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Pediatric Podiatrist is it possible????

Discussion in 'Pediatrics' started by pw079, May 25, 2005.

  1. pw079

    pw079 Welcome New Poster

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    Is it possible to be a Pediatric Podiatrist where you just practice in a setting with children like at a childrens hospital is this at all possible in the U.S.
  2. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    It is possible and there are a lot of Podiatrists around the world employed in those types of environments.

    BUT, this is an issue that I have some issues with...

    Generally there is nothing stopping any Podiatrists hanging up a sign that they are a "Pediatric Podiatrist" (or any other type for that matter) --- I also think that there is a very big difference between being a "Pediatric Podiatrist" and a "Podiatrist, with a special in pediatrics" ... most are really the later.

    ie there is a big difference between self declaring oneself as a "Pediatric Podiatrist" vs "Podiatrist, with a special in pediatrics" and the academic qualification or peer recognition (fellowship) to achieve that status (I won't get into the stuff about the involvement of egos in all this...;) )

    Of course, there are different postgrad pathways in different countries towards academic qualification or peer recognition (fellowship) of speciality (with a lot of specialities not having them), which could entitle one to being called "AAAAAAA Podiatrist" - the pathways are different in different countries and are at different stages of development.
  3. Kim

    Kim Member

    This is an interesting topic and I appreciate that many have concerns over people labelling themselves as "paediatric podiatrists".
    However, if one has in interest in paediatrics and wishes to set up a clinic specialising in children's foot problems, what are the avenues (in Australia) by which one can gain peer recognition and a legitimate qualification as a specialist in children's foot problems?
    It is well advertised the avenue by which one can become a podiatric surgeon, but with the large scope of our pracitice would it not benefit from having many sub categories of specialists? (eg. Paediatrics, Sports, Gerontology, Rheumatology).

  4. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator


    There is nothing stopping anyone in Australia hanging up a sign or claiming in advertisments that they are a Pediatric Podiatrist or a Sports podiatrist or a Diabetes Podiatrist or a .... (only claiming to be a surgical podiatrist is restricted) .... thats the issue I have. At least the the Australasian Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine have a fellowship program which requires a master degree; a publication; and an exam; as well as ongoing CE requiremets - BUT, not having that does not restrict one from claiming to be a Sports Podiatrist. Outside of this no other speciality has any other way to recognise expetise.

    This will be an issue the local Vic state assoc will soon be considering, especially in the context of career pathway developmet in areas of expertise in the public sector.
  5. Tuckersm

    Tuckersm Well-Known Member


    The Pod Surgeons also have a recognised path to specialisation, and the Pod Board in Victoria restricts this title through regulation and policy
  6. Stephen Moore

    Stephen Moore Member

    Paediatric Podiatrist

    The area of 'specialist' as Craig says always causes some concern, until the profession nationally (UK) and internationally gets its act together this will continue to be a problem.

    In the NHS in the UK a new pay modernisation programme 'Agenda for Change' seeks to recognise skills/expertise and reward them through the pay system.

    It has and in my opinion will increasingly attach academic qualifications to grades with the additional requirement of 'x' year’s experience.

    For example to be paid at band 7 (Highly specialised) you will be required to have a relevant masters degree and/or appropriate experience.

    The problem comes as others have alluded to, where are the career pathways to facilitate this?

    In the UK postgraduate certificates, postgraduate diploma and master’s degrees are now arriving on the scene, but this has been a relatively recent event and the courses do not cover all areas of specialisation or available nation wide.

    We do have courses leading to Master's level qualifications in biomechanics (Staffordshire University), various programmes leading to master's in podiatry, the high-risk limb, diabetes, Rheumatology (Salford, Brighton, Glasgow, Edinburgh etc.). In Scotland we now have a master's degree in the theory of podiatric surgery, which is approved by both Royal Colleges of Surgery (Edinburgh and Glasgow) and the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrist. I believe that this is also being look at to convert to a master’s degree in Podiatric Medicine.

    Following these types of pathway, with (importantly) appropriate clinical experience can lead onto the potential for specialist and consultant posts.

    But regardless of where we in the UK see Specialist practitioners (masters level) and consultants (masters/MPhil/PhD), we are starting to develop pathways to enable people to have the right knowledge and skills to be called specialists and to be recognised as such.

    As the special interest groups gain membership and experience they will hopefully provide effective peer support and networking opportunities for specialists.

    We still have a way to go!


  7. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Going back to the orignal question in this thread, yes it is possible....BUT the most notable aspect of this thread is the very very very different pathways to that end in different countries.
  8. Virginia Hall

    Virginia Hall Active Member


    Dear Kim
    There is a pod in Queensland who only treats children. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to use her name in this type of forum without her knowledge.

    A few years ago thanks to some motivated pods out there. I did a private peds course. Where we all paid a lot of money and I think it was Valmassy who come out. Very good I now have the confidence to serial cast, splint etc. So may be you can do something in a similar strain.

  9. Kim

    Kim Member

    Thanks Virginia,

    That sounds right down my alley.
    I'm not interested in just hanging up a sign, it would actually be good to get some more info on paediatric conditions. A course like that would be good to gain some extra confidence and a bit more instruction.
    I'll keep my eyes and ears open.


    P.S I'm still at uni at the moment, but never too early to learn more - my hopes for the future; a paeds clinic.
  10. Bug

    Bug Well-Known Member

    I work in a community health service and just see under 12's and spend a good deal of my time feeling that there is so much more to learn with every child through the door. Would love there to be more training out there to expand the opportunities to those wanting to work in this field. Usually have to resort to physio and OT courses I've found at the moment....

    So in answer - I would say yes it definatly possible, but I really think it should be with a special interest rather than the promotion of being a peadiatric podiatric until they refine what defines a Pediatric Podiatric in terms of skills and expertise.
  11. Felicity Prentice

    Felicity Prentice Active Member

    Making your own career

    Hey Kim,

    The best way to get the kind of practice populatoin you want is to plan and work towards it. The trick is basically to build up street cred. When it comes to children and practitioners, the most important qualification is good word of mouth.

    In the school yard waiting for dismissal, one Mum says to the next "I think Johnny has flat feet, who did your kid's orthotics?" Now, if the answer is "Felicity did, it cost us a fortune and they are useless, Johnny wont wear them and I can't find shoes to fit and blah blah blah" - then you're stuffed. But "Felicity did, and now we are going to name all our children after her because surely she is a demi-god on earth, etc etc" is a better start.

    Also, don't be exclusive - the grandmother you treat may suggest you to her daughter, and so on. An interesting principle seems to be that women have the strongest line of referral when it comes to children's practitioners (don't know any research on this, but from a case study of my life and my friends, it has a p-value that I love).

    Then it is time to work on the other health practitioners.

    Lots of making yourself known to practitioners who deal with kids (from paediatricians to Infant Welfare Nurses); lots of attending seminars, giving papers, dammit, even talking at Rotary Clubs.....

    But the bottom line is, no matter what your quals are, if you don't get the results, it will spread around faster than herpes after a Pod Ball.

    So there, go out and conquer! Or, if you can't treat them, be like me and breed them!


  12. youngin'

    youngin' Active Member

    Inspiring, Felicity, Inspiring!
  13. Felicity Prentice

    Felicity Prentice Active Member

    Wot- the treatin' or the breedin'....
  14. youngin'

    youngin' Active Member


    Who deleted my post by the way!

    Grr. Was a serious question!
  15. Sally Smillie

    Sally Smillie Active Member

    There are 2 or 3 of us pods in the UK that treat children exclusively (in the NHS). Myself one of them. Last I heard there was one in Melbourne too. Not sure if more have turned up, but I am sure they will in time. My concern is the incredible variety in exposure and training at undergraduate level. It is a bit embarrassing at times and too many people are thrown into seeing paeds in a mixed BMX caseload without necessarily any paediatric specific training, so they muddle through on their own. Thats how serious things get missed.
  16. Bug

    Bug Well-Known Member

    Wow, this has popped up after a long time.

    There is a number in Melbourne now who have sole paediatric case loads in the public and private systems. There is also a paed's only practice in Brisbane. There is still no post-grad degree though that allows increased exposure to paed conditions and higher level treatment modalities. It's a catch 22, why provide it if there isn't the public demand for it but then how do you know they won't be utilised until there is people with the training.

    I get a lot of referrals from podiatrists so know there is a need for it. Similar to what Sally says, serious things are often and easily missed when there is limited training in the area.
  17. podcare

    podcare Active Member

    Re: Peds

    Dr. Heather Netscher (PhD) practices as a paediatric podiatrist in Queensland. Her qualifications and experience in paediatric podiatry are second to none. They can be found at the following website: http://www.kidsfeet.com.au/heather.html

    I have attended one of her 2 day seminars/workshops and they are nothing short of sensational. Dr. Heather Netscher is a true asset and credit to the podiatry profession. In my opinion she is a true podopaediatrics guru.
  18. Vixie87

    Vixie87 Member

    Hi guys,

    I have recently thought of a change in my podiatry career to become more of a specialist in paediatric foot and lower limb deformities.
    I am a private podiatrist of 4 1/2 years, I perform all forms of podiatric treatments, however would like to specialise in paediatric foot problems.
    I have read the past posts in this thread and find what Craig said very interesting. I wouldn't dream of placing a sign outside the front of my clinic quoting "paediatric specialist" without having the qualifications and necessary experience to do so.
    Which brings me to my question, how do you get the qualifications in podopaediatrics??
    I have spent weeks trawling through the internet and talking to podiatrists who specialise in podopaediatrics which has been a dead end.
    I cannot find any masters or PhD courses in podopaediatrics, paediatric podiatry or anything to do with the two.

    Is anyone able to help point me in the right direction to find such a course or advise me of how to approach this journey??

    All advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks Vicky
  19. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran


    There is a Post-grad Cert in podopaediatrics running at Glasgow Caledonian Uni.
    Do a Google search on Podopaediatrics courses.
  20. Vixie87

    Vixie87 Member

    Thanks for that.
    I have done a google search which failed to come up with anything useful.
    I have contacted a few Podopeadiatric lecturers and specialist who say that it is just experience that they have gained.
    So I am thinking just to stick at it research as much as possible and maybe go down the school route targeting parents.

    Thanks again

  21. Bug

    Bug Well-Known Member

    Short courses are great to get you started as are course run through other disciplines.

    I'm sure I read someone here talk about how to get into a particular area and he gave great advice (Craig, was it Ian, about sports pod?)

    Immerse yourself in it, read, read, read. Volunteer to work in the field, spend time with other people doing it or in groups. Make a study group or spend time with other colleagues (PT, OT's etc) and think about what you might do.

    It is doable, it is slowly growing and I do believe there is a role for it given how many pods I get referral's from for tricky kids. The trick is though, like all things, it won't happen overnight or with just a single course.
  22. Vixie87

    Vixie87 Member

    Thanks for the advice much apreciated. It looks like I have a lot of work to do!!
    This weekend it going to be a productive one!

  23. Sally Smillie

    Sally Smillie Active Member

    Gordon Watt is the paeds guru at Glasgow Caledonian who runs the post grad certificate course in paeds. There is a paeds module in the masters course run at Staffordshire. Formal education-wise, this is all I am aware of in the UK. At an undergraduate level paeds education is minimal in the UK, some uni's have none at all, some 2 days, one I think has a whole module. I trained in Australia and at my uni we did paeds lectures for 1 semester in third year and paeds clinics for the whole of fourth year, so we had a really good base.
    I am part of the UK podopaeds special interest group, we run great conferences every year and meet twice yearly at a national level too. Are you not yet a member? Our next national meeting is at the SOCAP offices in London Wed 26th Sept, 10am-3pm. it would be great if you couold make it. That would be my first move, then getting some clinic time shadowing someone who has had some formal education.
    There is not much on the text book front, but I would be purchasing Angela Evan's book on paediatrics, which is great. Thompson & Volpe "introduction to podopaediatrics" is a reasonable base text, less fabulous than Angelas book but worth getting none the less.
    You will meet lots of great folk at our SIG meeting if you can make it on Sept 26, and do stay active as our conferences are great every year. Every national meeting has an education element to it as well as paeds development work too.
    We would love to see you there,
  24. James Welch

    James Welch Active Member

    Hi Vixie,

    I also sit on that same Podopaeds SIG as Sally. I'm not going to reiterate the good advice you've been given by the previous posters, just to inform you that the next annual conference is coming round fairly soon (28th June in Stockport). If you need any further information get in contact with Simon Jones who chairs the group (Simon.jones12@nhs.net) and he'll be able to advise you further.

    James :drinks

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