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Purpose and Mission
Podiatrists are health care professionals who specialize in treating ankles and feet that have been injured, congenitally malformed or suffering from other conditions. Once known as chiropodists, this name has now been almost universally replaced with podiatrist. You can choose to specialise in podiatric primary care, orthopedics or foot surgery. Most podiatrists work in private practice, but a growing number are employed by government agencies, hospitals, and academic institutions.
Some podiatrists also choose to get involved in public health research.
Those in the specialty who work as employees typically report to a hospital or agency supervisor, or in some cases, a medical doctor or board running a practice. Many self-employed podiatrists do not have a direct supervisor.
Podiatrists often have significant supervisory responsibilities in running a practice. They typically oversee and evaluate both clinical and administrative staff, and also often participate in the clinical training of newly graduated podiatrists.
In order to become a podiatrist, you must earn an undergraduate degree (in any field), and then complete a rigorous graduate program in podiatry.
The Doctor of Podiatric Medicine is typically a three-year graduate degree that will teach you everything you need to know to be an accredited podiatrist. A one-year residency working with an experienced podiatrist may be required before you are licensed for solo practice.
Also keep in mind that to practice as a podiatrist, you must register and verify your credentials with the Podiatry Board of Australia.
Responsibilities of a Podiatrist
The primary responsibility of a podiatrist is to diagnose and treat problems relating to the ankles and feet. Podiatrists often work closely with other medical professional including orthopedists to determine an optimal treatment plan for patients.
Some of the key responsibilities of a podiatrist include: