The advancement of health and medicine sector has led to it branching out and specializing in all the many different parts of the wonderful human body. Nowadays, you’ll find the general practitioners with average knowledge in your regular diseases, and moving above them, you’ll find specialists focusing on one or more specific parts of the human body – the oculists who focus on your eyes, the cardiologists who focus on your heart, the dermatologists who focus on your skin, the neurologists who focus on your brain and your nerves, and so on.
With every part of the human body thus specifically covered by a certain specialist, you’ll be sure to know that the foot is also under the domain of one particular medical specialist. The field of medicine which focuses on the feet is known as podiatry, and the doctor is known as a podiatrist. To be precise, podiatry focuses not just on your feet; it actually focuses on your lower extremity of the legs – generally, this refers to your feet and ankles.
In the past, the field specializing in these parts of your body was known as chiropody, with the foot doctor known as a chiropodist. However, following the dawn the of the twentieth century, the USA popularized the term podiatry, and this soon gained worldwide usage following its adoption by other English speaking countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia. The non-English speaking countries of the European mainland however, tend to sometimes use the term ‘podologist’ and ‘podólogo’.
Just like any other medical professional, doctors of podiatric medicine undergo a compulsory medical education of four years of undergraduate education, another four years of graduate education at a medical school specializing in podiatry, and finally, three or four years of training as hospital residents. The most qualified doctors of podiatric medicine also receive a special DPM degree – this will be signified by the letters DPM following the name of the particular doctor, and will mean that he or she has specialist knowledge in treating feet, ankles and the lower extremity of your body.
With regards to the feet and ankles, doctors of podiatric medicine will be qualified to perform treatments ranging from simple prescriptions of medications to complex surgeries, microsurgeries and fitting prosthetics. It will be also interesting to note that certain well known diseases such as diabetes and other vascular diseases are actually identified at first by doctors of podiatric medicine – this is because most of the symptoms of diabetes and these vascular diseases can actually be identified in the lower extremity of the human body.
Posted in: Medical Services