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Podiatrists (formerly known as chiropodists) diagnose and treat ailments and abnormalities of the human foot and lower limb, deal with minor infections, injuries and deformities, and conditions resulting from other major health disorders such as diabetes.

Main Tasks

  • Examines patient’s feet to determine the nature and extent of disorder;
  • Provides vascular and neurological assessment for the long-term management of chronic disorders and high risk patients;
  • Administers local anaesthetic where appropriate;
  • Treats conditions of the skin, nails and soft tissues of feet by minor surgery, massage and heat treatment, padding and strapping or drugs;
  • Prescribes, makes and fits pads and other orthotic appliances to correct and/or protect foot disorders;
  • Those with advanced training may carry out minor surgery on the feet;
  • Advises patients on aspects of foot care to avoid recurrence of foot problems;
  • Delivers foot health education to groups such as the elderly, children, the homeless, those with medical problems such as arthritis;
  • Refers patients who require further medical or surgical attention.


Entry requires a degree in podiatry approved by the Health Professions Council and registration with and membership of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists. Degree courses combine theoretical and practical training. Qualified podiatrists must undertake 30 hours of Continuing Professional Development each year.

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