A podiatrist, or Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), is a foot and ankle surgeon who is trained in the treatment of injuries or issues concerning a person's feet, ankles, or areas of the lower leg. When it comes to treatments, podiatrists have the ability to reset broken bones, prescribe drugs, request lab tests or x-rays, as well as perform surgery.
To become a podiatrist, one must complete 4 years of medical school, as well as 3 years of a residency where they gain real world experience working at a hospital. After those two requirements are completed, some choose to gain further certifications by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery (ABFAS) in areas such as surgery of the foot and ankle.
A podiatrist may be of help to you if you are experiencing pain or discomfort due to conditions such as hammertoes, bunions, arthritis, heel pain, ingrown toenails, corns, calluses, fungal nails, flat feet, plantar warts, or athlete’s foot, to name a few. They can also be useful if you are curious about maintaining general care for your feet, picking the correct shoe size, obtaining footwear inserts or orthotics, as well as suggesting stretches or exercises to help strengthen your feet.
If you’re experiencing any problems involving your feet, ankles, or lower leg areas, it is highly recommended that you consult with a podiatrist near you for a proper diagnosis and treatment regime.