What is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist, also called a doctor of podiatric medicine, is a specialist who provides medical diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle problems.

Podiatric medical training is different than orthopedic medical training. A podiatrist attends a podiatric medical school as opposed to a general medical school like The University of Buffalo. In their medical schooling, more of an emphasis is placed on the lower extremity vs. the whole body. After four years, podiatric medical students will then attend a three-year residency program where they perform foot surgery daily. Orthopedics specialists perform surgical procedures on the entire skeleton, and do not perform foot procedures every day. Moreover, podiatrists possess a genuine concern for keeping patients ambulating as normally as possible and without pain. Podiatrists receive extensive training in biomechanics including gait analysis, foot reconstruction procedures, wound care, and children's foot deformities.

A podiatrist is licensed to write a prescription for: medications, compression hose, physical therapy, medical supplies, TENS units, bone scans, x-rays, MRI's, lab tests, etc. Further, many podiatrists have their own x-ray machines, laser and diagnostic ultrasound equipment in their offices for quicker analysis and treatment of foot and ankle problems.