What is a Podiatrist?

As explained by the Ordre des podiatres du Québec:

"A podiatrist is a professional authorized by law to treat local diseases of the foot that are not systemic diseases. In professional practice, the podiatrist is also authorized, under certain conditions, to use radiology and to prescribe medications. "

What is the training of a podiatrist?

A podiatrist has a doctorate in podiatric medicine obtained after 4 years of study and training at university. In Canada, the only university offering the podiatric medicine program is the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. In the United States, seven institutions offer the same program.

Do I need a medical referral to see a podiatrist?

No. A podiatrist is a frontline health professional. You can consult directly without referral from a doctor.

Are podiatry fees reimbursed by the RAMQ?

Unfortunately, podiatric fees are not reimbursed by the Régie de l'Assurance Maladie du Québec. Podiatrists currently only work in private practice. However, the majority of private insurance plans reimburse covered patients for part or all of the fees.

What is the difference between a podiatrist, orthesist and a podologue

A podiatrist has a university education of four years in podiatric medicine and is a health care professional who evaluates, diagnoses and treats local conditions of the feet. In comparison, the feet are to the podiatrist what the mouth is to the dentist. A podiatrist is governed by the Professional Code of Quebec, the Podiatry Act and other regulations and is authorized to prescribe and sell the orthotics.

The orthesist has a technical college education of three years and can design and manufacture any orthortics for the human body. According to the law, the orthesist cannot evaluate, diagnose or prescribe an orthotic device. Thus, he must work to make the orthotics according to biomechanical assessment and prescription made ​​by the physician or podiatrist.

The term "podologue" is only used and recognized in France. Individuals calling themselves podologues, have no recognized training in Quebec.

At what age can you consult with a child?

It is possible to consult a podiatrist at the parent's first suspicion of abnormality on a child's lower limbs or from the first months of a child's life with annual checkups. The podiatrist has the skills to assess birth defects, delays in motor development, growth abnormalities, neurological disorders, injuries and dermatological disorders in the lower limbs.

How can I prepare for my first visit?

Upon your arrival at the clinic, you must fill out a short form with some information about your health history. It is recommended that you prepare a list of medications, known allergies and a history of past illnesses and surgeries. The podiatrist will have all the information necessary to form a good picture of your podiatric situation. It may appear unimportant to mention some details of your health, but know that the human body is like a puzzle, all the pieces are important for good understanding of your health.

To evaluate multiple problems, the podiatrist will want to evaluate your shoes. It will be important to bring the shoes you wear most often or those that appear to be the cause of your symptoms.

When should I consult a podiatrist?

You should consult a podiatrist whenever you experience acute or chronic foot pain or if you have questions regarding your posture, foot deformities or visible abnormalities that worry you.