What is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg. They may further specialize in such areas as sports medicine, surgery, wound care, pediatrics, or diabetes care. Since the foot is such an important part of the body, it is important to have the best care possible when problems arise. Feet are crucial for balance and locomotion, plus they are the body’s shock absorbers, so you want to keep them healthy. Dr. Brett Roeder in Mesa, AZ can provide patients with all types of foot and ankle care.

GFS LogoHaving the best-trained doctors to care for your feet is essential. Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.), sometimes called foot and ankle surgeons, are the most qualified type of physician to care for the complex conditions of the foot. In fact, typically spend their first four years of formal education at an undergraduate university, typically studying biology, biochemistry, or organic chemistry. Then they spend four more years studying at one of the nine accredited schools of podiatric medicine in the United States. Next, they will complete three to four years of hospital residency training, rotating through different areas of the hospital and typically spending extra time in a podiatric surgical specialty. Fellowships are available after residency for those who wish further specialization. These doctors can become licensed in all 50 states and board certified after passing an exam given by one of the specialty boards which include the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery or the American Board of Podiatric Medicine. In addition, it is important to note that these foot doctors are the only medical professionals who exclusively specialize in the care of the foot and ankle.

There are many different types of foot and ankle problems that a podiatric physician can help with. They can diagnose and treat a variety of conditions such as bone and soft tissue injuries. In addition, conditions can include neurological and circulatory diseases that occur in the foot and ankle. They even treat conditions of the skin, infections of the nails, corns, calluses, and ingrown toenails. No matter whether these troubles occur naturally, as the result of disease, or as the result of injury, a podiatric physician should be the doctor of choice.

In other countries, foot and ankle doctors may have different training and responsibilities. For example, in Australia, those who wish to become podiatrists can complete an undergraduate program to become certified. However, if they wish to do surgery, they must complete graduate level studies. In Canada, the practice of podiatry varies by province. In Alberta and British Colombia, the scope and education are similar to the United States. Yet, in Ontario, there are many foot doctors who practice chiropody, a similar profession that specializes in assessing and treating foot disorders that is an essential member of the healthcare team.

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