Podiatry, more appropriately podiatric medicine, is a field of healthcare devoted to the study, prevention, and treatment of problems of the foot. A podiatrist may prescribe corrective devices and medication, or recommend physical therapy.
Podiatrists attend colleges of podiatric medicine and graduates are doctors of podiatric medicine (DPM). Education consists of a doctoral level four-year program followed by a two- or three-year residency. As with regular medical school, this training follows their four-year undergraduate college degree. The modern specialty of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery requires a minimum of three years of college education and completion of the M.C.A.T. (Medical College Admission Test) before an applicant will be considered for acceptance to one of the seven colleges of Podiatric Medicine. The training for the student of Podiatric Medicine includes studies in the basic medical sciences (i.e., Anatomy, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Physiology, etc.) emphasizing the health and conditions affecting the lower extremities.
A podiatrist is a person devoted to the study and medical treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle, and lower extremity. The term has become the accepted term in the English speaking world for podiatric medical school graduates: Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.). In other countries, such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and certain provinces of Canada, the title "Chiropodist" is often used. It should be noted that the titles "podiatrist" and "chiropodist" are interchangeable.
Podiatric physicians may independently diagnose, treat and prescribe medicine and perform surgery for disorders of the foot and in most states the ankle and leg. Board certification exists for podiatric physicians. Recognition is based on a board demonstrating that it can meet criteria established by the podiatric medical profession.
Some podiatrists limit their practices to the non-(hospital) surgical treatment of patients. Because much work in podiatric medicine and surgery involves cutting of some kind, many procedures are considered surgical by insurance companies including tasks such as the cutting of nails, removing of corns or callus, which the general public would not ordinarily consider to be surgery. These podiatrists use their skills in handling arthritic, diabetic, and other medical problems associated with the feet and lower extremities. Some use devices fitted in shoes (orthotics) or modify the shoe itself to make walking better or easier. Some practices focus on sports medicine and treat many runners, dancers, soccer players, and other athletes.
Within the scope of practice, podiatrists are the experts at foot, ankle & related leg structures surgery. Some podiatrists have primarily surgical practices. Some specialists complete additional fellowship training in reconstruction of the foot, ankle and leg. Many podiatric surgeons specialize in minimally invasive percutaneous surgery. Most podiatrists utilize medical, orthopedic, biomechanical and surgical practices. Indeed, surgical podiatric principles rest on a base of orthopedic and kinesthetic knowledge.
Medical Opinions Associates has Board-certified Podiatry experts who review medical records, draft opinion letters, and provide litigation support, including consultation, deposition, and trial testimony. One such Podiatry expert from Pennsylvania is on the surgical staff of a Pennsylvania hospital, having served as Chief of Podiatric Surgery. He has considerable experience with nursing homes and extended care facilities. Another Podiatry expert from New Jersey is also Board-certified in Foot and Ankle Surgery and further Board-certified by the American Board of Podiatric Orthopedics and Primary Podiatric Medicine in foot and ankle orthopedics. He also holds certification in laser surgery of the foot and leg and ankle and heel arthroscopy. Another of our Podiatry experts is Board-certified in both Podiatric Surgery and Podiatric Medicine and is in private practice in New Rochelle, N.Y.