Podiatry or podiatric medicine is a field of healthcare devoted to the study and treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle, and the knee, leg and hip (collectively known as the lower extremity). The range of disorders podiatry can address largely depends on the scope of practice laid down in national, state, and/or provincial jurisdiction.
Education and Training in Australia
Australian Podiatrists complete an undergraduate degree ranging from 3 to 4 years of education. The first 2 years of this program are generally focused on various biomedical science subjects including anatomy, medical chemistry, biochemistry, physiology and patient psychology, similar to the medical curriculum. The following two years will then be spent focusing on podiatry specific areas such as podiatric biomechanics and human gait, podiatric orthopedics or the non-surgical management of foot abnormalities, basic pharmacology, general medicine, general pathology, local and general anaesthesia, and surgical techniques such as Partial Nail Avulsion.
Australian Podiatric Surgeons are specialist podiatrists with further training in basic medicine, basic pharmacology, and training in foot surgery. They first complete a degree of 4 years, 2 years of clinical experience. Following this, a master’s degree must be completed with focus on biomechanics, medicine, surgery, general surgery, advanced pharmacology, advanced medical imaging and clinical pathology. They then qualify for the status of Registrar with the Australasian College of Podiatric Surgeons. Following surgical training with a podiatric surgeon (3-5 years), and passing oral and written exams, Registrars may qualify for Fellowship status.
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