Podiatric Medicine

Podiatric Medicine

Feet problems are often caused by the sufferer themselves; wearing the wrong footwear, not bathing and general all round bad hygiene of the feet can cause a number of problems such as ingrown nails and fungus related diseases. Other times foot problems are caused by injury or deformity, this can be due to the way in which you walk and your posture.

Podiatrists are doctors that specialise in problems with the feet and lower legs and they are qualified to examine and treat any problems that you may have. If you visit your GP with any kind of foot or lower leg problem you may be referred to Podiatrist or a Chiropodist, the latter is someone who can treat any minor foot problems such as, hard skin, cracked heels or athlete`s foot, more major problems will see you referred to someone who studies podiatric medicine or podiatrist.

Becoming a Podiatrist

Podiatric medicine was evolved from chiropody which is all about the study of problems of the foot. Podiatry is a specific medical field dealing with assessments, diagnosis and treatment of lower limbs. It uses and has developed a wide range of scientific advances that can evaluate and treat foot, ankle, knee and lower leg problems and disorders.

Podiatry medicine practitioners specialise in many different areas relating to their specific body area including:

  • Surgery
  • Sports medicine
  • Biomechanics
  • Geriatrics
  • Paediatrics
  • Orthopaedics
  • Primary Care

The education of podiatric medicine qualifies a podiatrist uniquely among other health professionals to treat the lower leg.

To become a podiatrist is required that you take an undergraduates degree in podiatric medicine; this can be as tough if not tougher that other medical professions such as dentists or physiotherapists and requires true dedication from the student. A big part of the undergraduate course that you take will be spending time on clinical placements and putting in hours working alongside qualified podiatrists.

The course will last over a three year period and in this time you will need to be prepared for long days and evenings at college studying for your degree.

Upon completion of your degree in podiatry, you may decide to further your education to be able to undertake podiatric surgery as part of your profession. This will mean the ability to operate on patients who may require it.

Working as a Podiatrist

Once you are qualified to work as a podiatrist there a numerous options and places to practice in, you will generally work alongside doctors of other medical professions. Some of places in which you could get work are:

  • Forensic Podiatry
  • Research
  • General Hospital
  • Private Practice
  • Retail Sector
  • Leisure Industry
  • Occupational Health

It is possible that you will work in a number of these environments during your career, with time and experience you may grow to work with children as a paediatric podiatrist, this can be very rewarding as studying children`s posture and walking ability can help those that currently struggle to walk correctly, be able to walk fine as they grow up.