9 Tips to Help Find the Best Podiatrist for Your Foot Care

podiatrist selection

Nobody plans to become a podiatric patient. Nevertheless, most readers of this material are likely to achieve that status. That’s because, at some point during their lifetime, 75% of the US population will experience a significant foot health problem. And a podiatric physician is by far the best resource for resolution of significant foot problems.

What’s a podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM), a physician and surgeon who specializes in treatment of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg.

The training of podiatrists is quite similar to that of other physicians and orthopedist surgeons. Podiatrists complete four years of training in a podiatric medical school, followed by three years of hospital residency training. Many podiatrists go on to complete a fellowship training program after their residency.

Podiatrists can earn certification from a governing medical board by undergoing advanced training, achieving clinical experience, and passing rigorous examinations. The American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and the American Board of Podiatric Medicine are the certifying boards for the field of podiatry.

Why should you see a podiatrist for a problem with your feet or ankles?

Your feet are intricate anatomical structures. Combined, they contain 52 bones. That’s one quarter of all the bones in your body. Your feet simultaneously serve as stabilizers, shock absorbers, and propulsion engines.

Your ankles function as strong and stable hinges. They enable bending and twisting in three directions, sometimes simultaneously. Your ankles must support 150% of your body weight when you walk and up to 800% when you run.

Your feet and ankles require the expert care of a team of specialists, physicians who have focused all their talent, training, and experience solely on the conditions that affect their patients’ feet and ankles.

The title of DPM guarantees the services of a physician who is uniquely qualified to remedy your feet and ankle problems.

How can you locate the best podiatrist for your particular needs?

You can really find the right podiatrist for you by following these simple guidelines:

  1. A good way to start is by going through your mental rolodex, searching for recollections of all your friends, neighbors, or relatives who have been successfully treated for foot conditions such as bunions, plantar fasciitis, hammer toe, ingrown toenails or a fitting for orthotics. Then thoroughly interrogate each of them about the nature and quality of the care they received.
  2. Of course we assume you’re here because of the many references you received about our practice.  But maybe, just maybe, you are the first person within your circle to need foot care and you landed here after beginning your online search.podiatrist selection
  3. That makes sense. Given the pervasive power of the internet, most modern and competent foot doctors have an online presence. So complete the search by examining the websites of the podiatrists who are geographically accessible to you.
  4. Look for foot doctors who are both board certified and affiliated with reputable local hospitals. Give a higher grade to those podiatrists who, when they’re not treating their own patients, train other podiatrists.
  5. Restrict your search to podiatry practices with a significant number of positive reviews from recently treated patients.
  6. Make sure that your prospective podiatrist is a member of a practice which is completely equipped with the very latest in diagnostic tools and treatment equipment.
  7. Prefer practices that are staffed with highly qualified therapists and readily available sports medicine and physical therapy.
  8. Confine your search to podiatric practices whose members are fully conversant with the most up-to-date and advanced podiatric techniques. Or, better yet, practices whose members regularly research, innovate and create those advanced techniques.
  9. Once you’ve collected contact information for the podiatric practices that are both geographically accessible and satisfy each of the above steps, make some phone calls. Learn if the practice has a specialist who focuses on problems like yours. Find out how quickly you can be seen.

After you’ve made a preliminary decision, make an appointment

During that appointment, remember you are auditioning the doctor, not the other way around. Talking with any doctor never obligates you to select that person as your treating physician. Don’t make that important final decision until you have determined that your prospective podiatrist:

  • Listens to you carefully and with respect,
  • Demonstrates a thorough understanding of your particular problem,
  • Has sketched out a preliminary treatment plan that addresses your concerns,
  • Is aware of your treatment goals and completely shares each of them, and;
  • Has the skill, training, and experience to fully realize those goals.

Unless you leave that first appointment already trusting that doctor as your new caregiver, continue your search.

Why choose University Foot and Ankle Institute for your foot care?

If you’re experiencing problems with your feet or ankles, we’re here to help. Our nationally recognized foot and ankle specialists offer the most advanced podiatric care and the highest success rates in the nation. We are leaders in the research and treatment of all foot and ankle conditions.

For more information or to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist, please call (877) 736-6001 or make an appointment online now.

2 comments

  1. Victoria Addington

    Thanks for your helpful tips in finding the best podiatrist. I had an ankle sprain the other day and it has been painful ever since. I am hoping to get foot care for my fast recovery. With that, I shall then take your advice to look online on positive reviews about a podiatrist before going straight to his/her clinic to make sure that I get the right treatment I’m looking for.

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