What is a podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM), also known as a podiatric physician or surgeon, qualified by their education and training to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg. Podiatrists are uniquely qualified among medical professionals to treat the foot and ankle based on their education, training and experience.
What are the qualifications of a podiatrist?
Podiatrists are defined as physicians by the federal government and in most states. DPMs receive medical education and training comparable to medical doctors, including four years of undergraduate education, four years of graduate education at one of eight accredited podiatric medical colleges and two or three years of hospital residency training. Within the field of podiatry, practitioners can focus on many different specialty areas, including surgery, sports medicine, biomechanics, geriatrics, pediatrics, orthopedics or primary care.
Is Scholl Foot & Ankle Center affiliated with any hospitals or universities?
Scholl Foot & Ankle Center is part of Rosalind Franklin University Health System, the clinical subsidiary of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. One of the colleges located within the University is the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine. Many of the podiatrists working at Scholl Foot & Ankle Center also teach classes at Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine.
Additionally, Scholl Foot & Ankle Center serves as a training site for students from Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, which means our doctors treat the patients of today while training the next generation of podiatric physicians.
Will I be seen by a podiatry student if I come to Scholl Foot & Ankle Center?
Student education is a component of the practice at Scholl Foot & Ankle Center. Podiatry students completing clinical rotations at Scholl Foot & Ankle Center are supervised by licensed podiatric physicians. So while a student may assist in your care, a fully licensed clinician/faculty member provides your assessment, diagnosis and treatment.
Since Scholl Foot & Ankle Center is a teaching facility, it can sometimes take a little more time to complete your appointment. Many of our patients enjoy interacting with our students and being a part of their learning experience. However, if you have concerns about students being involved in your care for any reason, please let your podiatrist or a member of staff know at the time of your visit.
I think I have a [bunion, hammertoe, nail fungus, etc.]…what should I do?
Conditions affecting the foot or ankle should be addressed by a podiatrist. Having the issue addressed as early as possible can reduce the amount and duration of treatment you need. The podiatrists at Scholl Foot & Ankle Center can treat all manner of foot ailments. Appointments can be made by calling (847) 473-4357. We are open Monday – Friday, and also offer Saturday morning hours for your convenience.
What else should I know about caring for my feet?
Top Ten Foot Health Tips
1. Don't ignore foot pain — it's not normal. If the pain persists, see a podiatric physician.
2. Inspect your feet regularly. Pay attention to changes in color and temperature of your feet. Look for thick or discolored nails (a sign of developing fungus), and check for cracks or cuts in the skin. Peeling or scaling on the soles of feet could indicate athlete's foot. Any growth on the foot is not considered normal.
3. Wash your feet regularly, especially between the toes, and be sure to dry them completely.
4. Trim toenails straight across, but not too short. Be careful not to cut nails in corners or on the sides; it can lead to ingrown toenails. Persons with diabetes, poor circulation, or heart problems should not treat their own feet because they are more prone to infection.
5. Make sure that your shoes fit properly. Purchase new shoes later in the day when feet tend to be at their largest and replace worn out shoes as soon as possible.
6. Select and wear the right shoe for the activity that you are engaged in (i.e., running shoes for running).
7. Alternate shoes — don't wear the same pair of shoes every day.
8. Avoid walking barefooted — your feet will be more prone to injury and infection. At the beach or when wearing sandals, always use sunblock on your feet just as on the rest of your body.
9. Be cautious when using home remedies for foot ailments; self-treatment can often turn a minor problem into a major one.
10. If you are a person with diabetes, it is vital that you see a podiatric physician at least once a year for a check-up.
Portions of the content above are courtesy of the American Podiatric Medical Association.