A podiatrist is a medical expert in the health and well-being of all things foot and ankle related.  A podiatrist's education consists of an undergraduate degree followed by 4 years of Podiatric Medical School where they receive a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree.  They then pursue a 3-year foot and ankle surgical residency before becoming licensed to practice podiatry in BC. 

You do NOT need a referral to see a podiatrist.  However some extended health plans require a referral from a medical doctor in order for your visit to be reimbursed.  Please check this directly with your insurance provider.

Glad you asked.  Please visit http://www.bcpodiatrists.ca/find-a-podiatrist

 To find a podiatrist outside of BC, please visit https://www.podiatrycanada.org/useful-links/

Today all new podiatrist's come to practice as trained podiatric surgeon's.  There are some individuals who opt to practice non-surgical podiatry only, though most perform at least some surgery.

Are you having a problem with your foot and/or ankle?  A podiatrist is likely able to help.  Regardless of if it is an ankle sprain, broken bone, heel pain, or anything else.  If it has to do with the foot or ankle a podiatrist will be able to help you work through whatever is going on and help get you onto better FOOTing!

General podiatry is not a covered service for most individuals in British Columbia.  If you have supplementary benefits your visit may be subsidized by $23.  This means that your podiatrist will deduct $23 from their usual fee for a visit.  All surgical podiatry (ingrown toenails, bunions etc) are partially subsidized for ALL with an active BC personal health number, however you will still have to pay a portion of the fee out of pocket. 

With regards to extended health, most plans cover podiatric services to some extent.  You should call and check with your insurance provider directly to determine what your coverage is.  Coverage for podiatry services is often similar to what is covered for physiotherapy or massage therapy services.

While we cannot provide medical advice over the internet we do have a series of topic's that cover many of the most common foot problem's people face. 

Please visit http://www.bcpodiatrists.ca/your-amazing-feet

Yes, absolutely!  Podiatry is a rewarding career path that allows you to integrate regular medical care, sports medicine and surgery in one.  In BC we have a shortage of podiatrist's and are always looking to encourage student's to pursue a career in podiatry.  Please contact our office if you would like to be connected with a podiatrist who can talk to you more about career choices.

There is a significant difference in the education and services that each may provide.  Podiatrists are doctor's who hold a post-baccalaurete, 4 year Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree, plus post-graduate surgical training.  Chiropodists hold a post-secondary diploma in chiropody.  Podiatrists are able to diagnose and treat conditions of the foot and ankle.  This includes surgical procedures on bones and soft tissues.  Chiropodists cannot convey a diagnosis and while they can perform some minor procedures they are limited to the subcutaneous tissue of the foot. Here in BC we do not have chiropodists. 

An orthotic is a prescribed custom-made insole that fit's into a person's footwear. Orthotics are designed to address and correct faulty biomechanics of the foot and lower extremity.  There are many varieties of orthotics, which should be discussed, prescribed and provided by a licensed podiatrist in BC.  An off-the-shelf insole is a mass produced device that does not address any specific issues and tries to support the "average" foot.  An off-the-shelf insole may be an excellent starting point, or all that somebody needs, though your podiatrist is best equipped to evaluate and discuss this with you after an in-office exam.

Fungus in your toenails, and on your feet, can be challenging as it can effect your self-esteem as well as your foot health.  Luckily there are a variety of methods that try to treat toenail fungus.  We would recommend you see a podiatrist for a discussion on the options before purchasing any over-the-counter, laser or prescription items.  While fungus is bothersome to many, it is not a critical illness on it's own.  

We would recommend NOT purchasing Groupon's for medical products and/or services.  Custom made orthotics are a prescription medical device that should only be fitted after a thorough biomechanical evaluation and discussion of treatment options.  Not every foot requires an orthotic either and as such we highly recommend you seek the expertise of a podiatrist, not somebody with a Groupon. 

Similarly with laser therapy we would recommend avoiding Groupon's.  There have been many Health Canada announcements regarding false advertising for lasers.  In Canada, laser therapy is approved for the temporary clearing of toenail fungus, not for treatment.  That said laser can be a great adjunctive part of other treatments and your podiatrist would be the best to evaluate, discuss and provide this treatment for you.