A branch of medicine devoted to the study of, diagnosis, and medical treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle, and lower extremity.

A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), is a medical specialist who diagnoses and treats conditions affecting the foot, ankle, and structures of the leg.

The training of podiatric physicians is similar to the training of a Medical Doctor (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.)

They diagnose and treat medical conditions affecting the foot, ankle and related structures, including the tendons that insert into the foot and the nonsurgical treatment of the muscles and tendons of the leg.

Perform foot and ankle surgeries and are trained and fully licensed to independently perform history and physical (H&P) examinations, and to prescribe medications.

Have expertise in the care and preservation of the foot suffering with complications of diabetes, and neurovascular disease.

Podiatrists are often the first to identify systemic diseases, such as diabetes and its complications, hypertension, peripheral vascular and heart disease.

Podiatrists perform surgery, prescribe medications, treat sports-related injuries, set fractures of the foot and ankle, prescribe and fit orthotics, insoles, special shoes, manage physical therapy, order and evaluate imaging studies.

Training includes four years of graduate education at a podiatric medical college and two or three years of hospital-based residency training to receive a DPM degree.

Podiatric surgery is a specialist field designed to ensure functionality of the foot and ankle areas.

Sport podiatry refers to the sub-specialty involving the expertise in diagnosis of foot and lower limb problems as well as treatments for athletes suffering with such associated problems as well as those who have sustained injuries in day to day life.

Podopediatrics is a specialty area of podiatric medicine focussing on the treatment of children and the various disorders of the feet and ankles.

Podiatrists complete an intense board certification process comparable to that undertaken by individual MD and DO specialties.

Some podiatrists have primarily surgical practices, with training in reconstruction of the foot and ankle.

Some surgeons practice minimally invasive percutaneous surgery for cosmetic correction of hammer toes and bunions.

Podiatrists utilize medical, orthopedic, biomechanical and surgical principles in their approach to care of the foot and ankle.

Presently there are nine colleges of podiatric medicine in the United States, governed by the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine (AACPM):

Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine

California School of Podiatric Medicine

Des Moines University College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery

New York College of Podiatric Medicine

Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine

Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine

Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine

College of Podiatric Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences

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