To become a chiropodist, you must complete three steps: postsecondary education, clinical experience, and licensing requirements. A podiatrist is another name for a chiropodist. This type of medical doctor focuses on the foot and ankle, as well as the treatment of mobility issues.
A chiropodist can work in a hospital, a fracture clinic, a private practice, or a health-care clinic. Typically, patients are referred to a chiropodist their primary care physician or the hospital. The foot is essential for mobility, and with the right treatment, patients suffering from injuries, diseases, or foot pain can lead normal, active lives.
Attending medical school is the first step toward becoming a chiropodist. Chiropodists are all medical doctors who have completed their training. Admission to the chiropody program is based on undergraduate grade point averages, letters of recommendation, and a written entrance exam. This is not a program that every medical school offers. Before making a decision, take the time to research the various schools that offer this degree.
The anatomy of the foot, locomotion, biomechanics of the foot, foot diseases, and treatments are all covered in the first year of the chiropody program. People who want to be chiropodists are usually meticulous, have a keen interest in biomechanics, and are keen observers. Foot problems are linked to many gait or movement irregularities.
Clinical experience is required as part of the chiropodist training program. The medical school organizes the work terms, which allow the student to work in both hospital and clinical practice settings under the supervision of a chiropodist. The range of activities available varies greatly depending on the school. Before deciding on a school, take the time to review the various programs available as well as the various links and associations that the school has established.
A license from the state medical board is required to practice as a chiropodist. After a review of academic credentials, a specified number of clinical hours, and the passing of a written exam, the license is granted. To practice in each state, a separate license is required, though many states have reciprocal licensing agreements in place, allowing candidates to take the same exam in multiple locations.
People who enjoy working as a chiropodist do so because they enjoy helping others, are naturally outgoing, and find personal satisfaction in problem solving. Foot problems are notoriously difficult to diagnose and treat, and they have a significant impact on the patient’s quality of life. Children, adults, and seniors with foot and mobility problems can benefit from the services of a chiropodist.