A podiatrist is a highly trained doctor (physician/surgeon) who specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating foot disorders, diseases and injuries of the foot and ankle, and related structures of the leg. Podiatrists are the most qualified doctors to take care of your feet by making independent judgments and performing (or ordering) all necessary diagnostic tests, often detecting serious health problems that may otherwise go unnoticed – including a number of diseases that first show symptoms through the feet and ankles (diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, or kidney disease). They perform surgery; administer medications, and prescribe physical therapy regimens.
A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree requires four years of training in a podiatric medical school and three years of hospital-based residency, completing the same training as any other doctor. Podiatrists may specialize in: surgery, sports medicine, wound care, pediatrics (children), diabetic care, dermatology, physical medicine and rehabilitation.