PODIATRIC MEDICINE Specialized Care for Your Feet and Ankles
YOUR PODIATRIST – The Foot and Ankle Specialist
Podiatrists are medical professionals trained to keep feet healthy and working well. Your podiatrist uses a wide range of therapies and surgery to treat conditions related to foot structure and function. He or she can also teach you how to avoid foot problems in the future.
Your podiatrist consults with the other members of your health care team, such as your primary care physician. Together, they work to provide you with the best possible overall medical care.
FOOTNOTES: Believe it or not, you’ll walk about 115,000 miles in your lifetime – equal to more than four times around the earth. It’s no wonder, then, that most people develop foot problems at some point in their lives.
A DOCTOR OF PODIATRIC MEDICINE
A podiatrist is a highly trained Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM). Achieving this title takes years of study and clinical practice. After completing a four-year bachelor’s degree program, a student goes on to a four-year podiatric medical school. He or she may receive further training through residency of 1-3 years and continuing education programs.
Podiatric medical school is a four-year program. During the first two years, students study basic sciences. The third and fourth years, students focus on learning medical and surgical specialties as well as on gaining clinical experience in foot and ankle problems.
Residency programs are completed at teaching hospitals. A residency may run from one to three years, focusing on different aspects of foot care and surgery.
Continuing education is part of the podiatrist’s routine, even after formal training has been completed. By attending courses and seminars, podiatrists prepare for state and national certifying boards and stay informed about the most recent advances in podiatric care.
PROVIDING PROFESSIONAL FOOT CARE
No matter what your age or foot problem, your podiatrist is the professional to turn to for prompt, effective care. Your feet are the bottom line for your health and well-being. So, see your podiatrist for symptoms relief or corrective treatment at the first sign of foot trouble.
YOUR FIRST VISIT – Podiatric Evaluation and Treatment
When you first visit your podiatrist, you will be given a thorough medical evaluation to diagnose your foot problem. The podiatrist takes your medical history, conducts a physical exam, and performs tests as needed.
Once a diagnosis is made, your podiatrist develops a treatment plan designed to relieve your discomfort or correct the foot problem. Your treatment may include a variety of nonsurgical and surgical techniques. Your podiatrist can also give you helpful tips for avoiding foot problems in the future.
FOOTNOTES: Foot problems tend to grow worse over the years because of wear and tear. And feet are one of the most frequently injured parts of the body because we use them constantly.