Podiatric medicine is the profession that strives to improve the overall health and well-being of patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing, and treating conditions associated with the foot and ankle. Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPMs) are physicians and surgeons who practice on the lower extremities, primarily on feet and ankles. The demand for podiatric physicians continues to rise as baby boomers advance in age and the general population’s interest in sports, health and active living continues to swell.
Podiatrists diagnose and treat a myriad of diseases, symptoms and disorders. Podiatrists are often the first to identify systemic diseases in patients, such as diabetes and the associated complications, high blood pressure and heart disease. Patients from all walks of life and of all ages—from pediatric to geriatric—require the kind of expertise that only a doctor of podiatric medicine can provide.
Podiatric physicians provide a vast array of medical services to their patients. They:
perform complete medical histories and physical examinations
set fractures and treat sports-related injuries
prescribe and fit orthotics, insoles, and custom-made shoes
order and perform physical therapy
take and interpret X-rays and other imaging studies
alued members of a community’s health care team