Mr Roderick Coull
BA, FRCS(England), FRCS(Orth
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

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Podiatry

Who and what are podiatrists? To non medical people there is some confusion about what the difference is between a podiatrist and an orthopaedic foot surgeon.

A podiatrist is a non-medical practitioner who undergoes a period of training in foot problems receiving a degree in podiatry at the end of training in a similar way that a physiotherapist receives a degree in physiotherapy.

The large majority of podiatrists do not perform operations but concentrate on diagnosing and treating foot problems with devices such as splints and insoles. They have a very good understanding of the biomechanics of the normal and abnormal foot and can be extremely useful in helping to treat patients when surgery is not required. I currently work closely with Mr. Julian Livingstone, podiatrist, at Spire Bushey Hospital.

A minority of podiatrists undergo extra podiatric training in surgical foot procedures. Currently these surgical podiatrists use the title 'consultant podiatric surgeon' which may suggest to lay people that they are medically trained surgeons, which they are not.