A podiatrist is a health care professional who can help to determine the causes of ankle and foot pain, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. Podiatrists diagnose and treat all disorders of the foot and ankle and their related leg structures.
Doctors who study podiatry spend four years in medical school and three years in a specialty residency for their education, states the American Podiatric Medical Association. Commonly, podiatrists choose a specialty in residency, such as surgery, sports medicine, wound care, diabetic care or pediatrics. Disorders that may require podiatric attention include bunions, sprains, hammer toe, heel pain and tendonitis.