Difference between podiatrist and chiropodist
Podiatrist vs chiropodist:
Medicine is quite a vast field which due to this very reason is divided in to many subcategories. Podiatry is one such category which pertains to the diagnosis and the treatment of disorders of the lower leg area. However, while podiatry dates back as far as 2400 BC as depicted in carvings on Ankmahor’s tomb in Egypt, the term podiatrist came in to being in the 20th century while up until then, professionals who looked in to lower leg problems were known as chiropodists all over the world.
Who is a podiatrist?
A podiatrist is technically a professional who provides diagnosis regarding problems of the lower leg area such as the ankle and the foot and prescribes treatment according to the condition. It is a term which became known in the 20th century in the United States for individuals who practice in that field and thereby, podiatry remains as a separate branch of medicine in itself.
Who is a chiropodist?
A chiropodist is a term which was used to refer to professionals who performed diagnosis and treatment to problems regarding the lower leg region before the turn of the 20th century. Chiropodists were separate from the organized field of medicine until then who were licensed only to perform such treatments.
What is the difference between chiropodist and podiatrist?
While podiatrist is a term that was introduced in the 20th century America, chiropodists existed from as far as 2400 BC as conveyed by ancient carvings which have been discovered during excavations. However, podiatry refers to the diagnosis and treatment of the lower leg area such as the ankle and the foot. Chiropodist is the term that was used to refer to such individuals practicing this science right up to the 20th century when the term podiatrist was introduced to the world.
It was Hippocrates who first introduced cones and calluses which occur on foot and thus the need to physically reduce the skin. Therefore, skin scrapers, now known as scalpels which are commonly used by podiatrists nowadays were invented for this purpose. Thereby, the roots of podiatry can be traced down as far as the ancient Greek civilization when the many diseases related to feet were given their names, definitions and the various treatments that can be prescribed to get rid of them.
Before being known as podiatrists, chiropodists were independently licenced practitioners who were entrusted with the care of feet. It was Lewis Durlacher, Surgeon-Chiropodist to King George IV, King William IV and Queen Victoria who first referred to it as a protected profession. The first association of chiropodists were attempted to be established by him in 1854 but it did not come to pass until a another century later in 1895 when such a society was inaugurated in New York and still operates under the name New York State Podiatric Medical Association (NYSPMA).
In United States, care of the foot and the lower leg is provided by podiatrists and orthopedists. In order to be qualified as a podiatrist, one needs to complete four years of studies at a podiatric medical school, followed by two standard residencies known as Podiatric Medicine & Surgery 24 and Podiatric Medicine & Surgery 36 (PM&S 24 or PM&S 36) which will cover areas such as emergency medicine, internal medicine, infectious disease, behavioral medicine, physical medicine & rehabilitation, vascular surgery, general surgery, orthopedic surgery, plastic surgery, dermatology and both clinical and surgical podiatry.
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