What Exactly Is a Po·di·a·trist?
Lower Extremity Experts
A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) is to the foot what a dentist is to the mouth, or an ophthalmologist to the eye – a doctor specializing in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of foot disorders resulting from injury or disease.
Podiatry or podiatric medicine is a branch of medicine devoted to the study of diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle, and lower extremity.
A DPM makes independent judgments, prescribes medications and performs surgery. The human foot has a complex interrelation with the rest of the body which means that it may be the first area to show signs of serious conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Since the podiatric physician is often the first to detect symptoms of these disorders, he or she becomes a vital and sometimes lifesaving link in the health care team.
With up to 10 years or more of advanced training* in the study of the lower limb, Doctors of Podiatric Medicine are among the elite specialists in caring for your feet and ankles.
A podiatrist, also called a doctor of podiatric medicine, is a specialist who provides medical diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle problems, such as bunions, heel pain, spurs, hammertoes, neuromas, ingrown toenails, warts, corns and calluses. A podiatrist also renders care of sprains, fractures, infections, and injuries of the foot, ankle and heel. In addition to undergraduate medical school training, podiatrists also attend graduate school for a doctorate degree in podiatry. Podiatrists are required to take state and national exams, as well as be licensed by the state in which they practice.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, there are an estimated 15,000 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.