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Is Podiatry a branch of medicine?

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by PodAus, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. PodAus

    PodAus Active Member

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    Hi All,

    Question: Is Podiatry a branch of medicine?

    The dictionaries seem to suggest that it is, however what is the view of the public?
    And other modalities?

    As we are trained in medical procedures (surgical), sports medicine, podiatric medicine, prescribe medications, employ medical diagnostics and use medical terminiology, and many podiatrists are now referring to themselves as Doctors in their official title, are we able to inform the public we offer medical advice as a Podiatrist?

    Interested in your thoughts.
  2. LuckyLisfranc

    LuckyLisfranc Well-Known Member

    What are you driving at? Most of your posts seem to carry this similar theme.

    Quite clearly, as least in almost all Western countries (? I think Mexico +/- India is the exception), podiatry is a standalone profession.

    As you practice in Australia, you would well recognise that AHPRA has no listing for podiatry on the specialists register for medicine. It is its own profession, with its own regulations.

    If you are questioning the semantics of what constitutes 'medical advice' - then this is something that could only be tested in court, as far as I know. In terms of legislation, I dont believe that you need to be a medical practitioner to provide medical advice. I stand to be corrected though.

  3. In the USA, we are Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPM). I would think this would qualify podiatric medicine as being a "branch of medicine", wouldn't you?
  4. LuckyLisfranc

    LuckyLisfranc Well-Known Member


    Although there are degrees such as Doctor/Bachelor/Master of Podiatric Medicine, most podiatrists and medical practitioners would agree that 'podiatry' per se, is not a specialist field in medicine (the profession, {noun}). These are really silly semantics issues, but what our learned colleague is driving, I assume, is how/when and where the word 'medicine' or 'medical' is legally or socially acceptable in the context of podiatry.

    Is all of health care, 'medicine'; - or only some bits? Is dentistry, 'medicine'? Or is it separate to 'medicine'.

    Or more importantly - is 'medicine' a noun or verb/adverb.

    I think the answer is difficult, varies from country to country, and ultimately depends on context and application.

  5. PodAus

    PodAus Active Member

    That is what I'm getting at Kevin.

    I've been struggling a little to sort through the mind-field of advertising, and which term, words, or inferences are fair and reasonable in portraying services to the public.

    Our profession here in Australia is just as confused as the public, when considering just what Podiatrists are for. :bash:

    When the terms 'medical' and 'Podiatry' are used together in advertising, then is there a fair expectation that the practitioner is a Podiatrist providing Podiatric medicine, or is it reasonable to consider that the public may be confused and consider the practitioner to be a medical doctor practising 'medicine'?

    PODKMM Active Member

    Paul, in regards to advertising, you might find it beneficial to read our registration act. You may also find it interesting that you are not able to advertise your services at a discounted price.
  7. Sarah Byrne

    Sarah Byrne Member

    Tree Surgeon! It does have similarity to my average days work!
  8. Muhammad Rais

    Muhammad Rais Welcome New Poster

    Hi all, this is Muhammad,

    For your information, the University of Western Australia is replacing Bachelor of Podiatric Medicine with “Doctor of Podiatric Medicine" after having a Bachelor degree with GAMSAT beginning from 2013.

    Kind Regards,
  9. i-man

    i-man Member

    In the U.S.A. podiatry is a medical specialty. From my perspective, universally, if you treat are licensed to diagnose and treat a medical condition, you're practicing medicine. In the U.S.A. we prescribe narcotics and cut tissue including bones, because we don't have M.D. as a post script does not diminish that fact that we are providing medical care. Physical Therapists, masseuses etc. may provide treatment of medical conditions, but, in my opinion, should not be diagnosticians and therefore do not complete the cycle of what a doctor does. I have posted many opinions on the PM bulletin, in favor of a name and degree change from podiatry to medical doctor, not because the name change will change what we do, but it will validate what we do to politicians and third party payers so we are treated fairly.
  10. markjohconley

    markjohconley Well-Known Member

    In Australia, you'd get an argument, justifiably, mark
  11. Tuckersm

    Tuckersm Well-Known Member

    In fact the university of Melbourne offers a 3 yr post grad entry to practice Dr of Physiotherapy
  12. pdoan01

    pdoan01 Active Member

    However physiotherapists are not at all diagnosticians. They are a helath care profession not a medical profession, that concerns with identifying and maximizing quality of life and movement potential and encompasses physical, psychological, emotional, and social well being. They may have the DPT degree but they do not have the Dr title bestowed upon them nor should they use such title. And yet they also claim to have specialties in their field they do not, as in Australian Law it is illegal for professions other than dentistr, medicine and podiatry to specialise. Their primary purpose is to give rehabilitation and non medical treatment due to the fact that they do not and need not have the knowledge for access to scheduled medicines.
  13. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Try telling that to a physiotherapist! I am familiar with the curriculum that they are taught by at University and they just as much a "diagnostician" as we are.
  14. LuckyLisfranc

    LuckyLisfranc Well-Known Member

    I don't think you know much about Australian physiotherapy...

    That's the same argument that is used in medical politics to denegrate podiatry.

  15. pdoan01

    pdoan01 Active Member

    But is it not right to protect what we have? Maybe we are understanding now why the medicos have tried so hard and for so long to protect their turf.

    The fact that we are are getting more responsibilities we should do our best to keep them rather than share with other "Alled Health" professions in which we have little in common with
  16. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Yet we have no problems encroaching on what other professions see as "their turf" and don't like it when others professions encroach and what we perceive as "our turf"
  17. Tuckersm

    Tuckersm Well-Known Member

    I am not aware of any Ausatralian University that 'bestows' the title Dr on an entry to practice degree. This is usually done by the profession.

    So much for a Multidisciplinary approach to health care.....
  18. pdoan01

    pdoan01 Active Member

    True that it is up to the profession to determine titles, however the department in which the DPT is offered has stated that they will not give that title to the graduate and it is up to the graduate to determine what they want.

    In case of multidisciplinary approach is podiatry based on a holistic sociological view of health or are we alongside medicos where biomedical approach is key?
  19. Tuckersm

    Tuckersm Well-Known Member

    Isn't that what I just said?

    I would like to think that all healthcare now days is based on an holistic approach.

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