When it comes to healthcare, sometimes there can be some confusion about what type of specialist you need to see. For instance, “chiropodist” and “podiatrist” are two terms that refer to regulated foot specialists in Ontario. Rest assured, there is no need to worry about potentially booking an appointment with the wrong specialist. Chances are that will not happen. With this in mind, you may have several questions, and we’re here to answer those for you! They may include:
- What type of foot specialist should I book an appointment with?
- Are there differences between a Chiropodist and a podiatrist?
- If I book an appointment with one or the other, will I be making a mistake?
What Is The Difference Between A Chiropodist And A Podiatrist?
First, the information provided in this article will reflect Ontario healthcare standards and definitions. Other countries or provinces may have different definitions for the terms. Furthermore, one may think that a podiatrist can offer more than a chiropodist in terms of foot care, however, this is not true.
Licensed chiropodists in Ontario are trained to assess and treat all dermatological and structural Foot conditions. Furthermore, they’re equipped to prescribe medicinal ointments, topical creams, Custom orthotics and more. Chiropodists are also able to perform most minor Foot surgeries on the toenails, skin and tissue.
There are four differences between a chiropodist and a podiatrist worth noting:
- Chiropodists obtain post-secondary certification in chiropody. Before that two year program, many chiropodists study science during their undergraduate studies. Afterwards, they register with the College of Chiropodists of Ontario. Podiatrists obtain a Doctor of Podiatric degree and then Register with the same college.
- There are a lot more licensed chiropodists practicing in Ontario than podiatrists. Ontario chiropodist notes over 600 practicing chiropodists, and 60 podiatrists. As a result, you could argue that it is easier to find a qualified chiropodist. Likewise, you can be seen for an assessment quickly.
- Podiatry services are partially covered under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). While chiropody services are not covered under OHIP, most private insurers and extended health care plans offer chiropody coverage. If you do not have coverage, you can speak with your chiropodist about adjusting your treatment plan. You can also deduct your chiropody services when filing your taxes.
- Podiatrists can perform surgeries on the bones in your feet, whereas chiropodists cannot; however chiropodists can perform minor foot surgeries on the toenails, skin and tissue.
Who Should I Schedule An Appointment With?
Chiropodists can treat your foot conditions and can provide you with the appropriate care. You may need podiatry services in some cases, such as if your doctor suspects you will need a bone surgery, such as Bunion correction. Even if you do have bunions and require treatment, you should seek a surgical fix as a last resort. Bunions can also be treated using other methods by a chiropodist.
If you’re still feeling unsure, you can talk to your family doctor. They will help you make sure you book an appointment with the right healthcare professional. Podiatrists can sometimes be more suitable if you need urgent foot surgery. Chiropodists are ideal if you would like to form a relationship with a specialist and build a long term foot care plan, as well as for:
- Comprehensive treatment plans for foot conditions causing foot pain, skin conditions, structural abnormalities, and more
- Custom orthotic fitting
- Shoe fittings
- Orthopaedic footwear
- Compression stocking fittings
- Video gait analysis
- Sports injuries
- Minor surgeries of the nails, skin, and foot tissues
Please note, you do not need a referral to book an appointment with a foot specialist.
Are You In Need Of Foot Care?
Our Bloor West foot clinic is here to help! Call us even to ask a quick question. We’d be happy to point you in the right direction! Our Toronto foot specialists are eager to help you achieve your goal of happy and healthy feet.
Call us at 416-769-FEET (3338) or Book Your Assessment Today!