Accredited Education

What is a Podiatrist

Podiatry is a sector of healthcare that specializes in the diagnosis, and treatment of disorders, injuries and illnesses in the foot, ankle, or lower part of the leg. Podiatrists are the doctors that test these disorders and treat patients with medical conditions in those areas. They are often thought of as foot doctors, but podiatrists specialize in studies relating to the surrounding areas and are required to research and study much more than feet to become certified to practice professionally.

Podiatrists treat a number of disorders or issues including calluses, ingrown toenails, arch conditions, injuries of the ankle and foot, deformities, and foot conditions caused by diseases such as diabetes. They also diagnose foot problems, set fractures, perform corrective surgeries, and prescribe medications and physical therapy treatments. They fit and design corrective shoe inserts as well as custom made shoes, and design casts and molds to correct deformities as well. With the use of laboratory equipment and x-ray examinations, podiatrists diagnose foot problems and serious conditions that could affect the feet including heart diseases and arthritis.

Podiatrists must be licensed and have completed the mandatory educational, training, and examination requirements to practice. They must complete an undergraduate education, a 4 year podiatric college program, and successfully complete the national and state examinations with passing scores. Podiatric school consists of 2 years of classroom instruction followed by clinical rotations in various medical settings. Additionally, podiatrists should show patience and friendly beside manner as well as have good communicational skills and manual dexterity.

Doctors of podiatry may also specialize in certain aspects including surgery, orthopedics, or sports medicine. Most podiatrists have solo practices and have a small staff to carry out administrative duties and assist with patient scheduling, medical records, patient care. Some may also work for clinics or institutions, or visit patients in nursing and medical facilities, while others may make home visits. Podiatrists may also be employed by colleges and universities, and hospitals.

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