continues receiving word-of-mouth referrals.

“We all do our best to provide a comfortable environment for patients, and we spend quality time with them so they do not feel like a number,” Dr. Weber said.

The four doctors hope to leave a lasting footprint on the community. They’re living proof that juggling medicine and business simply requires a healthy dose of sense.

Here’s a personalized look at the doctors:

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Dr. Karsten Weber

Hometown: Kansas City
Children: McKenzie, 19, Emilie, 10, Karsten Jr. (“Buddy”), 7, and Kiera, 4
Hobbies: Biking, boating, fishing and recreational shooting; I just love being outdoors.
Favorite book: “All Quiet on the Western Front.”
Movie genre: Mystery/crime.
Sports team: Florida Gators
Food: Pizza from Double Take
Television show: “The Walking Dead.”
Favorite quote: “All things are possible with God.”
Guilty pleasure: Wine and cigars.
Advice for young college students: Form your own opinions and refuse to be molded by the actions of others.

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Dr. Nicole Hancock

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
Family: Husband, Jason, and a beautiful 11-month-old girl named Abbi, whom we adopted.
Hobbies: Home décor
Favorite book: The Bible; All your answers to life are in it.
Movie genre: Mystery/suspense
Sports team: Dallas Cowboys
Food: Pizza from Mellow Mushroom
Television show: Anything on the Learning Channel and Discovery Channel.
Favorite quote: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Guilty pleasure: Wine and “Real Housewives”
Advice for young college students: Choose a career you love and love what you do.

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Dr. Jason Hancock

Hometown: Tifton, Georgia
Family: Wife, Nicole, and 11-month-old daughter Abbi
Hobbies: Playing guitar and painting.
Favorite book: The Bible
Movie genre: Comedy
Sports team: Georgia Bulldogs
Food: Surf ‘N Turf
Television show: None really, probably the news.
Favorite quote: “Great wisdom is chosen over great riches.”
Guilty pleasure: Pizza
Advice for young college students: Focus on the end result and not on the now.

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Dr. Alexander Stirling

Hometown: Panama, Central America
Family: Wife, Jessica, and three daughters Alexandra, 11, Sophia, 7, and Isabella, 3
Hobbies: Family is No. 1, working out at the gym, volunteer coaching at the YMCA, playing soccer and fishing.
Favorite book: “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy
Movie: “The Last of the Mohicans”
Sports team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Food: Seafood
Television show: “Game of Thrones”
Favorite quote: “Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you.”
Guilty pleasure: I’m diabetic, so it would be a big, nice, moist chocolate cake.
Advice for young college students: Don’t give up. Pick a route, pick a dream, and no matter what obstacles life throws at you, don’t give up—never give up.


PHOTOS: Fred Lopez

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