If you are having some kind of foot pain, you’ll likely look for a doctor to help you with your foot pain. When you put that problem into a search engine, you’ll end up with a bunch of different results. You’ll likely notice that some of the doctors are chiropodists and others are podiatrists. Which doctor do you need? What is the difference?
What is the Difference?
- The words chiropody and podiatry are often used interchangeably because they both refer to foot doctors.
- The difference is often one of origin. Doctors trained in America, for example, go to podiatry school. Doctors trained in Canada go to chiropody school.
- The schools sometimes have different requirements or different time lengths, but they concern the same subjects.
- Essentially, chiropodist and podiatrist are interchangeable.
Why the Different Words?
You’ll find different words for foot doctors largely because of tradition. Certain schools and communities have used one word for decades whereas others have used a different word. They tend to stick to it out of tradition and habit.
Chiropody is derived from the Greek word for hands. That is because chiropody used to be the treatment of both hands and feet. Now, it is mostly just the feet. Podiatry is from the Greek word for feet. If you have pain in your feet, you’re looking for either a chiropodist or a podiatrist; most doctors will classify themselves as both when you ask them.