What is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is also called a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM). After a four year undergraduate school a podiatrist then attends a 4 year podiatric medical school, graduating with a doctor of podiatric medicine degree (DPM).  A podiatrist is a specialist who is trained in the medical diagnosis and both surgical and non surgical treatment for foot and ankle problems.  Some common conditions include but are not limited to , heel pain/spurs, sprains, tendon conditions, fractures, bunions, hammertoes, neuromas, corns,calluses, ingrown toenails and warts. A podiatrist also renders care for diabetic foot infections.  Podiatrists are required to take state and national exams, as well as be licensed by the state in which they practice. Each state determines the scope of practice on how far the podiatrist can treat the foot, ankle, and leg.  Currently there are 44 states which allows a podiatrist to treat the foot and ankle.

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, there are more than 17,800 practicing podiatrists in the United States. Podiatrists are in demand more than ever today because of a rapidly aging population. In addition, according to the association, foot disorders are among the most widespread and neglected health problems affecting people in this country.

Typically, podiatrists (depending on their scope of practice):

-Consult with the patient and other physicians on how to prevent foot problems.

-Perform surgeries to correct or remedy such problems as bunions, clawtoes, fractures, hammertoes, infections, ruptured tendons, and other ligaments.

-Prescribe and perform therapies,

-Perform diagnostic procedures such as ultrasound

-Prescribe or fit patients with orthotics which help treat different type of type of foot conditions.

-Diagnose and treat conditions such as: plantar fasciitis/heel pain, ulcers, bunions, fractures, neuromas, corns, calluses, cysts, infections, ingrown nails, and skin conditions.

When to Call a Podiatrist

Common Foot Problems