PODIATRY, or Podiatric Medicine, is a field of study dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle, and lower extremity. Podiatrists may perform surgery, prescribe medications, interpret radiographs, treat fractures, fit orthotics (e.g. insoles and custom-made shoes), and perform physical therapy. To become a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), a candidate must first complete an undergraduate curriculum followed by four years of graduate education at one of nine accredited podiatric schools in the United States. Upon completion, graduates undertake a 3-year residency in order to become competent in Podiatric Surgery and to be eligible for certification by the American Board of Podiatric Medicine (ABPM) or the American Board of Foot & Ankle Surgery (ABFAS). Podiatrists treat a broad spectrum of non-surgical issues, though they also perform reconstructive and microsurgical procedures on the foot and ankle. Podiatrists also treat fractures and sports-related injuries in addition to prescribing orthotics, prosthetics, and physical therapy. Podiatrists can also specialize in a range of areas including wound care, pediatrics, diabetic foot care, sports medicine, and surgery. As a result, Podiatrists treat disorders ranging from common bunions to complex infections of the diabetic foot.
The field of Podiatry shares some commonality with General Orthopedic Surgery and Foot & Ankle Surgery. These latter fields are practiced by medical doctors (M.D.s) who complete four years of medical school followed by an extended residency in Orthopedics, often with additional fellowship training. Despite the protracted duration of M.D. education, Podiatrists and Orthopedic Surgeons share a great deal in common in terms of isolated foot and ankle care.
Podiatry expert witnesses are required in a range of scenarios in medical malpractice litigation. Issues may involve standard of care (e.g. failure to diagnose) as well as analyzing issues of harm and causation related to delayed diagnosis or improper treatment. Elite thrives on these tough situations and has an extensive record of success in complex Podiatry litigation and consulting.