What is a Podiatrist?
What is a podiatrist?
This is a question that we get a lot. Sometimes we get confused with pediatricians or pathologists because both specialties begin with “P.” Sometimes, we get confused with pedorthists, because we both deal with feet. Other times we get confused with nail care technicians, because that is where podiatry got its’ start.
Years ago, the practice of podiatry was called chiropody. At that point, all we were able to do is palliative care like trimming toenails and callouses. Over time, the profession evolved to what it has become today. Looking forward, it is likely that the profession will continue to evolve.
Today, podiatrists have become the experts in everything involving the foot and ankle. Podiatrists are required to first complete undergraduate school. After college, students must apply for and be accepted to one of only 9 podiatric medical schools across the country. The competition for a spot is fierce.
Podiatric medical school is a specialized medical school where students have to decide, prior to starting school, that they will specialize in the foot and ankle. Over the next 4 years, students are taught medicine, often times taking classes with their allopathic peers. However, throughout medical school, systems are taught with a focus on their effects on the foot and ankle.
After medical school, graduates must then complete a 3 year surgical residency. Again, during residency, graduates will rotate through different specialties including anesthesia, orthopedics, emergency medicine, general surgery, and numerous others, all the while still focusing on the treatment of the foot and ankle.
After completing residency, podiatrists will then go through one of the most difficult board certification processes across medicine. Once completed, podiatrists are the experts on the foot and ankle. Podiatrists treat numerous conditions including toe nail issues, diabetic foot ulcers, bunions and hammertoes, arthritis, strains and sprains, plantar fasciitis, broken bones, and so much more.
If you are having trouble with your feet or ankles, come and see our team including the best podiatrists in the area, at Capital Foot and Ankle.