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Podiatry specialization before DPM?

Discussion in 'Podiatry Students' started by hijinxx7, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. hijinxx7

    hijinxx7 Junior Member
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    Hi guys,

    I was just wondering a litlte on the history of podiatry. Before Podiatry schools came about in the US and the DPM designation, how did one specialize in podiatry?

    Is it true that they needed to become MDs and then specialize for another 4 years?

    Thanks
     
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  3. Podman

    Podman Senior Member
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    No not at all actually. On the contrary to this misconception, podiatrists historically in the US were trained Chiropidists. I can't recall when exactly the Chiropidist designation was replaced by the current podiatrist - but this was no earlier than 4 decades ago. The chiropidy schools evolved over time and continued to expand their curriculum with more scientific basic-science emphasis which strengthened the clinical capabilities of their graduates. Most of the older DPM schools at the moment started off as chiropidy schools - these include Ohio, New York, and Temple (foremerly the pennsylvania school of podiatric medicine).

    The progression has always been from smaller scoped chiropidy to more medically emphasized and surgically trained podiatrists. There is no documentation anywhere that would indicate that chiropidists (podiatrists) were MD specialists before opening the chiropidy/podiatry schools in the US. However, it is very possible that the services provided by the chiropidists were actually performed by MDs. As a matter of fact, till this very day, quite a few of our "routine" services are still performed by MD's/DO's and from time to time NP's and RN's.
     
  4. mrfeet

    mrfeet Senior Member
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    One of the most notable examples of an MD which specialized in podiatry was William M. Scholl. However, even when Scholl founded the Illinois School of Chiropody in 1912, his students were trained as chiropodists and not as MD's, even though Scholl held the MD degree.

    Scholl himself never actually practiced medicine, but spent the bulk of his life improving foot wear and care (as he was a former shoe salesman). And, ofcourse, today millions of people throughout the world benefit from this company, "Dr. Scholl's."
     
  5. Dr_Feelgood

    Dr_Feelgood Guest
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    This is an arguable statement. Of the patients I've seen, many of them have used this line of products and found them extremely lacking.
     
  6. Dr_Feelgood

    Dr_Feelgood Guest
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    I do think that some of our struggles today arise from the history of podiatry. While chiropody was an honest practice, many chiropodists were traveling "snake oil" salesmen. They seemed to be a band of gypsies more than health care providers. This lead to a cautious feeling by the physicians of the day. Again, there were many honest and important chiropodists but it is always the squeaky wheel.

    Also, chiropodists worked on both the hands and feet.
     
  7. Podman

    Podman Senior Member
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    I agree and I think the apprehension of some physicians in dealing or working with "old school" chiropidists is well founded for the reasons you mentioned.

    What really bothers me is the fact that the chiropidy definition and scope of both hands and feet still stands in a few of our states. Although as podiatrists we are more than capable of removing warts from hands (as an example), I don't think it helps our profession as a whole when patients see DPMs removing hand-warts which would add more confusion than necessary to the general public - I really believe we need a uniform push as professionals to inform and educate the public and other healthcare practitioners about our profession and uniform scope of specialty - Lower extremity (foot and ankle).
     
  8. Podman

    Podman Senior Member
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    If I may also add another comment regarding Feelgood's observation pertaining to the struggles of our profession which stem from our past (chiropidy). Of course, I agree with a large extent with that notion. I also believe that it is the reluctance of our profession AS A WHOLE to progress forward and conform into a medical specialty - some were more than satisfied doing what they were doing while others were more ambitious and wanted the benefit of the profession as a whole. Of course, the fact that we were a small profession to begin with (in terms of population), gaining any form of strides or achievements as a profession was even more difficult. Our story is similar in many ways to the movement of DO's and their struggles - For that I really believe that we can truly gain strides in the future with the retirement of "old schoolers" and uniformity of our training and voices.

    Of course, when I say gaining strides similar to DO's - I don't mean having DPM's performing open heart surgeries but rather establishing ourselves as a fully recognized, uniform, and exclusive specialty for treating Lower extremity conditions.
     
  9. Dr_Feelgood

    Dr_Feelgood Guest
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    :thumbup: Well stated.
     

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