Dr. Travis Kemp, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in the foot and ankle answers this question frequently. There are some key differences between podiatrists and an Orthopedic Surgeon that are important to understand when seeking treatment for their conditions.
The most significant difference between a podiatrist and an Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgeon is the amount of education and training each professional completes. An Orthopedic Surgeon completes 4 years of medical school, a 5-year orthopedic surgery residency, in addition to another year of foot and ankle fellowship training for a total of 10 years of post-college education! An Orthopedic Surgeon is a Medical Doctor and has a better understanding of the whole body, therefore they have a deeper understanding of the impact other conditions can have on the foot or ankle.
In contrast, podiatrists attend 4 years of podiatry school, then they complete a brief residency for a total of 5 years of post-college education. That is half of the training that a medical doctor receives! Due to the vast difference in training, Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgeons are more qualified to address all foot and ankle conditions no matter how big or small.
An Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgeon has the ability to treat all foot and ankle conditions, no matter how simple or complex. They are not limited by scope of practice, hospital privileges, or education to treat patients.
If you have any foot and ankle conditions that you want evaluated, walk-in to any four of our DOC locations. We have providers ready to treat patients 365 days per year and are open until 8 PM.