Podiatry is the medical care occupation that is specialized in the understanding, management and prevention of foot and connected disorders. The reality that you will find a whole occupation focused on the foot, just reveals precisely how serious and important the feet tend to be. There are lots of problems that could go wrong with all the feet, that can have such substantial affects around the quality of life, that special care is required for this part of the body.

Podiatrists utilize a wide range of treatment options to take care of disorders of the foot. Those conditions vary from small lesions on the skin (such as corns) to toenail problems (such as thickened nails) to toe problems (like bunions) to musculoskeletal conditions (like heel spurs) to foot injury (for example bony injury). The therapy opportunities range from easy scalpel use to debride skin lesions to the highly trained task of addressing an ingrown toe nail painlessly to the use of foot supports to support different parts of the foot to the suggestions presented to athletes with regards to their training amounts as well as athletic shoes to taking care of the several joint disease conditions to using everything that they can to handle the issues of type 2 diabetes that might be critical when not necessarily managed effectively.

Podiatrists are available in a multitude of work environments. They may be in solo private practice, in group or community based clinics, in public hospitals or even in consultant treatment centers for example joint disease clinics, high risk foot clinics or sports medicine centers and also training centers of educational institutions. There is a wide variety of areas of expertise within podiatry. A few will pursue educational or research occupations.

The podiatrists job may be very distinct in very different nations. It varies from on one side, in the USA in which Podiatrists have full medical, operative and prescription drug rights to take care of foot disorders to the other end where in some countries in Europe they are confined to uncomplicated superficial skin disorders. These differences in the scope and nature of practice is reflected in the education of podiatrists. In the United States, the podiatry certification is a 4 year post grad qualification with the requirement of a three yr residency following that prior to them getting licensed as a podiatrist. In some countries in Europe, this can be a 1 or 2 year college based qualification. In countries similar to Australia and the UK, podiatry is a four year undergrad degree, with all the surgical education as a post-graduate course which all of them do not always carry on with. They’re licenced to practice right after the 4 years, however without surgical rights.

The long term future prospects for podiatry is a great one. It is simply a question of demographics. The population is getting older and the elderly get more foot problems, therefore the demand for podiatry should continue to grow steadily over time provided that the populace continue to become older. Additionally, the catastrophe with the obesity pandemic which is having an effect on every nation is simply adding to an incredible rise in the incidence of diabetes and its associated foot issues that will have to be handled by podiatrists. In addition, physical activity is now being more widely touted to handle the health and wellbeing implications of the obesity pandemic and that’s likely to lead to a lot more foot disorders as increasing numbers of individuals exercise.

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Craig Payne Author
University lecturer, runner, cynic, researcher, skeptic, forum admin, woo basher, clinician, rabble-rouser, blogger, dad.