A podiatrist is not a medical doctor, i.e., an MD, but is instead a doctor of podiatric medicine, or a DPM. Podiatry deals with diseases and injuries affecting the feet and ankles, and podiatrists are trained to diagnose and treat such issues as well as prescribe medication and perform surgery.
Podiatrists attend podiatric medical schools for four years after graduating from college and then complete terms of residency within a hospital setting. Many go on to receive board certifications and even to specialize in various subspecialties in the field, such as wound care and sports-related injuries. Many patients with systemic disorders such as diabetes seek care from podiatrists in addition to their primary care doctors specifically to treat the effects the disease has on their feet.