What is a Foot Doctor?
With all the work that feet do for the body - keeping it stabilized, absorbing shock, bearing the entire weight, and moving it forward - they require unique care when they encounter problems. A podiatrist, also known as a foot doctor, is a physician whose specialty is examining, diagnosing and treating diseases and conditions of the foot and ankle. The title comes from the Greek words for foot ("pod") and physician ("iatros").
In addition to four years in podiatric medical school, they also complete three years of hospital residency to prepare them for this field of medicine. Upon completion of their medical education, they will earn the title DPM, which stands for "Doctor of Podiatric Medicine." Podiatrists can also be board-certified, which means they have taken and passed tests dealing with advanced training and clinical experience.
Podiatrists commonly see patients for sprains and fractures of the toes and ankles. They also treat painful conditions such as pinched nerves, hammertoes or plantar fasciitis. Growths such as bunions, corns, warts, and calluses, and fungal conditions affecting the feet and nails are often treated as well. Within the field of podiatry, there are specialized practices; these include surgical procedures, sports medicine, wound, and diabetic care, and pediatrics. Doctors in each of these specialties have the experience and training to administer specific treatments.
Although other physicians may recognize problems with the feet, podiatrists have the best qualifications to care for this particular area of the body. Contact a podiatrist in your area for treatment of any and all foot-related issues.