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Career profile: Podiatrist / Chiropodist

Career profile: Podiatrist / ChiropodistGet the lowdown on what the job involves, what qualifications you need and how long it takes to train.

A what?

A podiatrist (or chiropodist – there is no difference between the two) diagnoses and treats problems of the foot and lower leg.

On the job

A podiatrist can work in a hospital department, health centre or GP’s surgery; they may also visit schools, nursing homes and patients’ homes.

They will assess and treat a range of foot problems from verrucas to deformity. Podiatrists will often work with people whose professions put a large amount of strain on their feet such as those involved in sports or dance, as well helping people with conditions and illnesses which affect a patient’s feet or ability to walk comfortably such as diabetes and arthritis. Podiatrists are also trained to perform minor surgery using local anaesthetic.

Course entry requirements

Applicants generally need five GCSE passes (or equivalent), including English language and preferably two science subjects, and two A-levels or equivalent qualifications, one of which should be a science. Alternatives such as a BTEC, GNVQ or access course are also considered.

In Scotland, you need three Highers grades of BBC or above, along with Standard grades that must include English and two sciences.

Always check entry requirements with the institution of your choice as they may vary.

What does the training involve?

The degree course involves three years of full-time study (four years in Scotland) and is modular so each area of the course will be studied in small sections which are assessed separately. Each year of the course comprises both theoretical and clinical modules. Clinical work will normally begin in the first year of the course. Some sessions will be based in the classroom and others will be clinic or laboratory based.

It’s also good to note that there are no tuition fees to pay at all and NHS bursaries are available to some students.

Related links

(Information taken from NHS Careers)