Podiatrists, Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), are the only health care professionals A whose total training focuses on the foot, ankle and related body systems.
As a specialist in foot care, the podiatrist receives extensive training in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of foot and ankle disorders by medical and surgical means.
After obtaining an undergraduate degree, the podiatric doctor spends four years in a college of podiatric medicine to obtain a doctorate degree. Many podiatrists further their education by participating in a post-graduate residency program at an approved hospital or university.
Following their doctorate degree, each podiatrist must pass national and state examinations in order to be licensed by the state in which he or she will practice. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, there are more than 17,800 practicing podiatrists in the United States.
Podiatrists are in demand more than ever today because of a rapidly aging population. In addition, according to the association, foot disorders are among the most widespread and neglected health problems affecting people in this country.