A podiatrist is a university-trained, registered healthcare professional, and a key member of the allied health workforce. Podiatrists are responsible for the diagnosis and management of disorders, injuries and pain affecting the foot, ankle and lower limbs.

Podiatrists are one of the few allied health professionals who can work with an advanced scope of practice, such as prescribing medicines as an endorsed prescriber and performing surgical procedures as a podiatric surgeon.

What does a podiatrist do?

Conditions managed by podiatrists include sports and musculoskeletal disorders, injuries, growth and development conditions, chronic diseases such as arthritis, dermatological pathologies and neurological disease.

Podiatrists use a combination of medical, surgical and rehabilitation techniques to provide personalized care to alleviate pain, restore mobility and improve a person’s quality of life.

Podiatrists have a hands-on approach and a broad range of skills to use equipment and technology for gait analysis, diagnosis, therapy, injection techniques and surgery.

Podiatrists can independently request radiological imaging, administer local anaesthetic drugs and perform minor surgical procedures.


Who can a podiatrist help?

Podiatrists help people at all stages of life from both to old age. A podiatrist working within a paediatric scope will work with babies, children and adolescents through their developmental years. Some podiatrists develop specific skills that focus on exercise and sports-related injuries.

Podiatrists are essential members of the healthcare team, caring for people with chronic diseases.

Where do podiatrists work?

Podiatrists work across all areas of the health sector; in private practice, community health services, hospitals, rural and remote outreach clinics, rehabilitation, residential aged care, disability sector and in people’s own homes. They also work in sporting clubs and gyms, in management and leadership roles, as university educators and in research roles, and also in the corporate sector such as footwear companies.

What is a podiatrist patient information
An APodA member resource © Australian Podiatry Association 2023