What is Podiatry?
'Podiatry or podiatric medicine is a branch of medicine devoted to the study of diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle, and lower extremity. The term podiatry came into use in the early 20th century in the United States and is now used worldwide with countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia.
The scope of practice of UK podiatrists on registration after obtaining a degree in podiatry includes the use and supply of some prescription only medicines, injection therapy and non-invasive surgery e.g. performing partial or total nail resection and removal, with chemical destruction of the tissues. Podiatrists complete about 1,000 supervised clinical hours in the course of training which enables them to recognise systemic disease as it manifests in the foot and will refer on to the appropriate health care professional. Those in the NHS interface between the patients and multidisciplinary teams. The scope of practice of a podiatrist is varied.
In a similar way to podiatrists in Australasia, UK podiatrists may continue their studies and qualify as podiatric surgeons. Due to recent changes in legislation, the professional titles ‘chiropodist’ and ‘podiatrist’ are now protected by law. Those using protected titles must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Registration is normally only granted to those holding a Bachelors degree from one of 13 recognized schools of podiatry in the UK. Professional bodies recognised by the Health Professions Council are : The Soceity of Chiropodsists & Podiatrists, The Alliance of Private Sector Practitioners, The Institute of Chiropodists and The British Chiropody and Podiatry Association.
A podiatrist/ chiropodist diagnoses and treats disorders, diseases and deformities of the feet. '