Foot care seems to have been one of humankind's
primary concerns for as long as records exist. About 1500 B.C., foot
care remedies were listed on papyrus in Egypt. The early Greek
physicians Hippocrates and Galen wrote extensively of foot care.
Over the centuries knowledge spread, and in 1774 a
physician opened an office in London to specialize in problems of the
feet. In 1840 the first podiatric office opened in Boston. Abraham
Lincoln had his tired feet treated by one of the pioneers in the field.
In 1895, New York became the first state to pass
licensing laws for podiatrists, and now podiatric medicine is a licensed
profession in all 50 states and throughout the world.
Great strides have been made, and now there are
seven colleges of podiatric medicine in the United States. Prior to
admission to the four-year course in any of these colleges of podiatric
medicine, the applicant must meet requirements identical to those of
traditional medical schools. A minimum of three years of pre-medical
study at an accredited college or university, and a satisfactory score
on the medical college admissions test are required. More than 90% of
students who enter a college of podiatric medicine have a baccalaureate
degree or higher.
The four-year podiatric colleges provide a general
medical curriculum parallel to that of traditional medical schools, but
with special emphasis on the lower extremity. The more than 4,000 hours
of instruction concentrate on the basic sciences during the first two
years, and on clinical training and practice during the final two years.
Among the required courses are anatomy, physiology,
biochemistry, pharmacology, biomechanics, microbiology, pathology,
general and podiatric surgery, and general and podiatric medicine, in
addition to specific courses related to clinical practice.
Much of the study during the final two years is
accomplished in the college clinics, allied clinical programs,
affiliated teaching hospitals and private offices. Here the student
learns first-hand about podiatric medicine and surgery and its relation
to the general health, well being, and emergency care of patients.
Graduates earn the degree of Doctor of Podiatric
Medicine, or DPM. The majority of graduates from colleges of podiatric
medicine continue their training in residency programs that last from
one to four years. These are usually carried out in teaching hospitals,
and include training and experience in such fields as emergency
services, anesthesiology, radiology, general medicine, pathology,
general surgery, and podiatric surgery, as well as pediatrics,
dermatology, neurology, orthopedics, physical medicine and
Continuing education courses highlighting new
developments in the profession also are required for license renewal in
Can a podiatrist help you? We make it easy to find
out. Here's how....
The physicians and staff of the A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Centers
maintain two complete podiatric clinical facilities and provide
24-hour emergency service. We participate in most health plans including
Blue Cross / Blue Shield, Medicare, and Medicaid. We complete and file
all necessary insurance forms and make every effort to assure you of
maximum benefits with minimum out-of-pocket expense.
You are invited to make an appointment today to relieve your foot
problems by calling us at 970-493-4660 or 970-667-0769.