Training of a Podiatrist
A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.) practices the medical,
surgical, and biomechanical treatment of the human foot, ankle,
and associated structures. Although we specialize in the prevention,
diagnosis and treatment of problems affecting the foot and
ankle, Doctors of Podiatric Medicine are also highly trained
health care providers. We see people of all ages and are often
the first medical specialists to diagnose systemic problems
that affect the feet and ankles such as diabetes, gout, hypertension,
immunodeficiencies, and arthritis. Four years of podiatric
medical school is typically followed by 2 or 3 years of residency
that certifies these doctors to function as partners in the
larger medical community. Podiatric physicians (podiatrists)
are medical professionals who exclusively specialize in treating
the foot and ankle.
What does a podiatric physician do?
- Diagnoses lower extremity pathology such as tumors, ulcers,
fractures, skin and nail diseases, and congenital and acquired
- Makes independent judgments, prescribes medications,
utilizes x-rays, MRI, ultrasound and other laboratory tests
for diagnostic purposes, and orders physical therapy.
- Treats conditions such as: corns, calluses, bunions,
heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, ingrown nails, cysts, bone
disorders, and infections of the foot.
- Fits corrective inserts called orthotics that address
walking patterns to improve the overall ability of effective
and efficient ambulation.
- Provides consultations for the patient and for referring
physicians regarding prevention of podiatric problems and
- Performs surgical correction of the foot including: hammertoes,
clawtoes, bunions, fractures, infections, ruptured ligaments
and tendons, and neuro-vascular abnormalities of the foot.