A chiropodist is a medical professional who specializes in treating foot problems. A chiropodist is also known by the common term “foot doctor.” The word “chiropodist” is the British equivalent of “podiatrist”, which is the common American term for foot doctor. The word “chiropodist” actually means “medicine of the hand and foot.” But in today’s practice, a chiropodist does not handle problems with the hand.
A chiropodist is an actual doctor, which means he has gone to medical school and has earned a medical degree in chiropody (podiatry). After school, the doctor will follow it up with residency, a practical training and schooling to gain real-world experiences with the specialization he has chosen. The doctor can officially practice chiropody after he has completed his residency.
Some of the treatments that are in the arsenal of a chiropodist include physical therapy, medicine, orthotics devices and even surgery. Some of the most common ailments patients visit a chiropodist for include: the removal of calluses and corns, cutting toenails, fixing ingrown nails, surgical removal of foreign objects from the foot and, in the most extreme cases, reconstruction of a damaged foot. A chiropodist usually works on his practice on his own but an emerging practice is for chiropodists to form a group as a way of saving on the operational costs of having a clinic.
Chiropodists usually specialize some more in their practice. For example, athletes usually see a chiropodist who has specialized in athletic or sports medicine, while others specialize in problems associated with diabetes.