A podiatrist is someone who treats you for any problem regarding your lower legs and your feet. You might have heard of them in any hospital or clinic and they are denoted as podiatrists or doctors of podiatric medicine. The podiatrist doctors can help you in solving any kind of leg problems, be it of injury, pain, or any other health issues that are affecting your lower legs such as diabetes or uric acid, etc. People around the world are not very familiar with the word because of which they often confuse it with pediatrics. Pediatric doctors are actually doctors who have specialization to treat children. Both of them might sound similar, but there is a lot of difference between these two categories of doctors. In case you still have any confusion regarding the podiatrists, then this article will help you to know about them a little bit better.
Are Podiatrists Real Doctors?
In case you are wondering, podiatrists are real doctors, then the answer is yes, but they don’t go to the usual medical schools as other doctors do. There is a separate educational institute for podiatrists where all the aspiring students go to take their degree and establish themselves as professional podiatrists. Instead of Medical Doctors (MD), they get a degree named DPM that is Doctor of Podiatric Medicine after their name. Podiatrists can do surgeries also. Be it any broken bones, prescribed drugs, or any kind of treatment they are certified to do that all. Podiatrists are licensed to do every kind of leg treatment in their respective state governments.
Their Education and Training of Podiatrists
For higher studies, students who are aspiring to be podiatrists in their future are suggested to take biology, chemistry, and physics along with any other science subjects. All these subjects will make them ready for the podiatrist school. In most of the cases, students get a bachelor’s degree in biology or some other similar science subjects. Then after completing their graduation, they go for their DPM degree, which takes nearly four years to complete. There they study about nerves in our lower legs and feet, and also the bone structure. Other than that, they are trained on how to fix any broken bone or do surgeries to fix the leg.
What Do They Do After Getting the Degree?
Once they’ve completed their course, they become eligible to take their jobs as resident doctors. There they give their 3 years to put everything they’ve learned during their training period and degree classes. After the 3 years, they can work independently if they please. In those three years, they work under various other doctors like surgeons, anesthesiologists, pediatricians, and also specialists in other infectious diseases. After their 3 years of residency is over, they get their podiatrists’ specialization certificate in surgery on feet and ankles.
Health Issues Podiatrists Treat
When should you go to a podiatrist? In case you also have this question, here is your answer. Following are some of the health issues that should be handled by a podiatrist:
- Bone fractures or sprains. These are the most common problems for which people for which visit a podiatrist. If required, they will operate on your legs or treat them with medicine.
- Bunions and hammertoes are other common problems for which people also visit a podiatrist.
- Other types of problems include nail disorders, diabetes, or uric-acid related problems.
Podiatrists try to locate the root cause of the issues related to your leg. They have the required education and experience to treat the patients.
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