What is a Podiatrist

A podiatrist, also called a doctor of podiatric medicine, is a specialist who provides medical diagnosis and treatment (including surgery) of foot and ankle problems, including, but not limited to sprains and fractures, bunions/hammertoes and other deformities, heel pain/spurs, neuromas, ingrown toenails, warts, ulcers, tumors, corns and calluses. In addition to undergraduate medical school training, podiatrists also attend four years of graduate school for a doctorate degree in podiatry and three years of residency training. 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.

Typically, podiatrists also perform and read x-rays and diagnostic ultrasound, fit and dispense diabetic shoes, and cast for custom foot orthotics.