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What is a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon or podiatrist?

Podiatry is a field of medicine that strives to improve the overall health and well-being of patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosis, and treating conditions associated with the foot and ankle. Foot and ankle surgeons are the surgical specialists of the podiatric profession. Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPMs) are physicians and surgeons who practice on the lower extremities, primarily feet and ankles as well as their associated structures.

Following their undergraduate education, foot and ankle surgeons graduate from accredited U.S. podiatric medical schools and complete surgical residency programs of up to four years. All FAANT physicians are members of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgery. Fellows of ACFAS are certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, the board for foot and ankle surgery recognized by the Joint Committee on the Recognition of Specialty Boards. Foot and ankle surgeons provide comprehensive medical and surgical care for a wide variety of foot and ankle conditions including common to complex disorders and injuries that affect people of all ages.

Podiatric foot and ankle surgeons are uniquely qualified to detect the early stages of diseases that exhibit warning signs in the lower extremities, such as diabetes, arthritis and cardiovascular disease, and manage foot conditions which may pose an ongoing threat to a patient's overall health.