Podiatry- Science That Deals with Ailments of The Leg

Podiatry is the study of ailments of the leg that includes foot, ankle, and other related structures. These structures are an important part of our body and can suffer from different conditions due to wear and tear or deficiencies. The Leg is the most used part of our body and goes through typical wear and tear in the course of one’s life. The science has developed the extensive need of treatment of this part. A podiatrist is a doctor who diagnoses and treats conditions of the foot, ankle, knees, and related structures.

Who can be called a podiatrist

  1. He/she should study podiatry for four years from a podiatric medical school and the degree received is known as Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM).
  2. He/she should have a training of minimum three years through a hospital residency program.
  3. He/she should have a specialization in fields like surgery, sports medicine, wound care, pediatrics, and diabetic care.
  4. He/she can have a board certification through advanced training and specialized clinical experience, which requires taking an exam at the end of the term. The American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and American Board of Podiatric Medicine provide board certification. In India, the National Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners provides this certification but this certification is received only by giving the American Podiatric Medical Licensing Exam.

Qualities required in a podiatrist

  1. Benevolence: One should be considerate regarding the condition of his patient because many times the patient comes with severe and unbearable pain.
  2. Cogitative: A higher functioning should be introspective because it is required to decide upon the correct line of diagnosis after the patient has stated problem.
  3. Conforming to the facts: To diagnose correctly and decide upon the line of treatment one requires giving attentions to details provided by the patient.
  4. Establishing a relationship: Proper interaction and communication is required between the patient and the doctor in case of surgery because patient’s trust is important.

How to be a podiatrist?

One needs a Bachelor of podiatry to become a podiatrist in Australia. He needs to be registered to practice it. Post-graduate education, including Graduate Diploma, Master and PhD level courses are available to podiatrists. These qualifications help in developing expertise in diabetic care, podiatric surgery, or sports medicine. Various universities across Australia offer the course for podiatric studies.

What does a podiatrist do?

  • Podiatrist firstly evaluates the condition of the patient by knowing related facts and details. He/she does physical examination of the structured patient is complaining of.
  • After evaluation, podiatrist tries to diagnose through X-rays, lab tests, and other appliances available to support his physical examination and line of thinking.
  • After doctor receives the report, he/she then decides upon the line of treatment. Treatment may include surgery, wearing special shoes, rest, or medicines. Treatments aim at improving the patient’s flexibility.
  • After administering the line of treatment, one must call the patient for review to confirm with the success of the treatment and to assess the improvement.
  • A podiatrist requires reading journals, books, and latest development in the field of podiatry to keep him updated and excel in his job. 
Podiatry involves treatment of the lower part of the body. Hence, it is a high paying job. A licensed podiatrist has a lot of scope today where people are complaining of ailments of the leg due to lack of exercise, unhealthy living conditions, obesity, and other related problems.
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