Foot Health Articles Library
Dr. Norman offers many articles on a wide variety of topics related to podiatric health.
Click on any of the article titles listed on the right.
An excellent source of information is the American Podiatric Medical Association
Today’s podiatrists are uniquely qualified to treat running-related foot and ankle injuries due to their specialized education, training, and experience. Don’t let an injury stop your running routine in its tracks!
Who is Today’s Podiatrist?
Today’s podiatrists are doctors of podiatric medicine (DPMs), also known as podiatric physicians and surgeons, qualified by their education and training to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and structures of the leg. Licensed in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, there are approximately 15,000 podiatrists practicing in the United States.
Today’s Podiatrist Does it All
Podiatrists are uniquely qualified among medical professionals to treat the foot and ankle. Given its specialization, podiatry is to the foot and ankle what ophthalmology is to the eye or cardiology is to the heart. Whether it’s sports medicine, pediatrics, dermatology or diabetes, today’s podiatrist can tackle the many diverse facets of foot care. Podiatrists are often the first to identify systemic diseases in patients, such as diabetes and associated complications, high blood pressure and heart disease. Patients from all walks of life and of all ages—from pediatric to geriatric—require the expertise that only a doctor of podiatric medicine can provide.
- perform surgery
- perform complete medical histories and physical examinations
- prescribe medications
- set fractures and treat sports-related injuries
- prescribe and fit orthotics, insoles, and custom-made shoes
- order and perform physical therapy
- take and interpret X-rays and other imaging studies
- work as valued members of a community’s health care team
In fact, a recent assessment found, podiatrists provided close to 40 percent of all foot care services in the United States, compared to 13 percent for orthopedic physicians and 37 percent for all other physicians, including primary care doctors. Nearly all health insurance plans provide coverage for the services of doctors of podiatric medicine. Podiatrists work in a variety of healthcare settings, including private or small group practices. Many also serve on the staff of hospitals and long-term care facilities, faculties of schools of medicine and nursing, as commissioned officers in the Armed Forces and U.S. Public Health Service, in the Department of Veterans Affairs and in local health departments.
Doctors of podiatric medicine receive medical education and training comparable to medical doctors, including four years of undergraduate education, four years of graduate education at one of nine podiatric medical colleges and two or three years of hospital-based residency training. All podiatrists receive a DPM degree. For a complete listing of podiatric medical colleges, visit www.apma.org/colleges.
Most practicing podiatrists are board certified. Certification is considered to be an earned credential for those podiatric physicians who have achieved certain levels of skill and ability based upon completion of specific advanced training and clinical experience and examination. The American Board of Podiatric Orthopedics and Primary Podiatric Medicine (ABPOPPM) is the certifying board for the specialty areas of podiatric orthopedics and primary podiatric medicine. The American Board of Podiatric Surgery (ABPS) is the certifying board for the specialty area of foot and ankle surgery.
Podiatrists in Demand
As the number of aging Americans increases, along with a rapidly rising rate of people with obesity and diabetes in United States, so too will the demand for podiatrists. According to a study conducted by the Center for Health Workforce Studies at the State University of New York at Albany, the number of podiatric physicians would need to triple in order to meet population demands by 2014. Adding to the profession’s appeal, podiatric medicine touts one of the highest paying salaries in the medical field and a flexible lifestyle, placing it on Forbes’ “America’s Best Paying Jobs” list. Quality of life, job versatility and ample compensation make podiatry an attractive and viable career option for many entering the medical workforce. For more information about a career in podiatric medicine, visit www.apma.org/careers.
The American Podiatric Medical Association
Founded in 1912, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, is the leading resource for foot and ankle health information. Currently, the organization represents a vast majority of podiatrists in the country. In addition to the national headquarters, APMA boasts 53 state component locations throughout the United States and its territories, as well as affiliated societies. Looking toward the future, APMA will continue to advance the growth and stability of podiatric medicine by increasing nationwide awareness of foot and ankle health through public education and legislative advocacy.
©2011 American Podiatric Medical Association, Inc.
Used with permission. www.apma.org