Becoming a Podiatrist – A Student’s Guide

Podiatry medicine is a specialised branch of medicine dedicated to studying, diagnosing, and treating disorders of the lower limb, foot, ankle, and lower leg. The word “podiatry” comes from the Greek words pous meaning “foot”, and iatreia meaning “to heal”. Podiatry doctors, therefore, specialise in the field of foot care and are recognised as podiatrists, a physician who specialises in the study of the feet. Podiatry Adelaide also includes a sub-specialty known as orthopedic podiatry, a sub-specialty of podiatry that focuses on rehabilitation, prevention and physical therapy.

A podiatrist treats all types of foot problems: acute, sub-acute, long-term disorders and diseases, fractures, sprains, strains, bruises and injuries of the foot and ankle. The orthopedic or podiatry physician can perform x-rays, corns and calluses, hammertoe and MCL pain tests, orthopedic shoes with high heels, gouty arthritis and knee and bone fractures. To treat and prevent disorders of the foot and ankle, many podiatry physicians also perform various exercises and stretches designed to improve flexibility, strength, stability and balance of the body’s muscles, tendons and ligaments.

podiatry-adelaideThere are several kinds of podiatry practices. These include foot and ankle wardrobes, making beds, conducting physicals and diagnosing fractures. Some podiatry practices focus on only one or two areas, such as orthopedics, geriatrics, pediatrics and cardiovascular sciences. More specialised podiatry practices can specialise in certain areas such as neurological disorders, ophthalmology, men’s rheumatology, sports medicine and pediatric orthopedics. Podiatry Adelaide also provides treatments for diseases of the spine, pelvis, legs, wrist, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and ankles.

To become a podiatrist in Australia, you need to earn a Master of Health Science (MHS) degree from an accredited university or college with a medical faculty. You will need a three-year undergraduate degree before you can enter into a graduate program in podiatry medicine. Most Australian universities offer the Masters of Health Science (MSN) Degree program, a two-year program and Bachelor of Health Science (BHS), a four-year program. To enrol in either of these programs, you will need a current passport, immunisation records, Australian citizenship, proof of English fluency or a current qualification recognised by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

Chiropractic medicine and podiatry practices are unique because podiatry Adelaide encompasses much more than foot and ankle surgery. Osteopaths deal with disorders of the bones and joints and disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and disorders of the nervous system. Osteopaths use manipulative treatments and diagnostic tests to diagnose conditions and prescribe therapeutic techniques.