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What They Do

Podiatrists Career Video

About This Career

Diagnoses and treats diseases and deformities of the human foot.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Treats bone, muscle, and joint disorders affecting the feet and ankles.
  • Diagnoses diseases and deformities of the foot using medical histories, physical examinations, x-rays, and laboratory test results.
  • Advises patients about treatments and foot care techniques necessary for prevention of future problems.
  • Prescribes medications, corrective devices, physical therapy, or surgery.
  • Surgically treats conditions such as corns, calluses, ingrown nails, tumors, shortened tendons, bunions, cysts, or abscesses.
  • Refers patients to physicians when symptoms indicative of systemic disorders, such as arthritis or diabetes, are observed in feet and legs.
  • Makes and fits prosthetic appliances.
  • Corrects deformities by means of plaster casts and strapping.
  • Performs administrative duties, such as hiring employees, ordering supplies, or keeping records.
  • Educates the public about the benefits of foot care through techniques such as speaking engagements, advertising, and other forums.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Attending Physician
  • Doctor of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery (DPM and Surgery)
  • Physician — Diagnoses and treats diseases, injuries, and other disorders and work to promote good health and prevent illness.
  • Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM)
  • Doctor Podiatric Medicine (DPM)
  • Foot and Ankle Surgeon
  • Podiatric Physician
  • Podiatric Surgeon — Manages bone, joint and soft tissue disorders in the foot.


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