What Can a Podiatrist Do for You?
If you’ve had a foot problem in the past, you may have been treated by a podiatrist, but are you aware of the full scope of what a podiatrist does? At New York State Podiatric Medical Association (NYSPMA) we want to educate our patients to help them make the best choices about the health of their feet. We can even help you locate a podiatrist in your area that’s highly skilled through our NY Foot Health website.
The best-qualified podiatrists to offer medical and surgical treatment for all types of foot disorders have “DPM” after their name. That stands for Doctor of Podiatric Medicine and it means that the physician has completed four years of training in medical school (with a podiatric specialty) and three years of hospital residency, just as doctors who specialize in other areas of medicine. Podiatrists can also become board certified by either the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery or the American Board of Podiatric Medicine by undertaking additional training and clinical experience and passing a board exam.
Once licensed, a podiatrist is qualified to care for health issues of the toes, feet, ankles and lower extremities in the following ways:
· Perform comprehensive physical examinations of the feet and ankles and record medical histories
· Prescribe drugs, physical therapy and other treatments for foot conditions
· Repair fractures and treat sports injuries
· Perform foot surgeries, including reconstructive surgery
· Take and interpret x-rays and other imaging studies
· Prescribe durable medical goods, fit orthotic devices and custom-made shoes
· Help with routine podiatric care
Some podiatrists will choose to specialize in a particular area such as diabetic care, pediatric or geriatric care, sports medicine, surgery or wound care. A podiatrist is also interested in informing patients about how to be proactive in caring for their feet and educating them on how to prevent common foot health problems.
At our website, you can find out about community health initiatives or sign up for our e-newsletter. Contact us to find out more about how to treat common podiatric problems and learn tips for keeping your feet and ankles healthy.