What Does Podiatrists Do?
Podiatrists deal exclusively with feet and any related medical ailments. These specialized medical professionals have a complete knowledge of foot-related diseases and deformities. After pinpointing the exact cause of patient issues, doctors will follow up with a treatment plan that can include surgery, medication, special foot wear, etc. On a regular basis, podiatrists will encounter ailments like bunions, ingrown nails, tumors, abscesses and cysts.
Podiatrists Skills and Abilities
Though podiatrists will have ample opportunity for field training, these doctors rely heavily on their education. While some skills can be learned on the job, most abilities will be developed in school and internships. That said podiatrists utilize the following consistently:
- Medical knowledge: These doctors encounter a range of illness and deformities on a regular basis. Treating these cases necessitates and thorough understanding of medicine and treatments.
- Highly developed reasoning: When writing treatment plans, doctors must take care to account for the complicated overlapping of bodily functions and systems while discovering the root of the problem. Developed reasoning skills are imperative for these tasks.
- Excellent communication: When working with patients and colleges, podiatrists will be responsible for relating complicated ideas in a clear and accessible fashion. These professional must work well with electronic, oral and written communications.
- Critical thinking: Doctors are constantly seeking solutions to complex problems and must use logic to identify important information.
Podiatrists can be found working in hospitals, private practices and research clinics. In each setting, doctors will experience a unique set of daily responsibilities, but generally, podiatrists will:
- Provide medical care: Working closely with the patient, doctors will provide individualized care and attention to their patients. Each case is different and requires tailored treatments and medical plans.
- Gathering information: Doctors will needs to interview patients to determine the symptoms experienced as well as the severity of the issue. Additionally, podiatrists may need to contact other medical professionals to retrieve patient records.
- Solving medical issues: After gathering enough information, podiatrists will identify the cause of the medical problem and determine the best course of action.
- Recordkeeping: For medical and legal purposes, doctors must maintain accurate records. This ensures the patient’s medial history is current and all files are ready for review by insurance organizations.
Podiatrists Tools and Technology
To aid in diagnosis of foot-related illnesses, podiatrists use a number of medical technologies in addition to record keeping software. For example:
- Database software
- Surgical chisels
- Graphics software
- Medical software
The exact type of medical software will vary depending on the practices needs and clientele. Even within this specialization, podiatrists can choose to focus on a niche.
Education and Training for Podiatrists
If you are considering this profession, you will need a series of educational certifications. First, you will need a doctoral degree in podiatry or a closely medical field. Additionally, employers will require a two to three year residency in a podiatry related program. If you have these educational achievements on your resume, you will not need related work experience to seek or gain employment.
On average, podiatrists do quite well with a national median salary of $120,700. The lowest ten percent of these professionals can expect $50,400 annually, while the top ten percent make upwards of $187,200 annually. While salaries will vary from state to state, these national average show doctors can expect to make livable wages at any end of the spectrum.
Podiatrists Jobs by Geography
New York, Florida and Ohio have the most working podiatrists in the country, but Virginia, Oregon and Washington, DC show the highest rates of growth. Virginia’s job market is expected to grow 42.1 percent by 2022 and Oregon and Washington, DC aren’t far behind. If you are looking for a profession with good growth and even better salaries, podiatry is a great path.