Podiatrist

Community and Health

Forensic Podiatrist

 

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Practical or MechanicalHelping or advisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5Skill Level 6

Podiatrists look after the health of people's feet by diagnosing, treating and preventing foot abnormalities, and by educating the public about good foot health.

Podiatrists diagnose and treat ailments of the feet and lower limbs. They help to relieve discomfort or Future Growth Very Strong increase mobility for their patients by diagnosing and preventing foot injuries and disorders, prescribing orthotics and offering advice on foot care. They also treat walking abnormalities in children and perform both minor and major surgery, either on warts and ingrown nails, or on misaligned toes. They also undertake administrative work, order medical supplies, and may also offer public advice on foot care through talks or conferences.


ANZSCO description: Prevents, diagnoses and treats disorder of the feet. Registration or licensing is required. Child's foot examination

Alternative names: Chiropodist

Specialisations: Childrens Podiatrist, Diabetic Podiatrist, Podiatric Surgeon, Sports Podiatrist

Podiatrists may develop a special interest in dealing with particular client groups, such as children, the aged or sportspeople. They may also work in a particular area, such as occupational health, or with general medical conditions that result in foot and leg problems.


Knowledge, skills and attributes

A podiatrist needs:

  • a desire to help people

  • an interest in human biology

  • strong communication skills

  • organisational skills

  • patience and tact

  • hand-eye co-ordination and manual dexterity

Duties and Tasks

Podiatrists may perform the following tasks:Nails

  • examine patients' feet to diagnose any disorders or infections and decide on an appropriate treatment

  • give advice on foot health and the prevention of foot disorders

  • treat deformities such as flat feet and foot imbalance by using corrective devices such as orthoses

  • work with patients suffering from diabetes,
    rheumatoid arthritis, peripheral vascular disorders
    and other neuropathies

  • perform surgical procedures on the foot

  • treat abnormalities of bones, joints, skin and nails such as bunions, toe deformities, ingrown toenails, corns, warts and other infections

  • recommend footwear for specific foot conditions

  • prescribe orthotic devices for protection and correction of a wide range of foot and leg irregularities.

  • prescribing and fitting replaceable pads, palliative and functional supports and other devices for the protection and correction of foot abnormalities

  • advising patients about continued treatment and foot care

  • may provide rehabilitation services to the physically handicapped

  • may refer patients to or have patients referred from Medical Practitioners

Working conditions

Podiatrists work in private practices, health clinics, nursing homes and other medical facilities. They usually work regular hours but may be required to work long hours at times. They examine and handle peoples feet, and may come into contact with unhygenic body tissue.

Tools and technologies

Podiatrists make and fit insoles and other corrective devices that they fit to their client's shoes, feet and lower legs. They prescribe medications, skin creams and balms for their patients, and also use x-ray equipment to diagnose foot problems. They also use surgical instruments and dressings, sterilising equipment, and treatment tables, as well as orthotic materials, grinders and shaping equipment, and video gait-analysis equipment.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a podiatrist, you must first complete a bachelor degree in any discipline, and then complete a postgraduate degree in podiatry.

The Doctor of Podiatric Medicine three year graduate degree will provide you with the training to become an accredited podiatrist. To get into this course, you must first have successfully completed a bachelor degree in any discipline with a grade point average of at least 5.0 and achieved an average score of 50 in the Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admissions Test (GAMSAT).

To work as a podiatrist in Australia, you must obtain professional registration with the Podiatry Board of Australia, and hold a current Working with Children Check issued by the Working with Children Screening Unit of the Department of Community Services.

Did You Know?

A human foot and ankle is a very strong mechanical structure that contains 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Xrays of feet

The 52 bones in your feet make up one quarter of all the bones in your body. When those bones are out of alignment, so is the rest of your body.

About 20-30% of the world's population have Morton's Toe, a foot condition in which the second toe is longer than the big toe.##About 20-30% of the world's population have Morton's Toe, a foot condition in which the second toe is longer than the big toe.

The average adult takes 4,000-6,000 steps a day.

Akshat Saxena holds the world record for having the most toes with 10 digits one each foot!

In a pair of feet, there are 250,000 sweat glands. These sweat glands produce approximately half a pint [1 cup or 250mls] of perspiration daily.

Shoe sizes were devised in England by King Edward II who declared in 1324 that the diameter of one barley corn- a third of an inch- would represent one full shoe size
.
(Source: Foot Facts)

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