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Podiatry Courses overview
Podiatrists are specialists in foot and ankle health. They can diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions, ranging from ingrown toenails to ailments caused by arthritis, diabetes or other broad conditions. Postgraduate coursework teaches research methodology, management of high-risk foot conditions and biostatistics in addition to practical applications dependent upon the chosen course.
Professional foot care spans back to ancient Egypt in 2400 BCE; Vizier Ankhamor, physician to the pharaoh Teti, had his tomb adorned with images of people caring for the hands and feet of wounded. Hippocrates of ancient Greece was known for his medical theories, describing the concept of corns and calluses and inventing ‘skin scrapers’ to remove them. It wasn’t until the 20th century that podiatry as it’s known today was named and born.
The field of podiatry has come a long way since, with modern medicine providing more than theories and rudimentary tools. Modern podiatrists are highly educated professionals with both the knowledge and skill to diagnose and treat these conditions.
Is podiatry for me?
Podiatry is a very specialised area of medicine, making it ideal for empathetic individuals who’ve seen relatives or loved ones suffer due to a foot condition. It requires a great deal of patience and dedication to master, making it ideal for those with a strong work ethic wishing to help others in a meaningful way.
Postgraduate podiatry can be taken at certificate or PhD level. Diplomas and master degrees are fairly uncommon in this field.
Graduate certificates provide a great deal of practical hands-on experience and assessment. They incorporate fundamental biomedical capabilities into units of pharmacology and pharmacotherapeutics. These programs tend to be offered part-time only, with institutions like QUT providing year long courses. The entry requirements are quite stringent, requiring a four year degree in podiatry along with current registration with the Podiatry Board of Australia.
The Doctor of Podiatry is exclusively for those with bachelor qualifications in podiatry with professional experience. They sometimes have a broad range of options, with the University of Western Australia offering doctorates in both podiatric surgery and podiatric medicine, as well as a more general doctorate requiring a substantial thesis. The array of choices are thereby well suited to those with a clear career goal in mind, as this will inform their choice of program.
It’s sometimes the case that surgery becomes a necessity in the treatment of conditions like Morton’s neuroma, plantar fasciitis, ankle arthritis and many others. Surgeons trained specifically to deal with these conditions are therefore a necessity. They can find work in public and private hospitals throughout the world.
Children require different treatment protocols to adults, justifying the need for specialists. Companies like Entire Podiatry offer services to remedy problems like growing pains, Sever’s disease and flat feet. These conditions demonstrate the need for those with the skill and knowledge to treat them.
Many PhD programs offer the chance for students to find employment developing podiatry as a whole. There’s always room for improvement when it comes to refining treatment methods and clinical practices, making podiatric research a constant necessity. Institutes all over the world, such as Baylor Scott and White Health in the US, require skilled researchers to help enrich the field and medical science as a whole.