Put simply, there is little to no difference! Both Chiropodists and Podiatrists are terms used to describe the registered professionals specialising in foot health. The term Podiatrist was adopted in the UK in 1993 as an internationally recognised name for a foot specialist. So, you could perhaps view podiatry as an evolution of the historical term chiropodist and, with that, the scope of practice has also vastly expanded.
Nowadays, in order to become a Podiatrist, any training is carried out to degree level. There are 14 schools of podiatry in the UK. Previously, Podiatrists will have achieved a diploma (DPodM) in Podiatric Medicine, however this has now been replaced with the BSc (Hons) programmes.
Finally, both Podiatrists and Chiropodists are registered by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). They are duty bound to practicing evidence-based medicine. Therefore, you can be assured you are in safe hands.
What do Podiatrists do?
Podiatrists are often associated with cutting nails and removing hard skin and corns. These are fundamental aspects of the role however, in reality, our scope of practice is much broader and is continually expanding. Most Podiatrists will regularly carry out diabetic foot screening, nail surgery, treat wounds/ulcers, and diagnose and treat musculoskeletal conditions. As a result, Podiatrists can also choose to become specialists in these areas. Podiatrists can now be found working in departments such as rheumatology, orthopaedics, diabetes and sports medicine. Some may even go on to become Podiatric Surgeons.
When should you visit a Podiatrist?
Podiatrists are the foot and ankle experts. Any foot and/or lower limb problem can be appropriately assessed by a Podiatrist. This can range from skin and nail problems, to pains in joints and muscles. The Podiatrist will then implement an appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs. This may involve an intensive short-term treatment plan or perhaps more long-term treatment.
Ultimately, if you have any concerns, make an appointment and we will be sure to offer expert advice and treatment. You can make an appointment with one of our friendly, professional Podiatrists by clicking HERE