Podiatry is that health care vocation which is specializing in the knowledge, therapy and prevention of foot and connected conditions. The fact that there is a entire career specializing in the feet, just shows how significant and essential the feet are. There are so many problems that may go wrong with the feet, that can have such huge impacts around the total well being, that special care is essential for this body part.
Podiatrists make use of a broad range of therapies to deal with conditions of the feet. Those conditions vary from minor skin lesions (for example calluses) to nail problems (including ingrown toenails) to toe conditions (for example claw toes) to bone and joint disorders (like plantar fasciitis) to foot injury (for example bone injuries). The therapy options range from straightforward scalpel work to debride lesions on the skin to the highly skilled process of dealing with an in-grown toenail painlessly to the usage of foot supports to support different regions of the feet to the guidance directed at athletes in relation to their training loads and athletic shoes to handling the different joint disease problems to using anything that they are able to to handle the problems of type 2 diabetes which could be fatal if not handled properly.
Podiatrists can be found in numerous types of work environments. They might be in solo private practice, in team or community based treatment centers, in public hospitals or even in specialist treatment centers such as joint disease treatment centers, diabetic foot clinics or sports medicine clinics and also teaching clinics of universities. There are a wide range of specialities within podiatry. Some will go after educational or research jobs.
The job is rather diverse in different nations around the world. It ranges from on one side, in the United States where Podiatrists have full medical, operative and prescription drug rights to manage foot disorders to the other end where in a few countries in Europe they are confined to very simple superficial skin disorders. These differences in the scope and nature of practice is reflected in the education of podiatrists. In the USA, the podiatry qualification is a 4 year post-graduate degree with the requirement for a 2-3 yr post degree residency following that before they get licensed. In some countries in Europe, it is just a one or two year higher education based qualification. For nations similar to Australia and the United Kingdom, it's a 4 year undergraduate degree, with the surgical instruction as a post-grad course that all of them do not always go after. They're licenced to work following the four years, but without having surgical rights.
The future prospects for podiatry is good. It is quite simply a question of demographics. The population is becoming more aged and older people get more foot problems, so the demand for podiatry will probably continue to grow gradually as time passes provided that the population carry on and grow older. Additionally, the crisis in the obesity increased prevalence which is impacting on every nation is only fuelling an enormous rise in the frequency of diabetic issues and its connected foot complications that will need to be taken care of. Additionally, physical activity is now being more widely touted to handle the health repercussions with the obesity situation and that's likely to lead to more foot issues as increasing numbers of individuals exercise.