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Studies & Degrees in Podiatry

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Caring for the feet professionally first existed in Egypt and is believed to have been a part of their ritual ever since 2400 BC. Hippocrates had even described corns and calluses and suggested that there is a need to remove those hard skins on our feet. Before in the early 1900s, podiatry has been known in the United States. There have been many institutions that were established following this discipline. Their main goal is to improve the health of the feet and ankles of all the individuals in the world. Often, those who will be studying this area should obtain a four year undergraduate degree so that they can go to an accredited medical school and take up a four year course. By definition, podiatry refers to the study, treatment and diagnosis of the common or rare diseases of the ankle, lower leg and foot.

In the United States, a podiatrist is often called a DPM or a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. In other parts of the world including the United Kingdom, a podiatrist is also known as a chiropodist. Most of the time those who want to pursue a Podiatry degree should be able to pass the Medical College Admission Test provided by the school of their choice. Many potential students find it hard to search for a school that offers this subject area but now, they can avail of this program through the use of the Internet. As a matter of fact, there is no need to worry because if one will compare the standards of the degree of Podiatry in a school setting to the ones that are being acquired online, they are almost equal.

The American Podiatric Medical Association or APMA is the one responsible for giving accreditation to different schools in the United States. In some cases, the organization provides scholarship programs for those students that deserve this and in return they should be able to help other people become aware of the several diseases when it comes to foot and other parts of the leg. Annually, there are more than 130 students that benefit from this program.

For the third or fourth year students that are currently studying at the accredited schools, some of them will be selected and sponsored by the College Scholarship and Student Loan Committee. The chosen ones are picked based on relevant factors such as classroom performance, involvement in the podiatric community, their financial status as well as their leadership qualities.

The different areas included when you study Podiatry are Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI, Ultrasound Examinations that are being conducted for the ankles and the feet, EMG or Electromyography and NCV Nerve Conduction Velocity. In addition, you will also be taught on how you can perform and use those computerized scanners on the foot. You can also obtain these when you study and take up Podiatry online.

There are several approaches and disciplines associated with Podiatry and they all depend on what country you will be taking up the said degree.

Job positions for Podiatry:

Orthotic Technician

An Orthotic Technician is also referred to as a Shoe Technician, who gives the correct measurement, construction and maintenance of shoes especially those orthoses or correction aids. Most of the time, those who have been hired for the job are those who have sufficient knowledge regarding feet and ankles care. You should also like to work with wood, plastic, metal and other types of materials. It is also a requisite that you know how to effectively follow directions that are presented from a mould or even an imprint. If you think that you are qualified, you can be involved in the Orthotic technology division.

An Orthotic Technician should possess designing skills so that he or she can create the best orthotics. In most cases, they work under the supervision of orthotists when it comes to the production, creation, fabrication and even repair of the appliances that are used to support the certain parts of the body that has defects. A technician can make corsets also but they are most known for producing corrective shoes from the materials and the tools set by his or her supervisor.

An Orthotic Technician that specializes in shoes often works with healthcare professionals such as podiatrists, orthotists and prosthetists so that the patients that they are serving will remain mobile for a long time with the help of their creation. The technician will have to rely on the prescription of the orthotists that will comprise of the dimension of the shoe parts as well as the instruments that they should be using. If you want to be successful in this field, you should have precision skills, stamina, strength and of course, the patience making the orthotics. You can choose to work alone or you can ask the help of other people, whichever selection will help cause the job to be finished quickly.

It is your duty as an Orthotic Technician to design or draw sketches for the models of the casts that has been given to you by the prosthetists or the orthotists. You are also responsible for the building or assembling of the appliances according to the measurements, drawings and plaster casts assigned to you. At times, you will make the necessary adjustments in your finished product so that they can perfectly fit the needs of your clients. In addition, you should also be flexible and dexterous enough to deal with different varieties of materials including, fabrics and leathers.

You should also keep an inventory of the materials that you have used and it is also your duty to help your supervisor serve and give assistance to all of your clients. As for the working locations, you will usually exerting your effort in the laboratories or workshops and it is unavoidable that you will be standing for a long time at your workbench. You will be using different machines including grinders, buffers, sanders, lathes and even sewing machines so it is only appropriate that you have sufficient familiarity with these equipments.

Doctor of Podiatric Medicine

Searching for the right kind of job is a great challenge especially for those who have just graduated as a Podiatry major. This is because most of those who have become DPMs or Doctor of Podiatric Medicine do not retire quickly so it can be difficult for you to be hired instantly. However, if you are lucky and you have been chosen to report immediately, being a podiatrist will mean a lifetime career for you.

Being a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine or podiatrist is a tough challenge and you may easily get frustrated. You must have the patience in order to face those people who are waiting in line to get your diagnosis and treatments. A podiatrist takes care of our feet when we are having some trouble with it. He or she is a specialist that gives services concerning foot care and should have extensive training and education in the area. This is because they should be able to give analysis, recommend treatment and help prevent the disorders in foot, ankle and lower leg through the use of medical or even surgical methods.

In order to become a successful podiatrist, one should be able to go through a lot of education and schooling that will enable him or her to be a licensee. A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine should be able to make independent judgments as well as perform all of those necessary diagnostic examinations for the patients. In most cases, a podiatrist is required to carry out surgery for their clients in addition to administering medications comprising of the DEA-restricted medicines and they even order physical therapy routines.

Oftentimes, these DPMs should be able to detect serious problems regarding the health of their patients and they can easily do this if they have been equipped with all the sufficient knowledge that is required. It is undeniable that there are some disorders that remain to be unnoticed so at times, it is needed that you examine the lower extremities primarily because some of the symptoms manifest here at first. These diseases include diabetes, arthritis, kidney and even heart disorders.

A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine often works in group practices and there is an opportunity for him or her to develop a focus on a certain practice like pediatrics, sports medicine or geriatrics. Additionally, they can also serve as a hospital staff and work at care facilities for a long period of time. They can also be employed in school faculties that offer nursing and medicine education as well as in the armed forces being commissioned officers and in health departments in their areas.

As a DPM, you will be able to enjoy the luxury of having some time to spend with your family and even go out with your friends. Just make sure that when a patient needs you, you will be able to provide them with great care whenever they require. Usually, you will be working for about thirty to sixty hours every week.