Health Career Exploration: Podiatry

Podiatry Focus…

Podiatrists: First Responders, Physicians, Surgeons

Many people are aware of the risk factors for heart disease. But did you know that the blockages that can cause heart disease affect more than your coronary arteries? Blockages can happen in vessels throughout your body in a condition called vascular disease. Signs and symptoms of vascular disease often appear in your feet or lower legs.

Podiatrists are often the first to diagnose vascular disease when patients come to their offices with changes to the skin, temperature, or even hair growing on their lower legs and feet. Podiatrists save limbs and lives every day by spotting the signs of this serious condition and accurately diagnosing their patients. Watch one patient’s story about the profound impact his podiatrist had when other physicians missed his problem.

Podiatrists work closely with primary care physicians, cardiologists, and vascular surgeons to treat vascular disease. They are an integral part of the care delivery team. They also diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions affecting the feet and ankles. In fact, no two days are the same for most podiatrists. They may be in the clinic providing routine foot care one day and in the operating room performing complex ankle reconstruction surgery the next. They are integral to diabetes care teams, managing debilitating chronic foot wounds that often plague patients with diabetes. They may specialize in sports medicine, pediatric care, wound care, surgery, or a number of other subspecialties.

This diverse field allows physicians to ease pain and have an immediate, dramatic effect on patients’ lives. Share this exciting field with your students who are interested in medicine and surgery. The education and training requirements for podiatric medical students are similar to allopathic and osteopathic medicine: four years of postgraduate podiatric medical education, followed by a mandatory, three-year hospital-based residency training program. If your students would like to find a local physician to shadow, encourage them to visit the DPM Mentors Network at DPMNetwork.org today!

Posted by

Joyce Fagel, M.A.

Academic Advisor, Advising & Success Coaching Center

Room 5229

Phone: 206-546-6984

For appointment: 206-546-4559

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