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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.
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.