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Dr. Nelson

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Dr. Nelson

Dr. Nelson and family

Erin Nelson, DPM, FACFAS, FAES, CWSP is the founder of Foot and Ankle Specialists of Ames. She is a lifelong Iowan and grew up in Dubuque. She went to the University of Northern Iowa and received a degree in biology and went to Des Moines University for medical school. After completing a residency at St John North Shores in Harrison Township, Michigan she and her family returned to Iowa. She practiced at McFarland Clinic for 8 years and then returned to her alma mater, Des Moines University, for 4 years where she was an assistant professor and was the Clinical Chair of the DMU Foot and Ankle Clinic.  Dr. Nelson is board certified in foot and ankle surgery and wound care. She is a fellow of Association of Extremity Nerve Surgeons. She is so excited to return to the Ames community to open her practice where her family has lived since 2009. Her family loves cheering on the Cyclones and looks forward to football season every year.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids as well as staying active including participating in triathlons and finding new places for vacations!

Dr. Nelson
Dr. Nelson and family


  • 2021-present Part-time Faculty at Des Moines University Des Moines, IA
  • 2017- 2020 Assistant Professor and Clinical Chair, Des Moines University Foot and Ankle Clinic
    Des Moines, Iowa
  • 2009-2017 Partner, McFarland Clinic
    Ames, Iowa
  • Medical Staff and Wound Clinic Physician, Mary Greeley Medical Center
    Ames, Iowa
  • Resident Physician, St John North Shores
    -Harrison Township, Michigan
  • Resident Physician, Broadlawns Medical Center
    Des Moines, Iowa


  • Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, Des Moines University
    Des Moines, Iowa
  • Bachelor of Arts in Biology: Biomedical Emphasis
    Minor: Chemistry and Spanish
    University of Northern Iowa
    Cedar Falls, Iowa

Board certifications

  • American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgeons
  • American Board of Wound Management

Professional memberships

  • American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, Fellow
  • American Podiatric Medical Association
  • Association for the Advancement of Wound Care
  • Association for Extremity Nerve Surgery, Fellow

Professional development

  • Association of Extremity Nerve Surgeons, Peripheral Nerve Ultrasound Course
  • Association of Extremity Nerve Surgeons, Advanced Peripheral Nerve Repair Course
  • Association of Extremity Nerve Surgeons, Fundamental Peripheral Nerve Repair Course
  • Reviewer of National Board of Podiatric Medical Examinations 1,2 & 3
  • Serve on the Iowa Board of Podiatry, 2nd term
    • Serve as vice chair 2020-2021
  • Lapiplasty Course
  • Citi Research Program
  • AAMC Organizational Leadership in Academic Medicine for Associate Deans and Clinical Chairs
  • Kaiser Permanente Diversity Health Series and Safe Zone Course
  • 2014-2017 Des Moines University Alumni Council
  • 2012, 2016 Lecture for Mary Greeley Medical Center Grand Rounds
  • 2011 Nominated for Women’s Leaders, Ames Tribune, Ames, Iowa
  • Lectured for Physicians of Thielen Student Health Center, Iowa State University

Community service

  • Annual Volunteer at the “Fit Feet” Special Olympics, Ames, Iowa
  • Member of the “Circle of Red” American Heart Association
  • Volunteer at Easter Seals, foot screenings in 2018
  • Presented at Balance and Beyond DMU Physical Therapy Lecture Series
    • “Common Causes of Balance Difficulties Related to the Foot and Ankle”
  • Volunteer at the Des Moines University Senior Health Fair, foot screenings in 2018
  • Volunteer at the DMU event, Get your foot in the door (event to give kids an introductory to what DMU has to offer) in 2017
  • Lecturer at Mary Greeley Medical Center on senior foot care “Prime Time Alive” in 2010
  • Performed foot exams at Mary Greeley Medical Center Diabetic Symposium in 2010


  • Submission for publication “Retrospective Study of Skin Substitutes in Wound Care”
  • Biologics in Tendon Surgery, Clinics in Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, Vol 37, issue 3
  • Poster presentation at DMU Research Symposium, Literature Review of Nerve Decompression Surgery in the Diabetic Patient Population