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Australian podiatrist interested in working in Spain

Discussion in 'Español' started by ancika, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. ancika

    ancika Welcome New Poster

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    Hi all,

    I hope you will excuse me for writing in English as my Spanish (at the moment) is quite terrible.

    I've been a podiatrist for 4 years now, mostly working in a high risk foot clinic but also doing a considerable amount of private practice work.

    My dream would be to live and work in Spain for a little while but taking into consideration the current state of the country how possible would this be? i.e. are there many jobs out there for podiatrists? especially for those whose Spanish is quite poor :)
    Also my degree is from an Australian university and I am not sure if it would be valid in Spain as it is only a 4 year bachelor degree without a degree in medicine (we do not perform surgeries).

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Muchas gracias

  2. pgeetee

    pgeetee Welcome New Poster

    At present, I have found out that UK Foot Health Practitioners, insured through the Alliance of Private Sector Practitioners are insured to practice in Spain. This is of course in the private sector, if you are prepared to set up and go it alone. I do not know about the Public Health qualifications re Podiatrists.
    It is fair to assume you will find fairly large concentrations of UK and European expats in certain areas , however, the economy has slashed the value of their disposable income.

    I have always received a positive reaction form expats when I was over their on holiday, but you need to do your research - of course.

    Best of luck
  3. Jose Antonio Teatino

    Jose Antonio Teatino Well-Known Member

    First you must validate your diploma to be processed in a Spanish university to form Podiatrists
  4. javier

    javier Senior Member

    This information comes mainly from the article "Podiatry in Spain" published in the journal Podiatry Now (Sep-Oct 2006).

    Regarding your questions (podiatry is called podology in Spain, thus podiatrists are podologists):

    Podology is mainly based in private practice. Most Podologists work in their own offices, in nursing homes and or in group practices. Podology is not included on the Public Health Service. Although, two autonomous communities (Spain is divided in 17 autonomous communities), Andalucia and Asturias, have created Podiatry services for treating diabetic population through their own public health networks. There only a handful of hospitals (both public and private) that include specialist podiatry services for treating the growing diabetic population.

    Private insurance usually covers routine foot care, but there are an increasing number of podiatric procedures covered by some insurance (mainly surgical procedures). Foot orthoses are not covered by public or private health networks, although some private plans offer some kind of reimbursement policies.


    In 1988, a superior degree in Podology was approved and the course was extended to a full time 3 year format to achieve the “Diplomado en Podologia” (today is 4 years to achive the "Grado en Podologia"). Practitioners who qualified under the two year system were required to pursue a conversion course to meet the new standards. Essentially, unlike the UK at this time, there was only one nationally available course in Podology.

    Currently there are eleven Spanish Universities that offer the Diploma de Podologia. Some of them are in the public sector, others private. The average of annual cohort being around 50 students from every University thus, there is currently no shortage of Podiatrists in Spain - for a country with a population of 40 million there are around 5000 Podiatrists.

    The undergraduate course covers similar subjects as in the UK: general podiatry, biomechanics, orthotics, pharmacology, surgery, anatomy and biochemistry, etc. Like all health studies, Podology is mainly practical with a large amount of time devoted to practical and clinical skills. Under current legislation, all Podology Schools must have an in-house podiatric clinic for clinical training purposes. The misuse of the official title whilst studying Podology is a serious offence, that can carry a large fine and up to two years of imprisonment. Postgraduate training and opportunities are also available - surgery, biomechanics and diabetic foot management courses are popular being run by Universities and professional organizations.

    Scope of practice

    Like the UK, Podologists in Spain are allowed to treat all kind of foot conditions and to prescribe foot orthoses and other devices to correct foot alignment and biomechanical malalignments. Many practitioners make their own orthoses, but its manufacturing is strictly regulated by an Act based on Medical Device Directive (93/42/EEC). The main contrast between the UK and Spain is the scope of surgical practice and prescription rights. Podologists are permitted to perform any kind of surgical procedure - rearfoot and forefoot but practitioners are not allowed to perform any type of foot amputation. Podologists in Spain can prescribe drugs related to foot conditions.

    Practising in Spain for foreign graduates

    You need to:

    1. Convalidated your diploma at the Education Ministery in Madrid

    2. Join as member with the local Podology Association or Colegio Profesional where you will be practicing. All Professional bodies are regulated by law in Spain - they are called Colegios Profesionales (Professional Colleges). There are seventeen professional Colleges of Podology in Spain (one for every autonomous community). There is also a General Council of Professionals Colleges of Podology where every local college is represented. It is mandatory that every Podologist to be registered with their local professional college to practice.

    3. Register as an independent contractor with the tax agency if you will be working for your own.

    4. If you will open your own surgery, you have to ask for a licence.
  5. Kralizec

    Kralizec Member

    Well, other people will know more about this than I do (I'm just a student), but we're allowed by law to perform minor (type I) surgery of the foot. This means that we can perform any surgery that fulfills these requirements:
    -It's performed on the foot (duh!).
    -It's performed following a regulated set of techniques oriented to treatment of certain affections (i.e.: described in literature, both the technique itself and whatever it tries to accomplish)
    -Under local anaesthetics.
    -Ambulatory (the patient can walk back home).
    -Without coexistent medical risk factors.
    -Usually not requiring post-surgical reanimation.
    -Doesn't need any special post-surgical measures (i.e.: a drainage bag).

    Also, here's an attempt by the General Council of Official Podologist Colleges to provide a unified podiatric surgery protocol, so you can see the kinds of surgeries we have available.
  6. javier

    javier Senior Member

    Also, I recommend you to check about our recent macro-economic and financial market data before moving here. Mainly, unemployment rate:

    EAPS. Unemployment rate (%) 3Q/11 21.52

  7. ancika

    ancika Welcome New Poster

    Hi all

    thank you very much for all your replied. It's certainly given me a lot to think about and plenty of research to do :)
    Even though it seems slightly complicated and a bit of work, I still haven't given up on my dream.
    Who knows maybe I will be writing to you in Spanish in the near future :)


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