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Podiatrist facts for kids

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Podiatrist
Rod of Asclepius2.svg
Occupation
Names
  • Podiatrist
  • Doctor of Podiatric Medicine
Occupation type
Specialty
Activity sectors
Medicine, podiatric medicine, sports medicine, endocrinology, orthopedic surgery, dermatology, radiology, biomechanics, rheumatology, neurology
Description
Competencies The science of medicine, surgical skills, biomechanics, ethics, critical thinking, analytical skills, professionalism, management skills, and communication skills.
Fields of
employment
Hospitals, Clinics

A podiatrist (/poʊˈdaɪətrɪst/ poh-dye-eh-trist), also known as a podiatric physician or foot and ankle surgeon, is a medical professional devoted to the treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle, and lower extremity. The term originated in North America but has now become the accepted term in the English-speaking world for all practitioners of podiatric medicine.

In the United States, Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) are doctors who practice on the lower extremities, primarily on feet and ankles. The preparatory education of most podiatric physicians (similar to the paths of traditional MD, and Osteopathic Medicine (DO)) includes four years of undergraduate work, followed by four years in an accredited podiatric medical school, followed by a three- or four-year hospital-based surgical residency. Optional one- to two-year fellowship in foot & ankle reconstruction, surgical limb salvage, sports medicine, plastic surgery, pediatric foot & ankle surgery, and wound care is also available. Podiatrists are licensed in all fifty states, although each state has its own licensing requirements. The scope of practice may vary from state to state and residency training.

In many countries, the term podiatrist refers to allied health professionals who specialize in the treatment of the lower extremity, particularly the foot. Podiatrists in these countries are specialists in the diagnosis and nonsurgical treatment of foot pathology. In some circumstances, these practitioners will further specialise and, following further training, perform reconstructive foot and ankle surgery.

In contrast, Most American podiatrists who hold a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) degree complete surgical residencies; thus, many practitioners are trained in surgical treatments of the foot and ankle.

Though the title chiropodist was previously used in the United States to designate what is now known as a podiatrist, it is now considered to be an antiquated and etymologically incorrect term.

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