The Modern-day Podiatrist
Once known as chiropodists, modern-day podiatrists diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle, and lower leg. Within the field of podiatry, practitioners can specialize in various areas including surgery, sports medicine, geriatrics, pediatrics, orthopedics, or primary care.
Education of Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPMs) typically includes four years of undergraduate work, four years in an accredited podiatric medical school, and a residency of two to three years. In order to become a DPM, all 50 states require successful completion of state board examinations before a person can get a license to practice podiatric medicine.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, podiatrists in the U.S. are board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery or the American Board of Podiatric Orthopedics and Primary Podiatric Medicine. The American Podiatric Medical Association oversees state operated organizations representing doctors of podiatric medicine. One such organization is the non-profit New York State Podiatric Medical Association (NYSPMA), which is the largest statewide representation of the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Some of the many problems treated by a podiatrist include common infections, athlete's foot, bunionettes, ulcers (corns and calluses), heel spurs, and ingrown nails. For many people having corns and calluses on their feet is brought about by common activities like recreational sports, jogging, or maybe from being on their feet for long periods of time. Some foot problems might require surgery. For instance, hammertoe, tarsal tunnel syndrome, metatarsalgia, and ganglions are often treated surgically.
Podiatrists encounter a variety of medical disorders that originate in other parts of the body and result in complications in feet, ankles, and lower legs. Podiatrists may be needed for special cases involving patients with arthritis, gout, poor circulation, and other disorders. For many persons these conditions can cause severe pain, discomfort, or even death.
Podiatry and Diabetes
Diabetics that do not heed their doctor's advice can develop sever problems as well. Often diabetics are faced with amputation of feet or an entire lower leg. People with diabetes must exercise extra caution in the care of their feet. Daily checks for sores, cuts, or other abnormalities are highly recommended. Signs of infection include the following:
- Blood sugar levels are hard to control
- High amounts of sugar in urine
- THE Podiatrist's Office is a place where anyone can participate in discussions about podiatric medicine whether they are practitioners, patients, or just passers-by.
- New York State Podiatric Medical Association (NYSPMA)
1255 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10029
Fax: 646 672-9344
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