Consumers seeking a good podiatrist should seek a doctor of podiatric medicine certified by the American Board of Podiatric Medicine or the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. The websites of these organizations offer member directories that consumers can search by state, city, physician name or ZIP code. A doctor of podiatric medicine has completed a four-year podiatric medical school and a three-year hospital residency.
Podiatric physicians and surgeons are the doctors who are most qualified to diagnose and treat foot, ankle and related leg conditions, explains the American Podiatric Medical Association. Podiatry practice specialties include sports medicine, diabetic care, wound care and children's care. Board-certified podiatrists are doctors who have undergone a significant two-part process of testing and evaluation and have proven their expertise in podiatric medicine and orthopedic practice beyond basic state requirements, according to the American Board of Podiatric Medicine. Board-qualified podiatrists are physicians who have completed the first part of the certification process successfully.
As of 2015, the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery uses a computer-based patient simulation examination and a stringent method of evaluating cases to certify podiatrists in foot surgery and reconstructive rear foot and ankle surgery, according to the organization. Board-certified podiatric surgeons must undergo recertification examinations every 10 years to maintain their certifications.