What does a podiatrist do?

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Podiatrists are a type of medical doctor who specializes in feet and lower limb functions. They treat injuries, manage health conditions that affect this area, such as diabetes, and provide all around care for this region of the body. 

A doctor of podiatric medicine may often be referred to as a podiactric physician, or a podiatrist. 

Podiatrists manage pain through prescription medications, they set bone fractures, operate in surgery, and can order lab tests or and imaging to aid in their diagnostic practices. 

These doctors are known to work closely with other practitioners of different fields, such as those involved in physical therapy or chronic illnesses like diabetes.  

Training: 

Podiatrists go through extensive medical training. They must complete a full bachelor’s degree before continuing on to another four year degree in a podiatric medical school. 

From there, they need to complete a medical residency for 2-3 years training in hospitals and clinics under the supervision of an attending physician in the field. Upon completion of their education, they may then be officially certified to practice as a podiatrist.  

Podiatric Surgeons:  

Surgeons who specialize in this practice are doctors who have been certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. 

These doctors must have passed rigorous testing in general and specialized areas of their focus, and must be licensed in each state they wish to work within. These licenses must be renewed every few years, and it is expected that these doctors will continue their learning on their own via yearly seminar.  

Podiatric Specializations: 

Podiatrists may specialize in a wide variety of areas such as: 

  • Surgery
  • Wound Care
  • Sports Medicine (Physical Therapy and Dealing in Injuries Resultant from Sports)
  • Diabetes
  • Pediatric Care (Caring for Children with Foot or Lower Limb Conditions) 

In general, any issue relating specifically to the foot or lower legs will be the purview of a podiatrist. They can check your feet for overall health, remove hard skin and other afflictions, cut your toenails, and help you decide on the type and fit of shoe that best fits you.  

How are Podiatrists Different than other Doctors? 

While still medical doctors, a podiatrist attends a more specilized schooling than general practictions. Their schools are tailored for their practice, and upon graduation they are designed as a DPM (Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, rather than an MD (Medicle Doctor). 

In this way podiatrists are similar to dentists and other specialized fields, like dermatology.  

Podiatry Risk Factors: 

As a provide of podiatry in Essex, we offer advice about the risk factors involved in not taking care of your feet. The following illnesses and conditions can cause foot and lower limb issues, and would require treatment from a podiatrist.  

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • High Cholesterol
  • Poor Blood Circulation
  • Heat Disease and Stroke 

Diabetics in particular are at risk of complications in their feet and lower limbs due to their illness, and need to keep a close eye on the condition of this area. 

It is recommended that those suffering diabetes keep a signs and symptoms journal of their feet and lower limbs, and seek medical attention if any issues arise.

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