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What is a podiatrist?

A foot specialist.

A Doctor of Podiatry/ Podiatric Physician (or medical health professional specialising with feet) has studied and obtained a minimum four-year university degree in podiatry. Australian podiatrists can use the courtesy title of Doctor (Dr) if they so wish, providing they make it clear that they are a podiatrist.

The current training in Victoria gives the podiatrist a double degree of a Bachelor of Health Sciences/Masters of podiatric clinical practice.

The course of study includes podiatric medicine, physics, clinical training, foot and nail surgery, sports medicine, paediatrics, gerontology and medical sciences such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology and neurology and will diagnose and treat disorders of the foot and lower limbs.

Some conditions that a podiatrist can assist and treat may include:

  • General foot pain
  • Biomechanical problems- tripping, gait disorders, toe walking or heel pain
  • Orthotic therapy
  • General nail problems including ingrown nails, treatment of fungal, psoriatic, traumatized or other nail conditions
  • Ingrown toenail surgery and soft tissue surgery to the feet
  • Skin and tissue conditions including tinea, plantar warts, corns, calluses, chilblains or ulcerations
  • Relief from painful bunions, hammer toes or claw toes
  • Growing pains in children, congenital foot conditions, Severs disease and sport/growth painful conditions
  • Diabetic feet assessments and advice
  • Perihpheral vascular problems
  • Arthritic related foot conditions
  • Referral to a podiatric surgeon if more extensive surgery is required
  • Footwear advice
  • Podiatrist has radiology and limited pathology medical rights
  • Some podiatrists have S4 prescription rights.

Registered Podiatrists have:

  • I.C (Health Insurance Commission) registration
  • Private Health Fund recognition
  • Limited Medicare rights
  • Of Veterans Affairs recognition
  • Selected hospital rights