Born and raised in Alaska, Dr. Matt A. Heilala attended Soldotna High School and graduated in 1988. Dr. Heilala was a commercial fisherman for many years in his families small business. Although he enjoyed this aspect of his life, it was clear that this was not the direction for him. Having personally undergone foot surgery and having an uncle in Michigan who was a foot doctor, Dr. Heilala became interested in the world of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery early on. Dr. Heilala's formal undergraduate education began at the University of Oregon and was completed at the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1991. Dr. Heilala then entered Podiatric Medical School at the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago, where he graduated Valedictorian and Summa Cum Laude in 1995. That same year Dr. Heilala was accepted into the Northern Virginia Podiatric Residency Program, considered one of the top Surgical Foot and Ankle residencies in the Nation. He additionally received Plastic Surgical Training in lower extremity reconstructive and limb salvage surgery at Georgetown University Hospital under the direction of one of worlds foremost experts. After completing his residency in 1998, Dr. Heilala and his family moved back to their home of Alaska where he is currently in private practice at AFAS. Dr. Heilala has written research articles for The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery and has given many lectures on these topics Nationally.