A podiatrist is defined as a physician and surgeon specializing in the medical and surgical treatment of the foot and ankle. A Podiatrist, Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), is the only health care professional whose total training focuses on the foot, ankle and related body systems. After obtaining an undergraduate degree, the podiatric physician spends four years in a college of podiatric medicine to obtain a doctorate degree. Following graduation from an accredited College of Podiatric Medicine, a 3 year accredited surgical and medical residency is required prior to going into active practice. Following their doctorate degree, each podiatrist must pass national and state examinations in order to be licensed by the state in which he or she will practice.
The podiatric physician cares for people of all ages. Common disorders of feet include bunions, heel pain/spurs, hammertoes, neuromas, ingrown toenails, warts, corns, calluses, ankle sprains/strains, trauma, sports medicine, fractures, infections, and injuries. If your podiatric surgeon is certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, he or she has successfully completed a credentialing and examination process and has demonstrated knowledge of podiatric surgery. This includes the diagnosis of general medical problems and surgical management of foot diseases, deformities, and trauma of the foot, ankle and related structures.