A podiatrist will have studied for three years to obtain a degree in Podiatry or Podiatric Medicine. Podiatrists are independent clinicians, qualified to diagnose and treat foot problems. Many podiatrists specialise in specific areas of work such as diabetes, rheumatology, sports injuries etc.
With the exception of nail surgery, podiatrists use non-surgical (all noninvasive) methods of treatment and this remains the mainstay of treatment for most foot problems. Until recently, podiatrists in the United Kingdom were known as chiropodists.
A Podiatric Surgeon is a podiatrist who has undertaken extensive post graduate training in foot surgery. They are therefore non-medically qualified specialists in the treatment of all foot problems utilising conservative (non-surgical) and surgical treatment methods.
A podiatrist is specifically trained to assess, diagnose and manage foot complaints. Whilst a podiatrist is not medically trained and therefore not a doctor, extensive postgraduate training enables podiatrists to perform foot surgery. Podiatric Surgeons are highly specialised only operating on the foot rather like a dental surgeon who will only treat your mouth. Podiatric surgery is a proven and effective aspect of foot health care with thousands of foot operations performed each year.
The training involves:
- 3 year full time degree in Podiatry
- 2 years general Podiatric Practice
- 2 year primary fellowship – Postgraduate Certificate in Podiatry
- 2 year surgical training programme – Postgraduate Diploma in Podiatry
- Final Fellowship examination
- 3 year specialist training (Clinical Fellow in Podiatric Surgery)
- Accreditation with the Faculty of Podiatric Surgery
- Consultant Podiatric Surgeon
All Podiatric Surgeon’s are required to be registered with the Health Care Professions Council with the award of Fellowship and training provided by the Faculty of Surgery, The Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists