Difference between Podiatrist and Chiropodist

Key difference: The difference between a podiatrist and a chiropodist is specifically nothing. They are both the same. Podiatry or chiropody is a branch of medicine that is devoted to the study of diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle, and lower legs. They give professional advice on the prevention of foot problems, in addition to the proper care of the foot.

The American Podiatric Medical Association defines a podiatrist as “a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM), also known as a podiatric physician or surgeon, qualified by his or her education and training to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. Podiatrists are uniquely qualified among medical professionals to treat the foot and ankle based on their education, training, and experience.”

While, the Ontario Society of Chiropodists state that, “the practice of Chiropody is the assessment of the foot and the treatment and prevention of diseases or disorders of the foot by therapeutic, surgical, orthotic and palliative means. Chiropody is practiced by qualified, regulated practitioners who have undergone government established and recognized programs and examinations.”

Hence, the difference between a podiatrist and a chiropodist is specifically nothing. They are both the same. A chiropodist is hence a practitioner of chiropody, which was essentially the older name for the field of podiatry. While, there are some traditional minded people who still term themselves as a chiropodist, most now call them a podiatrist. The term podiatrist is the new modern name and is generally accepted all over the world. It is international recognized name for a foot specialist. The term chiropodist is essentially outdated, and there are even people around the world who will not recognize the term anymore. Also, podiatry refers just to feet while chiropody refers to both hands and feet.

A podiatrist or chiropodist is the practitioner of podiatry or chiropody. Podiatry or chiropody is a branch of medicine that is devoted to the study of diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle, and lower legs. They give professional advice on the prevention of foot problems, in addition to the proper care of the foot.

A podiatrist is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) and is considered a medical specialist. The training of a DPM is similar to the training of a Medical Doctor (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) The training cover aspects of human anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, sociological and psychological perspectives, general medicine, surgery and pharmacology. Specialist podiatric physicians are podiatrists that have acquired additional postgraduate training or fellowship training and experience in the specialized field.

Furthermore, the job description of a podiatrist often overlaps with some major areas of medicine such as but not limited to surgery, sports medicine, biomechanics, geriatrics, internal medicine, diabetes, vascular, neurological, pediatrics, dermatological, orthopedics, or primary care.

In common parlance, a podiatrist deals with common foot problems that affect most people. The Medical Chambers Kensington lists these as:

  • Sports Injuries
  • Arthritic Feet
  • Painful + Ingrowing Toenails
  • Corns + Callouses + Hard Skin
  • Swollen Feet
  • Verrucae
  • Fallen Arches + Flat Feet
  • Infections
  • Musculoskeletal + Postural Pain
  • Bunions
  • Knee + Heel + Ball of Foot Pain
  • Ulcers + Wounds
  • Diabetic Feet

Image Courtesy: blog.footsmart.com, testbourne-mityana.co.uk

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