• Home
  • Orthopedist vs. Podiatrist

Should I see an Orthopedist or a Podiatrist for my Foot and Ankle Problems?

Orthopedist Surgeon vs, Podiatrist, Univeristy Foot and Ankle Institute

We often talk with patients who aren’t clear as to whether they should see a podiatrist or an orthopedist for their foot and ankle problems. We feel it is important to offer some insight on this topic for our patients and prospective patients.

 

What's the difference between a podiatrist and orthopedist?

The main difference between us and general orthopedists is that from day one, a podiatrist emphasizes the foot and ankle in their training, knowing the end result will be specialized and comprehensive care of the foot and ankle. Orthopedic training, on the other hand, must include ALL areas of the body.

You all are very good at your job. So glad I am going here. Gary D.

What are the Differences in Medical Training?

Same day appointments now available!
or call us: 877-989-9110
University Foot & Ankle Institute is a Preferred Provider to:
and consulting physicians for:

Podiatrists are foot and ankle specialists who perform only foot and ankle care in their practices. The level of training for a podiatrist consists of 4 years of podiatry medical schooling and training, with a specific foot and ankle emphasis. Over the years, the training has become more in line with medical school training and is often in conjunction with medical school students.

Following podiatric medical school, a currently trained podiatrist will perform 3 years of residency, which often involves orthopedic training but with an emphasis on foot and ankle procedures, diagnosis and care. A podiatrist may then opt to receive an additional year of training in advanced and complex foot and ankle care following residency. This is called a Fellowship.

 

Since University Foot and Ankle Institute, like UCLA, is a teaching practice, for the last ten years podiatric graduates from around the world have applied to our advanced fellowship program.

 

An orthopedist performs four years of medical school training with emphasis on medical care. After the medical school training, a medical doctor may select orthopedic training as their specialty. While foot and ankle is included in the care of patients throughout the orthopedic training training, the training must include all areas of the body.

 

Rarely is there an emphasis on the foot and ankle during this time. However, an orthopedist may select to perform an additional year of fellowship training in foot and ankle. This is the point at which an orthopedist will learn detailed complexities of foot and ankle care as we have during out training.

 

Both podiatrists and orthopedists perform many foot and ankle procedures. The care of a specific body part is commonly performed by multiple specialists. For example, both plastic surgeons and orthopedic hand surgeons perform hand surgery. Both neurosurgeons and orthopedic back specialists perform back surgery. This is also the case for foot and ankle care. Both orthopedic surgeons and podiatrists treat the foot and ankle.

 

So who to Pick?

We often note that foot and ankle procedures are basic carpentry. We cut bones or fix bones. We use screws, plates and anchors to repair ligaments, tendons, and bones. This does not differ among orthopedist and podiatrists. There are good carpenters and surgeons in every field and you need to pick the right doctor for your care. Check on the reputation of the doctor and the amount of time they dedicate to foot and ankle care.

 

Equally important is that you like the person taking care of you. You will need to spend time with them before your surgery and during your recovery. You deserve a person who will take care of you and someone you feel comfortable with. It is great when all goes well, but should there be a problem or complication, be sure you can rely on them and they will be there for you when you need them.

 

So in conclusion, don't pick a foot and ankle specialist according to the title after their name, but according to their skills and expertise. Make sure you will be able to talk to them and that they will be available to you. Make sure you trust them and their skills. MAKE SURE YOU LIKE THE PERSON.

  • Yelp
    I have been truly amazed with Dr Baravarian. I had a loose piece of bone at the base of my fifth metatarsal. Got an X-ray and an MRI right there in the building before having it surgically removed yesterday. Surgery w...
    James D.
  • Yelp
    I have had foot pain for more than a year now and was receiving little to no information from my PREVIOUS doctor, and even worse, I did not feel like I was being heard... In doing online research about my vaguely diag...
    Amber S.
  • Yelp
    I saw Dr. Baravarian after being misdiagnosed by a previous doctor. I was suffering from foot pain for several months - I am a runner and even short walks were becoming increasingly painful. Everyone in the office is ...
    Christie C.
  • CustomerSure
    Thanks for helping me get out of pain and on a path to feeling better. After two weeks of physical therapy for Plantar Fasciitis, I am beginning to walk without pain.
    Danica P.
  • Yelp
    My right foot had been very tender and very painful for about two months, when I went to see Dr. Breskin. He was able to diagnose it right away and start treatment. I have Plantar Fasciitis. He answers all questions ...
    Penny L.
  • Yelp
    I had some PT done to my hip flexers. I'm an avid runner and cyclist. The staff is very knowledgeable and knows athletes. So if you're an athlete and need some repairs, I highly suggest this staff. Suzanne is an I...
    Tracy H.
  • Yelp
    A few months ago, I visited Dr. Baravarian for a foot ailment that I had been suffering from for a few years. After a couple of misdiagnoses and painful cortisone and alcohol injections. He was able to tell me I had a...
    Tory R.
  • When I compare the surgery result and treatment at the Foot and Ankle Institute with the treatment at other offices, I am amazed. I was so happy with my surgery result and that I had Dr. Baravarian fix the foot that w...
    M. G.
  • Google+
    I came to University Foot and Ankle Institute after being misdiagnosed by another doctor. I am a runner and foot pain was making even the shortest walks difficult and painful. Everyone at the office is very nice and D...
    Kay C.
  • CustomerSure
    Have already sent six folks to you. Love you guys!
    Lorna B.
Same day appointments now available!
or call us:
  • University Foot & Ankle, a Preferred Provider to:
  • UCLA Health System - UCLA Medical Group
  • MPTF - Member Industry Health Network
  • Cirque du Soleil
  • ATP - Association of Tennis Professionals
  • And consulting physicians for:
  • C&S - Cedars-Sinai
  • Saint John's Health Center