Sep 3, 2012
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I'm not bashing podiatry, just an honest question. Why would a patient who had skin problems on the foot go to a podiatrist over a dermatologist? Although, I understand some patients just associate foot problems with podiatrists. So, let's assume that this patient knew that it was a skin problem.
 

heybrother

7+ Year Member
Oct 17, 2011
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Patients see physicians for all sorts of reasons. They were able to get an appointment at the time and date they wanted. Another doctor referred them. They couldn't go directly a specialist because of their insurance and the FP sends all his foot patients to a podiatrist. They had prior experience with the doctor and think positively of him/her. The doctor was located conveniently for them. The person associates foot problems with seeing a podiatrist. A friend had a positive experience with the doctor. Their insurance pointed them in that direction. The dermatologist sent them to the podiatrist. An advertisement for help with any foot problem stuck out in their mind.

All valid reasons and none of them touching on the podiatry inferiority complex. Non-medical people don't know what a big deal dermatologists are. Some people out there think highly of DPMs. Consider yourself fortunate to have had great podiatrists come before you and open doors.
 

feet2017

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Oct 16, 2012
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I think this is the same as whether to just go see a np or see a pcp for the flu shot. Regardless you are going to get a shot from the nurse, so why go see a pcp in the first place. Some people just feel more comfortable with one option over the other.
 

pacpod

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Patients see physicians for all sorts of reasons. They were able to get an appointment at the time and date they wanted. Another doctor referred them. They couldn't go directly a specialist because of their insurance and the FP sends all his foot patients to a podiatrist. They had prior experience with the doctor and think positively of him/her. The doctor was located conveniently for them. The person associates foot problems with seeing a podiatrist. A friend had a positive experience with the doctor. Their insurance pointed them in that direction. The dermatologist sent them to the podiatrist. An advertisement for help with any foot problem stuck out in their mind.

All valid reasons and none of them touching on the podiatry inferiority complex. Non-medical people don't know what a big deal dermatologists are. Some people out there think highly of DPMs. Consider yourself fortunate to have had great podiatrists come before you and open doors.
:thumbup: :thumbup:

I'm not sure about the insurance company situation. They would probably tell them to just rub some dirt on it. ;)
 
D

dyk343

I've seen several patients who were referred by a dermatologist to the podiatry clinic/office I was working at. I dont think some of them like to deal with foot problems.
 

AttackNME

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Feb 22, 2007
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My understanding is that there is an overlap, there are easy derm stuff on the feet that we can treat comfortably like warts and athlete's foot, but more complicated skin conditions like bullous pemphigoid and psoriasis might require you make a referral depending on how comfortable you are with managing those conditions and how bad the symptoms are. On the flipside, there are plenty of foot issues that other specialists encounter and can treat depending on how comfortable they are but will make the referral to us if it is too complicated for them.
 

PADPM

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My understanding is that there is an overlap, there are easy derm stuff on the feet that we can treat comfortably like warts and athlete's foot, but more complicated skin conditions like bullous pemphigoid and psoriasis might require you make a referral depending on how comfortable you are with managing those conditions and how bad the symptoms are. On the flipside, there are plenty of foot issues that other specialists encounter and can treat depending on how comfortable they are but will make the referral to us if it is too complicated for them.
I'm not sure I would agree that some dermatological problems are "too complicated". However, if a doc can put his/her ego aside, it's often best sending to another specialist such as a dermatologist if the doctor being referred to has more experience or expertise with the pathology. The bottom line is that you must do what is best for the patient.

If there is a condition that I've diagnosed and have only seen or treated it once, I will defer to the specialist who has the true expertise. When I send a patient to a specialist, I will usually seek out the one who may specialize in the pathology being treated.

It's not about being too complicated, it's about utilizing the experts in the given field when appropriate.
 

PADPM

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Patients see physicians for all sorts of reasons. They were able to get an appointment at the time and date they wanted. Another doctor referred them. They couldn't go directly a specialist because of their insurance and the FP sends all his foot patients to a podiatrist. They had prior experience with the doctor and think positively of him/her. The doctor was located conveniently for them. The person associates foot problems with seeing a podiatrist. A friend had a positive experience with the doctor. Their insurance pointed them in that direction. The dermatologist sent them to the podiatrist. An advertisement for help with any foot problem stuck out in their mind.

All valid reasons and none of them touching on the podiatry inferiority complex. Non-medical people don't know what a big deal dermatologists are. Some people out there think highly of DPMs. Consider yourself fortunate to have had great podiatrists come before you and open doors.
Well stated.
 
Apr 17, 2011
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Pre-Podiatry
Diabetics are notorious for foot ulcers, they often do not even realize the severity of the ulcer or that they may have one on the bottom of their foot. Many diabetic patients will already have relationships with a podiatrist should they need attention for treatment of an ulcer and I suppose it is an easy decision for them to return to that doctor.

I would also assume that GP's and FP's would refer a foot related ulcer to a podiatrist over a dermatologist should they need to, sometimes it won't be the patient choosing the specialist but their primary doc choosing it for them.

^^ did not realize the post above mine pretty much states clearly everything I mentioned.