Education of Podiatrists in British Columbia
What are the requirements to become a podiatrist in British Columbia and what level of medical training do podiatrists receive?Podiatry is a branch of medicine devoted to the study of diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle, and lower extremity. It is a four year post-graduate medical degree and graduates are awarded a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree.
Applicants can choose from nine schools in the United States. There are no accredited DPM degrees available in Canada. Podiatrists entering into practice in BC are now required to have at least two years of post-DPM residency-level training. US residencies are now three years in duration and residents become proficient in performing elective foot surgeries such as bunions and hammertoes, and partial foot amputations for patients with bone infection caused by diabetes.
The ankle is also within the scope of practice in most US states. Podiatry residents rotate through anesthesia, radiology, internal medicine, pathology, and other surgical specialties such as orthopedics and plastics. If you have foot, ankle or knee pain while standing or walking, podiatrists specialize in evaluating the gait cycle and can improve your overall mechanics. No referral is required to see a podiatrist in BC.