What is a Podiatrist and a Chiropodist

Podiatrists provide comprehensive advice and treatment in all areas of foot health. They also are specialists in the way we walk (gait analysis) and are able to give advice and treatment on all aspects of foot pathology.

You may well be confused as to the difference between the terms chiropodist and podiatrist. There is no difference they are essentially the same word.The best way we describe it is to say that all podiatrists can do chiropody but not all chiropodists can do podiatry!

If you look at the word itself, pod means foot and chiro means “to use hands to heal” hence the terms chiropractor and chiropodist. Essentially podiatry is the modern term for the experts in feet.

Podiatry services are available across the United Kingdom on the NHS based on clinical need. Most podiatry NHS services now ration and restrict the delivery and availability of footcare to "high risk groups." This generally means patients with diabetes, on high dose steroids, rheumatoid arthritis and other systemic diseases that leave them vulnerable to foot injury. Children (paediatrics) do still have access to NHS podiatry but waiting lists can be excessive and the actual orthoses issued can be limited due to cost issues.

Therefore the majority of patients can no longer access NHS chiropody or podiatry care.

Private Practitioners do accept self referrals and offer a wide range of treatments. To find a private practitioner, look for Accredited practices by the  College of Podiatry. www.feetforlife.org 

If you cannot get to us - do ring 0208 367 9292 as we can often recommend in your area.

Other initials to look for are:

  • BSc(Hons) Pod - Honours degree in Podiatric Medicine
  • DPodM - Diploma in Podiatric Medicine
  • FRCPodS - Fellow of the Royal College of Podiatric Surgeons
  • MRCPodS - Member of the Royal College of Podiatric Surgeons
  • FChS - Fellow of the Chiropody Society

Alternatively search the Royal College of Podiatry  website or the health professions council.

The HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council) has now protected the titles Chiropodist and Podiatrist. 

edited 03/11/2021

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