If you’re experiencing a foot health issue, you’re not alone. Countless people will need to see a foot doctor, also known as a podiatrist, at some point in their lives. However, if you are dealing with foot pain or another medical condition in your feet or ankles that proves difficult to diagnose, how do you know which doctor to go to? What foot doctor is the right one for you and your specific issue? Read on to learn a little bit more about what to look for in your next foot doctor.
Not all podiatry specialists are created equal; some specialize in certain conditions more than others. For example, let’s say you’re dealing with foot health complications associated with diabetes or prediabetes. This is hardly an uncommon situation – according to the American Association of Diabetes Educators, there was a reported 30.3 million people living with diabetes at the end of 2017. Not all foot doctors are going to have the same experience in treating people with diabetes, whose foot problems can range from poor circulation and neuropathy to calluses and foot ulcers. On the other hand, some podiatrists will specialize in diabetic and prediabetic foot health complications. Do some research to see what foot and ankle conditions your podiatrist explains on their website before scheduling an appointment.
This question is fairly straightforward: how long has your preferred podiatrist been in the business? The best podiatrists will have several years of experience and many patient reviews that can attest to their expertise. You generally don’t want to see a podiatrist who has little experience with your specific diagnosis; the more experience, the better. In addition, noting if the podiatrist in question has authored any scientific publications can also showcase the extent of their knowledge. Most foot and ankle centers will have some information about their specialists’ experience and education online, so pay attention to that information ahead of time.
Finally, another good indicator of a great foot doctor is how strong their communication skills are. While this might not seem like it has much to do with quality of care, having a doctor who you can easily reach out to if something is wrong can make a big difference. If you’ve had issues with scheduling appointments with your foot doctor, you might want to start shopping around for other specialists. In addition to general availability, your podiatrist needs to be a strong communicator to successfully convey the medical severity of any given issue in layman’s terms. Patients are often the best asset in diagnosing their issues, determining the best course of treatment given patient needs and concerns and judging the effectiveness of said treatment – a valuable resource that goes untapped if the doctor in question cannot communicate and listen effectively.
The best podiatrists will specialize in what you need, have years of experience and are easy to contact when you need their medical expertise. For more information on foot specialists or to find your next foot doctor, contact Dynamic Foot and Ankle today.