A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM), also known as a podiatric physician or surgeon, qualified by his or her education and training to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. Podiatrists are uniquely qualified among medical professionals to treat the foot and ankle based on their education, training, and experience.
Podiatrists are defined as physicians by the federal government and in most states. DPMs receive medical education and training comparable to medical doctors, including four years of undergraduate education, four years of graduate education at one of nine accredited podiatric medical colleges, and three years of hospital residency training. Within the field of podiatry, practitioners can focus on many different specialty areas, including surgery, sports medicine, biomechanics, geriatrics, pediatrics, orthopedics, or primary care.
A majority of 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 Medicine (ABPM) 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.
Learn more about podiatrists on the Today's Podiatrist page.