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What’s the difference between a Chiropodist and a Podiatrist?

I often get asked what the difference is between chiropody and podiatry. In the UK, podiatry is simply the new name for chiropody. The name was changed to the internationally recognised name of podiatry in 1993. It’s not just the name that has changed though; podiatry is a constantly evolving profession. The extensive medical training given to students over the 3 or 4 years of their full time course and the continuing education after graduation enables Podiatrists to treat a vast array of foot and lower limb problems, specialising in specific medical conditions. Along with the most obvious treatments for corns and hard skin, specialties exist within the profession for almost any lower limb problem. A podiatrist can offer treatments for the following foot related conditions corns and callus, Diabetes, Difficulty in cutting nails, Dry, itchy or flaky skin, Fungal, discoloured or thickened nails, Cracked heels, Nail surgery for Ingrowing toe nails, Numb or swollen feet, cryotherapy for Verruca, Chilblains, Blisters, Biomechanical problems including orthotic treatment.

What do the letters after a Podiatrists name mean?

You should look for all of the following after the Podiatrists name:

DPodM or BSc(Podiatry) – This signifies that the Podiatrist has completed a full training course in podiatry at an approved institution. Originally this course was a diploma in podiatric medicine – DPodM but was later changed to a degree course – BSc. NB:DipPodMed is not the same as DPodM.

MChS or FChS – This means that the Podiatrist is a member or fellow of The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists. A practicing member of this society is assured of having professional indemnity insurance cover.

HCPC – HCPC registration means registration with the Health Professions Council. This is the regulatory board for all Allied Health Professions. Registration with HCPC ensures the practitioner meets certain minimum standards of education, continuing professional development and that their current practice conforms with evidence based practice.


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