The foot is a complex structure made up of 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles and tendons. When you have a problem with your feet, it can affect the health of your entire body, not to mention your lifestyle. Good foot health care is vital to maintaining and enjoying an active lifestyle. That's where podiatrists play a vital role.
People of all ages with any foot, ankle or related problems can benefit from the high quality health care provided by the members of the BC Podiatric Medical Association.
If you have foot pain or a foot or ankle-related problem, see a podiatrist first.
Children, active people and athletes should see a podiatrist at least once in their life to determine if there are any biomechanical or structural problems that can affect their overall health and performance either now or later in life.
Your feet have to last a lifetime. They deserve the focused attention and care that podiatrists provide.
Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating foot- and ankle-related pain and disorders both medically and surgically. All podiatrists provide a vast range of foot health care from general care to treating infections, nail and skin disorders, sports injuries, fractures and bone deformities. Podiatrists also treat problems related to diabetes, arthritis, neurological disorders, and circulation, as well as structural imbalances causing back and knee pain.
Podiatrists are also often referred to as podiatric surgeons, for a reason, as the scope of podiatric practice includes foot and lower leg surgery. Podiatrists who are registered and licensed in the 'Full’class by the College of Podiatric Surgeons of B.C. may perform a full scope of practice including surgery to surgically correct bone deformities, soft-tissue lesions, as well as disorders, diseases and injuries. In fact, many BC practitioners have extensive experience as they focus heavily in such areas and hold advanced specialty qualifications in surgery and other areas.
Podiatrists are one of the few health care specialists you can make an appointment with directly. You don't need a referral from your family doctor to see a podiatrist. And you should be able to receive treatment without a long waiting period.
All podiatrists in British Columbia have a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree. Each has completed a four-year undergrad program, as well as a four-year doctorate program that focuses on the foot, ankle and related body systems. This is followed by a one- to three-year residency (depending on their specialty) at an approved hospital or university.
Many podiatrists specialize further through podiatric fellowships, educational programs that provide advanced knowledge, experience and training in specific content areas.
After finishing their residency program, Doctors of Podiatric Medicine are then eligible to apply for registration to the College of Podiatric Surgeons of B.C.and, if successful, may obtain a licence to practise podiatry in B.C. Each year, B.C. podiatrists undergo a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education to maintain their licence.
The BC Podiatric Medical Association upholds the policy and standard of Universal Precautions with respect to instrument sterility, infection control and office cleanliness. All instruments are steam autoclaved for sterility after each patient use. Hand washing between patients and general office cleanliness is compulsory. These are the standards to be expected from your podiatrist in British Columbia.