You use your feet on a daily basis, so it is inevitable that you will suffer a foot or ankle condition or injury at one point or another. The good news is there are foot and ankle specialists called podiatrists who undergo rigorous medical training and education that can help. Podiatrists are responsible for diagnosing and treating foot and ankle injuries and diseases.
What Is Podiatry?
Podiatry is the field of medicine dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the foot and ankle. It has existed in the US for some time but only became a licensed profession in 1895. Still, it remained outside the field of mainstream medicine for over a hundred years. Its educational and admission prerequisites were brought into line with mainstream medicine in 1978. Today, top universities around the world provide medical specialization in podiatry.
Podiatrists undergo similar academic requirements to that of other medical experts. There are around eight accredited schools in the United States that offer a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree. Five of them are part of universities.
A DPM degree involves four years of postgraduate study. Podiatric students need to have at least three years of undergraduate education before getting admitted to a podiatric medicine program. They should also have taken specific science courses such as biology, chemistry, physics, and general subjects like English. Apart from that, like in medical schools, DPM also requires taking and passing the Medical College Admission Test or MCAT.
In the last two years of the program, podiatric medical students undergo supervised hands-on training in clinical rotations.
After four years of earning a DPM degree, another requirement for licensure is a three-year hospital-based residency. During residency, podiatric medical students gain both clinical and surgical experience in the field. Podiatrists may choose to specialize in fellowship areas, such as diabetic foot care, pediatric podiatry, or sports medicine.
Licensure and Certification
After years of medical education and training, every podiatrist must obtain licensure to practice in their field. Podiatrists in the United States must pass the American Podiatric Medical Licensing Exam or AMPLE offered by the National Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners.
Podiatrists can also opt for board certification, which requires work experience and passing an examination.
Podiatric Services in South Texas
Podiatry has just as many requirements as any other field of medicine, and podiatrists undergo the same level of training that any medical specialist does. Here at The Podiatry Group of South Texas, we have highly trained podiatrists with multidisciplinary education. Our foot and ankle doctors come from the finest universities, so you can rest assured you are in good hands. Not only are they well-educated, but our doctors also have years of hands-on experience providing quality medical treatments and performing surgery.
If you have been suffering from foot pain, don’t waste any time! Seek help from one of our podiatrists. To know more about our services, you can look up our providers and check out their education and experience on our website. You can also call one of our locations across South Texas or book an appointment using our online request form.
If you can’t leave your home, we’ve got you covered—we also offer telehealth services so that you have access to your physician from the safety of your home. We look forward to helping you get better and back on your feet!