Resources for Podiatry Students

Podiatrist Qualifications

You cannot become a registered podiatrist or practise podiatry without proper qualifications. If you would like to become a podiatrist you will need pass a Podiatry Honours Degree (BSc Hons).

In order to gain a place on a podiatry honours degree course at University you will usually need five GCSE passes (or equivalent), including English language and preferably two science subjects and two A-levels or equivalent qualifications. Alternative qualifications that are usually acceptable include:

Mature Students i.e. those who have been out of full-time education for some time are encouraged to apply, but will usually need to have evidence of recent study at an appropriate level and hold some formal qualification focused around biology, usually to A level with a minimum of grade C or equivalent grade in a similar level, such as an appropriate access course.

Personal Qualities of a Podiatrist Chiropodist

Academic qualifications are essential, but you will also need the following personal qualities to obtain a place on a podiatry honours degree course at University:

Podiatry and chiropody involves working with people. Podiatry patients are often elderly, patients may have mobility difficulties and they may find it difficult to understand the treatment alternatives that are being offered to them. Patients may require explanations about treatment being given in lay terms and they often wish to spend all day having a natter about their personal life! Therefore the appropriate balance of people skills are vital to ensure proprietry patient care.

Podiatry Practical Skills

Podiatry involves using practical skills to treat ailments of the feet, for example debridement of callus with an extremely sharp scapel. Therefore manual skills are important and are assessed as part of the podiatry honours degree. However, physical disability is not automatically a barrier to you training in this profession.

It is obvious that podiatrists are required to treat conditions of the feet and lower limbs. You will need to be comfortable handling feet. Podiatry patient's feet may be odourous, fungally infected, wounded, ulcerated with necrotic tissue and/or deformed. It is not always easy to handle feet that are badly injured, however this is something that will become easier with experience.

Interview Advice for Podiatry Courses at University

It is necessary to demonstrate good communication and personal skills. You will need to show that you have an understanding of chiropody and all the areas that podiatry covers. Read around the subject. Podiatry is far more than cutting toenails!

It is advisable to spend time with registered chiropodist podiatrist to gain some understanding the scope of work and what a career in podiatry will be like.

As with any interview, be smart, punctual and polite. Prepare answers for standard interview questions. Ask the interviewer questions about chiropody, such as:

An interview should be a two way discussion. You must sell yourself, but the univeristy is also trying to sell you a place on their podiatry course!

Podiatrist Clinic Logo

Podiatrist Schools and Universities

There are currently 13 Schools and Universities in the United Kingdom which offer a BSc (Hons.) in Podiatry. The contact details of are as follows:


Funding for Podiatry Honours Degrees

Always confirm who will be repsonsible for paying tution fees with any school or university that you apply to. In general, for United Kingdom and EU students, tuition fees are paid by the Department of Health, with additional access to means-tested bursaries and student loans for eligible students. Students with dependents may be eligible for additional sums, depending on their household income. Tuition fee support and bursaries are available to graduates from other disciplines but overseas applicants are required to pay full-cost fees and are not eligible for bursaries or loans.

How to Apply for BSc (Hons.) in Podiatry

Contact UCAS on 0870 1122211 or visit http://www.ucas.com

Podiatrist Clinic Logo

Podiatry Course Programme Structure

The BSc. (Hons.) Podiatry courses are usually modular courses.

A good podiatry course will consist of both theoretical and practical sessions. In the second and third year there will also be placement learning in NHS clinics and hospitals.

A typical three year full time podiatry degree would consist of the following podiatry and healthcare modules:


Podiatrist Clinic Logo

Recommended Reading for Podiatry Students

Podiatry Book List

General Anatomy Books


General Podiatry and Footcare Books


Diabetic Footcare Books


Wound Care Books


General Healthcare Books


Podiatrist Clinic Logo

Careers in Podiatry Chiropody

Podiatry is not about cutting old ladies' toenails! Podiatry covers a wide variety of disciplines concerning the feet, ankles and lower legs and therefore plays an extremely important role within the healthcare profession. Podiatrists seek to eliminate lower leg pain and improve patient mobility.

The main aim as a chiropodist/podiatrist is to assess, diagnose and treat abnormalities and diseases of the lower limb.

Podiatrists may work for the NHS or in private podiatry practice, many podiatrists work both in the NHS and in private practice. Podiatrists may work in hospital departments, clinics, health centres, GPs surgeries and may also visit patients in nursing homes or at patient's home (domiciliaries).

After first qualifying as a podiatrist most graduates will go into a general podiatry clinic. In general clinic podiatrists will diagnose a wide variety of conditions and provide a range of treatments. General clinic provides the opportunity to develop skills and confidence. Patients will arrive at the clinic with foot, ankle or knee pain. Patients may be suffering from verrucas, corns or bunions, they may have persistant ulcers or deformities of the feet or legs. It is up to the podiatrist to assess the symptoms, communicate with the patient in order to diagnose the condition and proceed with the correct treatment. Foot problems may need to be monitored over time. Lower leg problems may also be related to the patient's gait, which often needs to be corrected using orthotics.

After gaining experience in general clinic many podiatrists will go on to specialise in a particular field of podiatry. This may inlcude doing original research that can be published in proprietary medical journals. The main areas for specialisation are biomechanics, podiatric surgery, podopaediatrics and management of high risk patients.

Biomechanics

A popular choice for podiatrists to specialise in is biomechanics, which deals with topics such as gait, rheumatoid arthritis and sports injuries. Many people suffer from pain in their lower limbs which can be attributed to their posture and the way that they walk or run. Using video cameras and computer equipment, pateints are filmed walking and running on treadmills so that an analysis can be made. Corrective treatment often involves using bespoke orthotics to treat biomechanical problems.

Increasingly football and rugby clubs, athletes and dancers now employ podiatrists to prevent and treat lower limb problems.

Many lower limb problems children have are biomechanically related. Working with children is called Podopaediatrics.

Podiatric Surgery

At university podiatry students are trained to give local anesthetics and carry out nail surgery, such as removing ingrowing toenails. Following exentsive training, taking in excess of 10 years, it is possible for podiatrists to become podiatric surgeons. A podiatric surgeon can surgically manage bone, joints and soft tissue within the foot, for example, when a patient is suffering from a muscular skeletal injury or from foot deformities. In many cases podiatric surgery will reduce or eliminate pain, consequently improving a patient's mobility. Non-surgical methods are used whenever possible however.

High Risk Patient Management

High risk pateints typically include people who suffer with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cerebral palsy, peripheral arterial disease and peripheral nerve damage. These patients can easily damage their feet and since they often have little or no feeling in their feet (neuropathy) the damage can go unnoticed. Additionally, poor circulation means that injuries are slow to heal. Therefore severe worsening of the condition can easily occur. In extreme cases amputation is necessary, however with regular assessment and preventative podiatry treatment the need to amputate is much reduced. Special care has to be taken to regularly examine and monitor these patient's feet.

Podiatrist Clinic Logo

Computer Advice for Students

Many University lecturers now provide lecture notes for students in the form of Microsoft Powerpoint Presentations PPT files and Adobe PDF files. Below are some tips to help you save paper, ink and money when you print out your lecture notes.

Microsoft Powerpoint Presentations PPT files

Microsoft Powerpoint is part of Microsoft Office 2007. Powerpoint is something that you may not have on your computer and you may not be able to afford to buy it. Fortunately you can download Powerpoint Viewer free from Microsoft's download website: Powerpoint Viewer Download. This program lets you view Powerpoint ppt files, however it does not let you create them.

Printing Powerpoint PPT Files

When you have opened a Powerpoint Presentation, from the menu select File, then Print. This will open the Powerpoint Print window.

About half way down on the left hand side, underneath "Print what:", select "Handouts" from the drop down menu. This will enable you to print out several slides per page. The exact number of slides per page can be chosen from the Handouts box to the right of the drop down menu. If there is a lot of small text on each slide you will need to print fewer slides per page than if there is small amounts of large text.

To save money, print in black and white instead of colour. Underneath "Colour/Grayscale", from the drop down menu select "Grayscale" if there are lots of pictures in the presentation, or "Pure Black and White" if the presentation contains mainly text.

Adobe PDF Reader

As with Powerpoint, a free program called Adobe PDF Reader can be downloaded to view PDF files. If it is not already pre-installed on your computer you can download it: Abode PDF Reader Download.

Printing Adobe PDF Files

When you have opened a PDF file, from the menu select File, then Print. This will open the Print window.

About half way down on the left hand side, there is a box called "Paper Handling". Inside this box look for "Page Scaling", to the right of this there is a drop down menu. Select "Multiple pages per sheet". The number of pages per sheet can be selected using "Pages per sheet" below.

To print in grayscale or with black ink only, click the "properties" button in the top right corner of the print window. This will take you to the settings for your printer where you can change the colour setting.