Podiatry, or podiatric medicine, is a branch of medicine devoted to the study of diagnosis and medical and surgical treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle, and lower extremity. The term podiatry came into use in the early 20th century in the United States and is now used worldwide, including countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia.
US trained podiatrists rotate through major areas of medicine during residency, including emergency medicine, orthopedic surgery, general surgery, anesthesia, radiology, pathology, infectious disease, endocrinology, sports medicine,physical therapy, biomechanics, geriatrics, internal medicine, critical care, cardiology, vascular surgery, psychiatric and behavioral health, neurology, pediatrics, dermatology, pain management, wound care and primary care.
Podiatrists are uniquely qualified among medical professionals to treat only diseases of the foot and ankle. Whether it is sports medicine, pediatrics, dermatology or diabetes, today’s podiatrist can treat the many diverse facets of foot care. Podiatrists can be the first to identify systemic diseases in patients, such as diabetes and vascular disease. Today’s podiatrists:
- Perform surgery
- Perform reconstructive and microsurgeries
- Administer sedation and anesthetics
- Perform complete medical histories and physical examinations
- Prescribe medications
- Set fractures and treat sports-related injuries
- Prescribe and fit orthotics, insoles, casts and prosthetics
- Order and perform physical therapy
- Take and interpret X-rays, ultrasound, MRI’s and other imaging studies
- Work as valued members of a community’s health care team
Doctors of podiatric medicine receive medical education and training in podiatric medical colleges including four years of undergraduate education, four years of graduate education at one of nine podiatric medical colleges and up to four years of hospital-based residency training. All podiatric physicians and surgeons receive a DPM degree.
THERE ARE RECORDS OF THE KING OF FRANCE EMPLOYING A PERSONAL PODIATRIST, AS DID NAPOLEON. IN THE UNITED STATES, PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN SUFFERED GREATLY WITH HIS FEET AND CHOSE A CHIROPODIST NAMED ISACHAR ZACHARIE, WHO NOT ONLY CARED FOR THE PRESIDENT’S FEET, BUT ALSO WAS SENT BY PRESIDENT LINCOLN ON CONFIDENTIAL MISSIONS TO CONFER WITH LEADERS OF THE CONFEDERACY DURING THE U.S. CIVIL WAR....Read More