“Why would anyone want to be a podiatrist?”
“I could never be a podiatrist!”
“Why would you want to work with feet all day?, I could think of nothing worse”
are just a couple of sentences I have heard periodically throughout my life (and one of these sentences was uttered by a GP as he performed a rectal examination on me, I kid you not!)
But I ask, why wouldn’t you want to be a podiatrist?
Choosing a career path is an important decision that requires careful consideration of personal interests, aspirations, and the desire to make a positive impact. If you have a passion for feet and a genuine desire to help others, a career as a podiatrist might be the perfect fit for you. In this blog, we’ll explore a range of reasons why becoming a podiatrist can be a rewarding and fulfilling professional choice. So, lace up your metaphorical shoes, and let’s take a walk through the world of podiatry!
1. Foot Health Matters:
Our feet are the foundation of our mobility, supporting our weight and allowing us to perform daily activities. As a podiatrist, you play a vital role in helping people maintain healthy and pain-free feet. From diagnosing and treating various foot conditions to providing preventive care, you have the opportunity to improve patients’ overall quality of life and restore their ability to walk, run, and engage in activities they love. It gives me an enormous amount of job satisfaction when a patient tells me ‘I’ve given them their life back’. They’ve gone from being stuck inside, being in pain, thinking this is how it’s going to be forever, to getting back out and about, joining in with everything life has to offer, free of pain. What could be more job satisfaction than that?
2. Diverse Scope of Practice:
Podiatry is a specialised field that encompasses a wide range of conditions and treatments. As a podiatrist, you would have the opportunity to work with patients of all ages, from children to older adults, addressing issues such as foot deformities, sports injuries, diabetic foot care, nail disorders, and more. The diverse nature of podiatric practice ensures that each day brings new challenges and opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills, and is never repetitive.
3. Long-Term Patient Relationships:
One of the most rewarding aspects of being a podiatrist is the opportunity to build lasting relationships with patients. From their first visit to ongoing care, you witness the progression of their foot health and be there to support them throughout their journey. Establishing trust, providing personalised care, and seeing the positive impact of your interventions can create deep connections and a sense of fulfilment. Hearing about their life over time and getting to know the individual, adds to the enjoyment of the job.
Because we are working on the foot end of the patient, we also get to have some really varied discussions as I carry out their treatment. Unlike a dentist who struggles to have conversation, the variety of topics I can cover in a day due to the wide variety of patients I see, can be vast and this is something I really love about the job. From learning about how they built their own companies, to hearing about their travels to far flung corners of the globe, I’m not stuck behind the desk, but I’m out there seeing and interacting with others.
4. Continuous Learning and Innovation:
Medicine is a field that constantly evolves, and podiatry is no exception. As a podiatrist, you would have access to ongoing learning opportunities, research advancements, and new treatment modalities. Staying up to date with the latest techniques and technologies allows you to provide the best care possible to your patients and contribute to the advancement of the field.
5. Work-Life Balance:
Podiatry offers a favourable work-life balance compared to some other healthcare professions as not least there is no night shift. Many podiatrists have the flexibility to set their own hours and manage their practice, allowing for a more balanced personal and professional life. This flexibility can be especially valuable for individuals seeking a career that offers stability while accommodating personal commitments and interests.
So in summary when asking the question, why become a podiatrist? I would say it is a fulfilling and rewarding career choice for those with a passion for foot health and a desire to make a positive impact on people’s lives. From improving mobility and relieving pain to building lasting relationships and contributing to the field’s continuous advancements, podiatry offers a diverse and gratifying professional journey. So, if you have a love for feet, a commitment to lifelong learning, and a drive to help others, stepping into the world of podiatry may be the perfect path for you.