A podiatrist is a health professional who is responsible for treating feet problems that are not systemic diseases. The podiatrist is trained to detect, using clinical examinations and x-rays, the various problems and pathologies that affect feet, in keeping with the muscular-skeletal, integumentary, dermatological, vascular and neurological systems.
The principal tasks of the podiatrist are as follows:
•To identify the pathologies of the foot as well problems involving posture and deformations;
•To evaluate and diagnose walking problems caused by the weakness and deformation of the feet;
•To treat pathologies that affect the muscular-skeletal system (flat feet, deformations of the front portion of the foot or the back of the foot);
•To conduct and interpret examinations and analyses and take x-rays;
•To perform minor surgery;
•To prescribe and administer medication;
•To manufacture, adapt, modify and sell orthotics;
•To advise and educate patients with respect to foot care, shoe choice, pathologies and their treatment.
There is no specific age. As soon as a foot problem is suspected, from birth to 99 years.
Since 2004, the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières is the only university in Canada to offer a doctoral programme in podiatric medicine. Before that, podiatrists were trained in the United States, primarily at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine (NYCPM) or the Temple School of Podiatric Medicine, in Philadelphia.
The programme involves four years of training, which takes place over 10 terms, namely 4083 hours, broken down as follows: 1770 hours of theoretical training and 2313 hours of practical training. It includes a four-month practicum at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine (NYCPM), where the student works in podiatry, podiatric medicine and orthopedics.
In order to practice, the podiatrist must have a permit from the Ordre des podiatres du Québec.
No. Podiatrists are all in private practice, but their fees and honoraria are partially reimbursed by most private insurance plans.
You can consult a podiatrist without a prescription. And you do not need a doctor’s prescription for podiatric orthotics since the podiatrist is trained to make the biomedical evaluation and examination.
For foot, knee and back pain that you believe is caused by your feet, for deformations affecting your feet, or as a preventive measure. In case of doubt, do not hesitate to consult a podiatrist.