A podiatrist is also known as a chiropodist and specializes in the study,diagnosis and treatment of the foot,ankle and the lower part of the leg. Podiatry is know to have been practiced since ancient times. Ancient Egypt is said to have been the birth place of podiatry. Napoleon is believed to have employed a professional podiatrist and so did the American President Abraham Lincoln. Both podiatrist and chiropodist are used interchangeably but the term podiatrist is preferred in most parts of the world.
In America a Podiatrist is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. The study of foot known as Podology was instrumental in gaining more knowledge in the art of foot care. Podiatry is an allied health care profession in many countries like Australia.The duration of the course varies from three to four years followed by compulsory internship, the duration of which may vary according to region. Podiatrists may specialize in surgery and also the reconstruction of ankles and lower parts of the foot.
A podiatrist may also work in conjunction with an Orthopaedic Surgeon to perform critical surgeries on the lower part of the foot. The prescription rights of a podiatrist may from region. Some maybe allowed to perform minor surgeries while others may allow surgeries involving anaesthesias local and complete. The Alpha Gamma fraternity and the American Podiatric Medical Association are the worlds leading professional bodies and societies in the filed of podiatry.