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Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by bkelly11, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. bkelly11

    bkelly11 Active Member

    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    Why was the name changed?
  2. I've heard a number of reasons given for this, they've included:
    In a failed attempt to differentiate the state registered sector from the non-state registered; to fall in line with the international community; I was also told that the translation of chiro is hand and pod is foot and as we don't treat hands..... However, I think the primary reason was to confuse the general public. Judging by the number of times I get asked what the difference is, I think it's been rather successful in achieving this.
  3. Wendy

    Wendy Active Member

    I usually get asked what the difference is rather than the above. My understanding is that it was to fall in line with the profession internationally and when asked what the difference is I explain that my degree in podiatry also included using LA for nail surgery and prescription of orthoses (I also have a POM licence but as I am in PP that seems to be going by the wayside:confused:). Most patients seem happy with this explanation and usually treat me with a little more respect;)
  4. cornmerchant

    cornmerchant Well-Known Member


    I believe you will find that Chiropodists training by diploma/degree before the name change also had a license for LA and were able to dispense orthotics- in fact anyone can dispense orthotics cant they?

    I was of the understanding that it was to distinguish the registered from the unregistered but since the unregistered then adopted the terminology anyway it became a waste of time and as Simon says, just confuses the public. Now that we are all HPC registered of curse, it is down to the individual which title to use as they see fit because no decision has ever been made to drop the older title.

    To make life simple, I tell my patient that there is no difference.


    Last edited: Jan 27, 2009
  5. Wendy

    Wendy Active Member

    I believe you will find that Chiropodists training by diploma/degree before the name change also had a license for LA and were able to dispense orthotics

    Thanks Cornmerchant,
    I was unaware of that and stand corrected.:eek:

    To make life simple, I tell my patient that there is no difference.

    I may use this as well now knowing what you have just explained.
    :drinks Wendy
  6. Coward. Of course there's a difference and your patients should be told. Chiropodists are long and thin whilst podiatrists are short and fat. Where have you been for the last 60 years?
  7. Wendy

    Wendy Active Member

    Chiropodists are long and thin whilst podiatrists are short and fat
    That's it then - I am a podiatrist:drinks
  8. podomania

    podomania Active Member

    Since i am a podiatrist from Greece and since many words of the medical community derive from my native language i should give you some explanations:
    As Simon correctly stated, chiro derives from the Greek word cheri, which means hand and pod derives from the Greek word podi, which means foot. Now, when we say pod - iatrist.. the second part: iatrist, derives from the greek word iator which means medicin or even better medical doctor. So from people who use hands on feet (chiropodists) we are now knowed as foot doctors! I hope my english is not so terrible and everybody can understand what i am talking about!
  9. Wendy

    Wendy Active Member

  10. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    Thank you for that information Podomania. Your English is clearly a damned sight better than my Greek - ancient or modern!

    The term 'chiropody' was coined by a quack named David Low in 1785 who plagiarised an entire book by LaForest, the French 'chirugen-pedicure' to Louis XVI. Low left 'chiropody' (hopefully he was forced out) and became known as the first person to create a hotel as we know it today.

    In the U.K. in the 1970's when the first steps were being taken to teach and practice podiatric surgery, those practitioners described themselves as podiatrists to distinguish their service delivery from that of chiropodists, at the request of the insurance companies. Perhaps inevitably, as learning increased and degrees became the norm, the term was used generally. Again at the request of the insurance companies, those practicing surgery became known as podiatric surgeons. This seems generally accepted and is an accurate summation of the situation within the profession in the U.K. today.

    All the best

    Bill Liggins
  11. SarahR

    SarahR Active Member

    I read one definition that said "Chiropody is an antiquated term for Podiatry".

    What is the difference? All Regulated Foot Specialists (or other self-regulated medical professions for that matter) are bound by their training and experience, and not by the name that labels that profession. The title does not determine scope of practice. Not all surgeons are trained in performing brain surgery, but they're all still allowed to use the title surgeon.

    Interestingly, my Chiropody Diploma classes were called "Podiatric Medicine I, II, III" etc.

    So perhaps US Podiatrists want their title to be special, exclusive, recognized as advanced. But perhaps they come by this attitude honestly... Wikipedia Talk:podiatry is full of evidence of the struggle they face for recognition of qualifications along side other medical specialties (Orthopedic foot and ankle specialists) and their MD colleagues. I believe Podiatry is 'easier' to get into not because it is easier to complete the program, but rather there are fewer of us who want to touch feet all day than there are people who want to enter medical school.

    Why can't we all just get along and cooperate to brand highly trained regulated foot specialists as the provider of choice???

    From Wikipedia:

    "The titles “podiatrist” and “chiropodist” are interchangeable,[1] although the term “podiatrist” is more favoured within the profession"

    An online Definition from some other websites:
    "See podiatry."

    "an earlier and still frequent term for podiatry. — chiropodist, n. — chiropodial, adj."

    "1.Archaic treatment of hand and foot ailments, esp. corns, warts, etc.

    Sarah (Chiropodist... for now...)
  12. LuckyLisfranc

    LuckyLisfranc Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately the poor health consumer is the one that ends up confused and unsure of where to go. Consistency worldwide needs to be the goal here - it has to be one or the other - and titles such as the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists suggest there are two different and separate professions being represented. If we are arguing about the definitions - imagine what consumers and governments are thinking!

    In Australia, the term was abandoned perhaps 30 or 40 years ago. I still get the odd old dear that asks about a chiropodist, but virtually no-one under middle age uses or knows the term.

    Strangely, I went to the bank to talk about a home loan the other day, and the computerised application process only listed the term chiropodist - which I was led to believe was attached to statistical profiles of income for this occupational group - podiatrist was not an option to describe my work.

    I ended up having to list my occupation as 'company director'... the average income of a chiropodist didn't sound too flash to the bank manager..:eek:.

    Just some observations.

  13. domhogan

    domhogan Member

    Forget the definition, ask someone in Asia what a chiropodist or podiatrist is. They've never even heard of our profession as demonstrated last week in a trip to Indonesia. "you do what...?"
  14. pscotne

    pscotne Active Member

    the second part: iatrist, derives from the greek word iator which means medicin or even better medical doctor.


    Way back, in podiatry school, we were informed that the "iatry" comes from the Latin word "iatriae" or something like that, which means to treat.

  15. Cameron

    Cameron Well-Known Member


    Chiropody appears in the English language in the 18th century, when a London corn cutter by the name of David Low wanted to write the definitive text on care of the feet. Unfortunately Low was a plagiarist and translated the thesis entitled L'Art de Soigner les Pieds (1781), previously written by Frenchman, Nicholas-Laurent LaForest. To avoid detection Low renamed the works Chiropodologia. By combining both Greek and Latin prefixes. "Chiro" Greek meaning hand and foot; and Pod Latin for foot. No one was really sure whether the new study chiropody was treatment of the hand by the foot, or visa versa. Most scholars have accepted Low intended to promote care of the foot by the hand. 'Ch', in Greek is written as an 'x' and pronounced with a silent 'h.' "X" when translated into English becomes a harsh sounding 'k'. The proper and correct pronunciation is therefore 'kir-opodist'. We see the same phonetic translation in the word Xmas. Contrary to popular belief the abbreviation for was not for the convenience of greetings card manufacturers but instead a celebration of "K" or Christmas mass. During the depression years of the 1930's, chiropody and chiropody services became very popular within the United Kingdom and were patronised by the Royal Family. On a visit to the Edinburgh School of Chiropody and Foot Clinic, the Royal researchers were concerned at the origins of the word chiropody and set to out find an alternative derivation. Chiron was a Greek God, a centaur, half man half horse. He was a tutor to many Greek heroes and taught Asclepius his medical arts. Chiron lived as recluse at the bottom of Mount Pelion, and dedicated his life to caring for the crippled. After his half-brother Pholus was killed by Heracles, a stray arrow wounded Chiron. His wounds were painful and he agreed to exchange his immortality with Prometheus so he could die, peacefully. Zeus immortalised the centaur, who became a bright light for many with the constellation (Sagittarius). Alternatively according to Runting (1932), Lewi the US podiatrists considered the word chiropody was originally written 'Chirurgpodist" or surgeon of the foot. He believed for the sake of euphony the word "chiropodist" was coined. Whatever its origin US chiropodists changed their name to podiatrists in the 1950s. The term podiatry came to be used in Australasia about thirty years ago and more recently the term has been adopted by many UK, practitioners. However chiropodist still exhausts and can be found in State Acts in Australia as well as the UK e.g. The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists. Practitioners. Europeans refer to themselves as podologs. The term podology means the study of feet (in health and disease) and may be considered a specialised branch of zoology. According to Harper Davis (1932) the term podogeny is used to describe the science or the serial phenomena of foot history and the origin and modification of foot types. Podogeny may refer to the individual or to the racial development of feet. Podometry relates to the measurement of feet.

    The terms chiropodist and podiatrist are synonimous and there is no difference in range of practice implied or otherwise in the names. As a 'popularist term' currently podiatry is preferred, that's all.

    As a group we do tend to get involved in 'preferred terms' to describe what we do. Often the terms are quite misleading. Take for example 'biomechanics' or 'Clinical biomechanics,' as I read the adjacent advert. What we describe as biomechanics is in actual fact pathomechanics.

  16. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    "What's in a name".

    I was learning to fly in Canada a few years ago. When I got to know the lads properly and we had dispensed with the usual strict courtesies and were taking the mickey out of each other's accents in the time honoured way, it was pointed out to me that in the U.K. we still use the term 'flying machine'. After I had told them that they were ignorant colonials and that we used the correct term 'aeroplane' as opposed to 'airplane' (presumably a device manufactured of air), they smugly pointed to our Board of Trade legal statements which did indeed refer to flying machines. Flying machine is strictly correct but anachronistic or what? Chiropodist is not strictly correct and is certainly anachronistic; however, if someone wishes to use the term (within the law), no-one is going to stop them!

    Bill Liggins
  17. Tony Mason

    Tony Mason Member

    Hi there
    One point that nobody has picked up on in this Chiropody/Podiatry Thread
    Is that Some Professional Bodies do in fact insure their members to treat hands.
    Chiro = Hand
    Pod = Feet
    Treatment of and by
    For example Patients who are to old to grasp nippers to cut their own toe nails
    probably cannot cut their fingernails. Diabetics with impaired vision, may well need their fingernails cut. Chefs etc with HPV lesions to their fingers may well need Cryo.
    Maybe not something we do all the time, but it is nice to have the ability and the insurance to offer a more complete service to our patients where necessary.

    Tony Mason
  18. carolethecatlover

    carolethecatlover Active Member

    Re: Chiropodist/Podiatrist Tony Mason?

    Dear Mr. Tony Mason,
    Are you working in Portugal? Where?
  19. SarahR

    SarahR Active Member

    Good point. I've avulsed a fingernail under delegation of a client's GP, he didn't have the expertise or equipment, let alone time. She smacked it in a door, and it was half-on and catching on everything causing pain. It's grown back wonderfully, thanks to my gentle hand. Some surgeons are brutal on the nail bed and matrix!

    Some clients have had fungal nails, paronychial infections, warts, and I wish I could do more for them with my hands-on skills and advice, without worrying about legal implications.

  20. pscotne

    pscotne Active Member

  21. W J Liggins

    W J Liggins Well-Known Member

    Yes they would if the podiatrists was not covered to treat that part of the body and the professional body dertermined that it was outside that practitioner's scope. The fact that the G.P. 'delegated' is irrelevant because we are independent practitioners responsible for our own diagnosis/treatment. If the pracitioner's insurance did not cover them then they would have to find the award and the costs from their own pocket/purse.

    Bill Liggins
  22. pscotne

    pscotne Active Member

    :D Indeed, irrespective of insurance cover and delegation, the podiatrist is taking a risk in treating an area outside the legal scope of podiatric practice.

    Perhaps we should all be mindful of this if/when requested to undertake some form of treatment on, for instance, the hand or its appendages because if a subsequent problem emerges as a result of such intervention, then, if the patient decides to sue, it is the podiatrist who will most likely become the focus of litigation in the first instance.

    Many times I have refused to even cut non-pathological fingernails for this very reason when, in particular, there are others who can. :eek:
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009

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