What is Today's Podiatrist?
Podiatry has changed greatly in the last 50 years, not only with the scope of practice but also our education. In order to become a podiatrist, one must take four years of college, 4 years of podiatric medical school, and 3 years of foot and ankle surgical residency. This may seem like a lot of education, but due to the complexity of the foot and ankle it is quite necessary.
Podiatrists can perform any type of foot and ankle reconstructive/limb salvage surgery. Due to our 3 years of focused foot and surgery we are qualified to perform any type of surgery below the knee. Podiatric surgeons can perform surgeries ranging from hammertoe correction, bunion surgery, fusions, fracture repair, amputations, and even total ankle replacements.
One may ask, well why can't I just go to the local orthopedic surgeon? The answer to this question is that the majority of orthopedic surgeons do not specialize in foot and ankle reconstructive surgeries. Orthopedic surgeons that do want to specialize in the foot and ankle must take a 1 year fellowship after their residency. This obviously differs quite greatly with a Podiatric surgeon's training which requires 3 years of foot ankle surgical residency.
The field of foot and ankle surgery continues to grow and develop. Podiatric foot and ankle surgeons continue to enhance this field due to their education and 3 years of focused foot and ankle surgical residency.