T:  (915) 598-3338

What is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM), also known as a podiatric physician or surgeon, qualified by their education and training to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg. Podiatrists are uniquely qualified among medical professionals to treat the foot and ankle based on their education, training and experience.

Why Should I See a Podiatrist?
Feet are complex anatomical structures, all-in-one stabilizers, shock absorbers, and propulsion engines that are instrumental to overall health and well-being. They require expert care. Be sure you’re seeing the most qualified health-care professional to treat your feet by looking for the letters “DPM” after his or her name. The DPM means a physician has completed years of rigorous foot and ankle training in podiatric medical school and hospital-based residency training, making him or her uniquely qualified to care for this part of the body. 

How Are Podiatrists Trained?
Podiatrists complete four years of training in a podiatric medical school and three years of hospital residency training. Their training is similar to that of other physicians. Podiatrists may go on to complete fellowship training following their residency.

Podiatrists can focus on many fields, including surgery, sports medicine, wound care, pediatrics, and diabetic care.

Are Podiatrists Board Certified?
Podiatrists can earn board certification with advanced training, clinical experience, and by ultimately taking an exam. The American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and the American Board of Podiatric Medicine are the certifying boards for the field.

source: apma.org

Did you know...

There are 26 bones in each human foot, as well as 33 joints and a network of more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Like all bones, the foot is subject to outside influences that can affect its integrity and its ability to keep us on our feet.

Having ticklish feet is a good thing!  Humana feet have almost 8,000 nerves so having ticklish feet means that all those nerves are firing correctly. Feet that do not respond to a soft tickle could indicate a problem like neuropathy, or damage to the nerves and tissue of the foot.

There’s a reason sweat is associated with feet - there's a whopping 250,000 sweat glands in your feet. And just how much sweat can those proliferous sweat glands produce each day? Up to half a pint! How’s that for an incentive to change your socks?!?

Your feet absorb tens of thousands of pounds during a typical day. On average, your feet absorb a total force of 26,000 pounds. That’s two African elephants. Add a 2.5-inch heel to the equation? You increase your load by 75%. In other words, 45,500 pounds. Think twice before spending a significant amount of time in heels - instead properly support your feet throughout the day!

On average, humans take about 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day which can add up over the years! By the age of 70, most people will have walked over 100,000 miles - which is enough to walk around the earth 4 times! Those daily steps and activities can put a lot of wear and tear on your feet.

Your feet can show a lot about your general health and wellness. Abnormalities or pain in your feet may be a symptom or warning sign of a more serious health condition including arthritis, diabetes, nerve damage, and poor circulation. If you notice any sudden changes such as the skin on your feet becoming thinner, loss of hair on your toes, dry skin, and wounds that do not heal as fast, report these symptoms to your doctor for further examination as they may be signs of an underlying condition.  It is also important to attend annual foot exams performed by a board-certified podiatrist. This step is vital to tracking changes and checking for proper sensation and circulation within the foot. Podiatrists are also able to call attention to any abnormalities and can often detect problems early on allowing for more effective treatment results.