A podiatrist, also called a doctor of podiatric medicine or D.P.M., is a specialist who provides medical diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle disorders. Before a D.P.M. degree is conferred, a student must complete four years of medical training after college in all aspects of medicine and surgery with special emphasis on lower extremity conditions. Podiatrists have one to three years of residency training in foot surgery following their four years of specialized medical training. In addition to their surgical training, podiatrists have extensive training in the non-surgical treatment of foot. There is no other specialty that has as extensive training in these areas as the podiatrist. Podiatrists are required to take state and national exams, as well as be licensed by the state in which they practice. Click here for information about the Podiatric Medical Schools or click here to visit the Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine, where Dr. Lummus trained.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, there are an estimated 15,000 practicing podiatrists in the United States. Podiatrists are in demand more than ever today because of a rapidly aging population. In addition, according to the association, foot disorders are among the most widespread and neglected health problems affecting people in this country.
- Consult with patients and other physicians on how to prevent foot problems.
- Diagnose and treat tumors, ulcers, fractures, skin and nail diseases, and deformities.
- Perform surgeries to correct or remedy such problems as bunions, clawtoes, fractures, hammertoes, infections, ingrown nails and other ligament and tendon problems.
- Prescribe therapies and perform diagnostic procedures such as ultrasound and lab tests.
- Prescribes or fits patients with shoe inserts called orthotics.
- Treat conditions such as: bone disorders, bunions, corns, calluses, cysts, heel spurs, infections, ingrown nails, and plantar fasciitis.