What Is A Podiatrist?

Podiatrists have become incredibly popular in recent times. As people realize the importance of looking after their feet and lower legs, they are turning to podiatrists for much-needed relief. They are medical specialists that help people who experience problems which affect their lower legs or feet. A podiatrist can treat injuries, ongoing health issues, and more. Chances are that you have heard about podiatric physicians. 

Is A Podiatrist A Doctor? 

Although podiatrists are considered doctors, they do not study at a traditional medical school. Instead, they have their own professional association and school. Besides this, they are not referred to as MD (Medical Doctor), but DPM (Doctor of Podiatric Medicine). A podiatrist can prescribe drugs, reset broken bones, perform surgery, and order lab tests. Moreover, they tend to work along with another specialist to treat the feet and lower leg. State governments regulate and license podiatrists.  

Education and Training 

Students that want to become a podiatrist have to take up physics, chemistry, and biology along with other science classes in college to prepare for podiatry school. It is common for most podiatrists to have a bachelor’s degree in biology. 

Once college is completed, students head to podiatry school where they study for 4 years. Their study involves how muscles, nerves, and bones work together to allow people to move. Besides this, they also study how injuries and illnesses affect the feet. It includes how to diagnose the condition and treat it. They also know how to perform surgery to fix the feet if needed. The United States is home to 9 podiatry schools that are accredited by the American Podiatric Medical Association. After students have successfully finished podiatry school, they have to work at a hospital for about 3 years. It is known as a residency. It enables them to put what they have learned to the test. They also get to work with other doctors such as pediatricians, anesthesiologists, and other specialists.  

Which Conditions Can A Podiatrist Treat? 

The following foot-related conditions can be treated by a podiatrist. 

  • Sprains and Fractures: Podiatrists treat common injuries that affect the foot and ankle on a regular basis. They also work with sports medicine to treat foot problems that athletes may suffer from. 
  • Hammertoes and Bunions: These bone problems relate to the feet. A hammertoe is a condition where the toe does not bend the right way. As for a bunion, it occurs when the joint of the big toe becomes too big or is knocked out of its original place. 
  • Nail Disorders: Ingrown toenails and fungus are two of the nail disorders that podiatrists treat.  
  • Diabetes: As you might already know, diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to produce insulin or is unable to use it the right way. Since insulin is crucial for digesting sugar, diabetes ends up damaging the nerves of your legs or feet.   

Once you have finished reading this post, you will know everything about a podiatrist. In addition to the above, podiatrists can treat many other conditions including arthritis.  

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