The qualification a podiatrist holds is a university degree, specifically in the study of foot conditions and their treatment. A Podiatrist is a primary healthcare professional concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of complaints occurring in the foot and lower limb. Additionally, podiatrists treat problems higher in the body, such as the knees, hips and lower back, that arise as a complication of a foot problem.
Podiatrists are not medical doctors but have more in common with the training of an Optometrists as the providers of non-surgical eye care. Podiatrists who are ‘accredited’ by the Australian Podiatrist Registration Board (as we are) have completed additional yearly training.
To qualify as a podiatrist requires a four year Bachelor of Health Science degree course available at six Australian Universities:
- Curtin University
- La Trobe University
- Charles Sturt University
- Queensland University of Technology
- University of South Australia
- University of Western Sydney.
In 2015, the entry score for the QUT was OP 6.
In Australia, the term ‘Chiropodist’ has been retired since 1977 and replaced with ‘Podiatrist’. Prior to this date, Chiropodists were an unregulated profession and, with the decision to register all approved practitioners, the term was changed to avoid confusion. Your podiatrist can do all of the things that the chiropodist had done in the past. Podiatrists also treat biomechanical complaints by use of orthotic devices / orthotics / arch supports.