No. Although many patients are referred by their physician, a referral is not necessary. You can simply contact a podiatrist's office directly and make an appointment at your convenience.
How often you go visit your podiatrist depends on your needs. The goal is to catch small problems early. If you are a diabetic, you should see your podiatrist twice a year for checkups. Any time you experience sore feet or pain, you should consider seeing a podiatrist. Guidelines are the same as dental care or eye care: visits should be once a year.
Podiatric medicine is not included in the Canada Health Act.
Many private insurance companies include podiatric services in their coverage. Please check with your individual insurance company to find out if you are covered.
Podiatry is a medical treatment, not a cosmetic service. After treatment, however, the feet will often look so much better, and feel more comfortable as well.
A podiatrist is a health professional who deals with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of medical and surgical conditions of the feet and lower limbs. He or she provides a medical service for the feet and foot related conditions. A podiatrist has skills in general foot treatments but may have developed particular specialisms in nail surgery, biomechanical assessments, posture or treatment for pathologies such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, hammertoes, flat feet, fungal nails and more.
All students studying Podiatric Medicine have a Bachelor of Science or higher degree. The podiatry curriculum spans four years at an accredited College (in the USA) or University (in Canada) of Podiatric Medicine. Students study courses in all basic medical sciences. In the final two years, emphasis is placed on disorders affecting the foot and ankle and their various types of treatment. These courses are coordinated with clinical training in various university teaching hospitals. Upon completion, graduates obtain their "Doctor of Podiatric Medicine" (D.P.M.) degree. Comprehensive Board exams must then be passed before being licensed to practice.
A Podiatrist treats and diagnoses injuries, deformities, malformations and foot lesions. He prescribes medication, orthotics and performs various minor surgeries. In Quebec, he must obtain a DPM, Doctor in Podiatric Medecin and have a practice permit delivered by the Order of Podiatry of Quebec (OPQ).
An Orthotist fabricates, modifies, adjusts, and repairs orthotics prescribed by a health professional, such as a Doctor or Podiatrist. He is a technician having a 3-year college degree and may be a member of the Ordre des technologues professionnels du Québec, but membership is not mandatory.
My goodness you are efficient. I look forward to our next visit. The bandage on my foot feels great and I do have my running shoes on!
— ESTELLE LIARD
At age 60, thanks for the inserts prescribed by Dr. Malik, I have been able to tour Europe with no pain in my feet or hips.
— CAROLYN HELTNE
Don't "walk" away from your foot pain, "run" to see Dr Malik. Her excellent diagnostic skills and wonderful bedside manner will assure you the best of care.
— JEAN HARRISON