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Best country to work as a Podiatrist

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by phil s, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. phil s

    phil s Active Member

    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    Having trained in the UK and currently working in eastern Canada. I was instantly given a very varied and rewarding case load of patients to treat/manage. I know that most of my fellow graduates ,be it private/NHS, are only likely to see the more 'basic' problems/conditions for some time to come. I was wondering how other countries compare? Australia NZ South Africa UAE Singapore
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  2. Here in the United States, podiatrists have the title of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. Our patients all call us doctor. We order and perform x-rays and fluoroscopy and diagnostic ultrasound. We order MRI, CT scans, bone scans, white blood cell scans, blood and urine tests, and order bacteria and fungus tests. We do all types of foot and ankle surgery, perform amputations, give injections, prescribe any medication pertaining to foot and ankle surgery and/or foot pain and work side by side, in many instances, with orthopedic surgeons and other surgical specialists.

    From my travels around the world, if you want to have the broadest scope of practice and have the greatest respect from other physicians within the medical community, then the podiatry profession of the United States certainly should be ranked at or near the top. However, if scope of practice, surgical specialization and respect from physicians isn't that important to you, then probably it is best to be practicing podiatry in a country other than the US.
  3. phil s

    phil s Active Member

    Thanks. I had already differentiated US Pods as being on another separate level: hence not listing them. Perhaps Podiatrist/Chiropodist would have been more appropriate.
  4. simonf

    simonf Active Member

    Working as a podiatrist in the UK I can do almost all of the above, I am limited in terms of meds prescribing. I am often referred to as doctor by patients, but have to correct them continuously

    When I worked in Canada, my professional title was doctor of podiatric medicine, however my scope was limited to non invasive treatment by local legislation, and I was not able to directly refer for diagnostic tests.

    Interestingly my income was about the same in both roles (slightly higher in the UK but mot massively so)
  5. G Flanagan

    G Flanagan Active Member

    As Simon has already intimated. Dr Kirby's non exhaustive list is no different to our scope of practice here in the UK, apart from the prescription rights issue. Which should soon be negated now independent Rx for Pods is here.

    Phil, out of interest, how long did you spend in UK NHS practice? As your knowledge of the scope of practice of UK Pods seems rather dated.

  6. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    I have never worked in any country but the UK, although I have seen practice in the USA and Auss. However, the answer to the question is that the best country to work in is the one that gives you the better quality of life and the most professional satisfaction. Personally, I have really enjoyed playing my part in pushing the profession forward in the UK from where it was in the 70's to the position outlined by Simon and George. We are fortunate here, in that in terms of surgery 'Mr.' is senior to 'Dr.'

    All the best

  7. G Flanagan

    G Flanagan Active Member

    as an addendum;

    One could argue (particularly in the field of foot & ankle surgery) we have a slight advantage over our US counterparts as we are able to perform our own H+P's and have 'foot & associated structures' as our surgical scope of practice thus including ankle.

    Both of which are contentious issues from state to state in the US

  8. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    I am sure i have this before. When I was a kid, one of Dad's colleagues was an orthopod called Cyril Cregan. when he came into hospital, and was was called "Mister" by the nursing staff, they left you in no doubt about his real status. Mr, Dr, Who gives a flying F*** - at the end of the day, the patient knows what matters. When I had my hand operated on a couple of years ago, not a single member of the medical staff used the title "Doctor". A bit of get real is required here, I think.
  9. phil s

    phil s Active Member

    Hi George. I am a recent grad.My initial post made reference to the scope of patient caseloads I have taken on just after graduation. In discussion with all my fellow grads that have stayed in the UK, they seem to be only allowed to manage low-risk and basic care: and from there outlook they think this may be the case for the next few years. A few fellow grads feel they are being kept down by the specialists/superiors because the want to protect/keep there own jobs. I am wanting to plan where my future will be best developed for myself and my patients. I am fully aware that NHS podiatry services has allowed pods to specialize. Please don't read my posts as antagonistic: I am genuinely wanting to be the best podiatrist I can be. But my concern is that I want to be supported and not held down by my fellow pods and I am willing the end up in the country that best serves this.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  10. phil s

    phil s Active Member

    It seems like this post is going to descend into a silly "Dr" "Mr" argument. If anyone has some friendly advice please message me. Thank you.
  11. simonf

    simonf Active Member


    I didn't really answer your post earlier, I was just responding to one of kevins comments.

    It's quite a long time since I was a new grad and the world is a different place. I was lucky enough to be in the NHS as a new grad at a time of massive widening of the scope of practice, and development for the UK profession. I was lucky to work in a variety of specialist areas, including biomechanics, diabetic care, mental health and minor surgery, I even spent a few years running a session in A&E.

    I found myself as one of the early grads of the SCP surgical training program. The NHS has been good to me, but I can see that the opportunities I had may not be so easy to get these days.

    I found Canadian private practice interesting, and for the most part found it engaging, although having been used to wide scope of practice I had some frustration that I could not offer patients all my skills. If you are after a work life balance, then I would suggest you are in a decent place, most canadian pods that I know make a nice living and if you develop your skills and demonstrate these you will command respect from patients and fellow professionals.
  12. myFootDr Singapore

    myFootDr Singapore Welcome New Poster

    Hey there Phil,

    Singapore is actually an awesome place to work if you are after a great podiatry gig in Asia. Singapore is easy Asia. You get the perks of living in an established economy, shopping mecca of Asia, high pay scale, but you are close enough to the likes of Indonesia (Bali), Thailand, Vietnam etc. Ive been in Asia almost 10yrs now and worked all over Asia as a pod. Living in Singapore allows you to work and travel all at the same time. some really good weekend trips out of town. plus its close to Japan if you love your snowboarding. awesome powder in Niseko. Singapore is one of the cleanest cities in the world and if it isn't the safest, it has to be up there with the top 3 safest places to live in the world. From a podiatry perspective, in my clinic, we have a huge focus on sports medicine. We still do some PNA's/TNA's, wound care and the other general podiatry, but the majority of what i do is sports medicine and second would be paediatrics. anything ranging from tip toe walker to intoeing. When i say sports medicine as well, i don't just mean orthotics. we focus on the rehab side of things too. i have our clinic filled to the brim with rehab equipment ranging from a TRX to a mini trampoline and bosu ball and agility ladders through to simple theraband. We take patients from acute injury/post surgery through to full participation in their chosen sport/s. We incorporate orthotic therapy, functional exercise, rehab (anything from mobilisations/manipulations/soft tissue work/dry needling/exercises etc) through to actually teaching running technique one on one/or groups at the local running track. In our clinic we also do bike fittings, video bike analysis and orthotics designed just for cyclists. We also have tremendous respect from our medical colleagues. We receive referrals from physios, chiros, orthos, naturopaths, gp's, endocrinologists, osteopaths...the list goes on. We work closely with them as well to ensure each patient is treated as part of a team. We can also refer for Xray, U/S, MRI etc. So from a satisfaction perspective, we have a broad scope of practice to offer, but for the sports orientated pod...we can teach them lots too. Because of the demand for our services we can't actually keep up, we are currently looking for good podiatrists to joint our my FootDr Singapore team. Feel free to contact me if you need more info on Singapore/Asia Phil or if you know anyone looking for a podiatry gig, my email is: matt.herd@myfootdr.com.sg

  13. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    Wherever you practice and whatever you wish for, it will not be handed to you on a plate. Kevin has outlined the advantages in the USA, as he sees them. However, should you wish to practice in the States then you will have to attend a school of Pod there. When you have qualified, if you desire to deal with advanced practice then you will have to become Board certified - and that is very competitive. In the UK, should you wish to carry out surgery, then you will have to take the appropriate course relating to the MSc. and then find a Consultant willing to take you on for your housemanship (titles may have changed). That process is inevitably very competitive. Having completed that, you will then need to work as a registrar until you have created your Consultancy. I am sure that much the same appertains in Auss. and probably anywhere else, and certainly is the case in medicine in the UK.

    I suspect that 'discussion with your fellow grads' reflects their beliefs at an emotional rather than a factual level. If you genuinely desire to achieve something, and are willing to devote your life to it, then you will achieve it. However, it will take many years of sacrifice and hard and unrelenting work. If anyone tells you otherwise then please treat their comment as uninformed.

    I wish you the best of luck but repeat my advice. Go wherever you feel comfortable.

    Bill Liggins
  14. DrBob

    DrBob Active Member

    How brilliant to read Matt Herd's post! I take my hat off to the Ozzys, in my experience (quite a lot in Australia) they know how to enjoy life more than any other nation on this blue planet. Good on ya, Matt!

    In my travels, and my discussions with colleagues around the world, I have reached the conclusion that podiatry in many countries nowadays has the capacity to be as good or as bad as you want to make it, so, pick the country you like and go for it!

    Best wishes, and happy (belated) Australia day, Matt!


  15. tonywatson12

    tonywatson12 Active Member

    I think the NHS (if you spend the time in it) will allow you the opportunity to develop into an area were your interests and skills can be developed.

    It takes time to go though the NHS system but i feel at least 3 years post grad and then private sector or surgical training.

    I never done it as was not that academic and getting towards the end of my career but a MSc is essential.

    Would have loved to have worked in the US as foot health assistant I think our uk BSc lets us do something like that.( would still go if a opportunity came up) any jobs!!

    My 21 years took me to a band 7 in the NHS and 500 nail op procedures.

    so the US is were I would like to be but alas not to be a DR!
  16. DrBob

    DrBob Active Member

    Being a Dr is seriously overrated. :)
    Best wishes,
  17. tonywatson12

    tonywatson12 Active Member

    just out of interest what does the uk BSc in pod med relate to in the US Would I be able to work in foot health with it?
    thanks Tony
  18. tonywatson12

    tonywatson12 Active Member

    some of the old patients call me DR Tony sweet!
  19. tonywatson12

    tonywatson12 Active Member

    Do they have podiatrists in Russia?
    Nice place and loads of money at the moment!
  20. Tony:

    From what I understand, there is no transfer of the UK BSc in podiatry to any sort of podiatry privileges here in the US. From what others have told me, to practice podiatry in the US with a UK BSc, you would pretty much have to do the whole four years of podiatry school and then three years of surgical residency afterwards. I really don't know why, but that is what seems to be the case in those who have tried it before.
  21. phil s

    phil s Active Member

    tonywatson12: Its a shame that staff always need an MSC to progress up NHS podiatry services band: some of the best MSK/ biomechanics brains are not always that gifted at research and jumping through academic hoops.
  22. phil s

    phil s Active Member

    Thanks Matt. I will keep you in mind if and when I decided to make a move.
  23. tonywatson12

    tonywatson12 Active Member

    oh if i was younger!!
    Could have been tempted
  24. Deka08

    Deka08 Active Member

    <However, the answer to the question is that the best country to work in is the one that gives you the better quality of life and the most professional satisfaction>

    I have to agree with the Pommie bastard (Bill) here. For me quality of life is very high. I have worked in the Torres Straits where I have travelled to work by boat, small plane, helicopter, bicycle. The hospital sits on the edge of the water, and I could walk 10 metres around the corner and go fishing, FISHING - and good fishing at that, after work. I have also had a similar job in the north west QLD, where we saw the whole of outback QLD from small airplanes - channel country in flood is something else from the air. So - damn straight, Oz is a good place to live. As far as case load diversity is concerned it varies from job to job. But the further away from civilisation you go, the more varied it gets (IMO) - lots of high risk, weird presentations from people who may have never seen a podiatrist before.

    Also, in Oz, you get to watch a real cricket team.
  25. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    Hello? where's your team been for the last 4 years? Anyway, you wait until Ashley Giles (ex Warwickshire, where we do have a good team) gets to work on England!

    Unfortunately, too late for me to work in Oz, but I'll maybe call in when I'm Down Under watching England return this year's favour!


    Pommie Bastard Bill
  26. mburton

    mburton Active Member

    Hi Phil

    I concur with these words of wisdom from Bill. There's good, bad and a lot of 'middling' most places, though I also love Singapore, and if I wasn't coming up to retirement....

    I'd also like to put in a word for the much-maligned NHS. The work and workload varies enormously, depending on where and for whom you work - up here in the Scottish highlands our work has become more and more specialised. Just sometimes I think back very fondly to earlier years rattling off a nail cut clinic in tandem with a footcare assistant and a nice chatty coffee break.
    Coffee breaks - happy memories :rolleyes:

    Hope it works out for you wherever you decide to invest your energy
    BTW I don't have the option of Dr or Mr, it's usually just 'nurse' :bash:
  27. blumley

    blumley Active Member

    as a new graduate working within the nhs and a little bit of private work with physios, my personal opinion is the more you push yourself the more you will get out of your work.

    I'm lucky in that with my trust I am on various rotations within vascular clinics, post amputee clinics, diabetic ulcer sessions and biomechanics/paediatric work. This has learned to me learning a lot within my short time up here and wouldn't change it for the world. Attending as many seminars as possible helps as well as trying to gain extra shadowing time in more specialized clinics.

    Best of luck in your career


  28. lucycool

    lucycool Active Member

    I moved to Oz, Melbourne, 2 years ago and absolutely love it. I graduated 4 years ago and Im now working in community health - like the NHS but not hospital based. We have longer apt times and see a variety of clients. Plus as already mentioned, when its hot at he end of the day I head to the beach!

    It depends on what you are looking for, but I would highly recommend heading to Oz!

  29. retropod

    retropod Member

    Back to the Russian connection..
    Do they have pods in Russia?
    Do they have an Association/Society?
    I am considering travel to St Petersburg.
    How is our network?

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