Who practices podopaediatrics?

Podiatry has branched out into specialties that address the needs of particular groups of people who most benefit from podiatric care. For example, podiatric surgeons are those who are qualified and trained extensively in the area of foot surgery, while podopaediatricians are podiatrists who have devoted their efforts to the field of child care.

Qualifying for podopaediatrics

Treating children is very different to treating adults, and as such specialist training is needed to ensure that podiatrists are able to deliver high standards of care. Children, for example, are less able to articulate the specifics of their complaints than adults, and as such approaches to diagnosing their foot problems need to be adapted. Many podopaediatricians will garner information about a child’s particular condition through observation, by watching how they move (the body naturally adjusts how it moves in response to pain or discomfort).

To practice podopaediatrics in the UK an individual must first qualify as a podiatrist. To do so, he or she will need to attend one of about a dozen recognised Schools of Podiatry in the UK, each of which runs an HPC (Health and Care Professions Council)  approved course split into clinical and theoretical modules. Once all the requirements for the degree have been met, a student can qualify as a podiatrist, and upon registration with the HPC, he or she can begin practicing general podiatry.

To practice podopaediatrics a qualified podiatrist must further train in the field of podopaediatrics, which would include a CPD (Continuous Professional Development) course in the field. Such a course would need to be recognised by the HPC and usually by another podiatric association like The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (SCP). The SCP makes such courses readily available, and so is a good source for any budding podopaediatrician.

A specialist course is needed to practice podopaediatrics because the care, treatment and management of the lower limbs of children is quite different to the practice of podiatry in adults. By specialising in the area, a podiatrist is better able to deliver high quality podiatric care, and thereby protect children from long term damage to their feet and gait.

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