What is a Podiatrist?
Louisiana state law defines "Podiatry" as that profession of the health sciences which deals with the prevention, examination, diagnosis, medical, surgical, and adjuvant treatment of the human foot. Podiatry may also include treatment of the ankle, muscles, or tendons of the lower leg governing the functions of the foot and ankle, by a podiatrist who has completed advanced training determined to be sufficient by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners (LSBME) at a program accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting association acceptable by the board.
Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) treatments may include palliative care, biomechanical modalities, surgical interventions, and the prescription of physical therapy as well as both topical and oral medications. Common conditions recognized include heel and arch pain, sports injuries, painful bunions, hammertoe, and flatfoot deformities, ingrown/infected nails, skin conditions and fracture care of the foot and ankle. DPMs are also highly regarded as frontline providers in patients requiring diabetic foot management, wound care, and limb salvage. Emphasis is placed on a multi-disciplinary approach to patient care, as Podiatrists work closely with Primary Care Physicians, Vascular Surgeons, Infectious Disease Specialists, and Orthopaedic and Plastic Surgeons.
Furthermore, any person who wishes to obtain a license to practice podiatry in Louisiana must be at least twenty-one years of age, be a citizen of the United States, and be of good moral character. They will have devoted much time, energy, and money in order to be able to present to the board a diploma or certificate of graduation from a college of podiatric medicine approved by the LSBME, completed a minimum of one year in a post graduation (residency) training program accredited by the Council of Podiatric Medical Education of the American Podiatric Medical Association and approved by the board, and passed an examination from the board that shall be written, oral, or clinical or any combination thereof as determined by the board.