What they do

Podiatrists diagnose and treat ailments of the feet and lower limbs. They help to relieve discomfort or increase mobility for their patients by diagnosing and preventing foot injuries and disorders, prescribing orthotics and offering advice on foot care. They also treat walking abnormalities in children and perform both minor and major surgery, either on warts and ingrown nails, or on misaligned toes. They also undertake administrative work, order medical supplies, and may also offer public advice on foot care through talks or conferences.

Working conditions

Podiatrists work in private practices, health clinics, nursing homes and other medical facilities. They usually work regular hours but may be required to work long hours at times. They examine and handle peoples feet, and may come into contact with unhygenic body tissue.

Tools and technologies

Podiatrists make and fit insoles and other corrective devices that they fit to their client's shoes, feet and lower legs. They prescribe medications, skin creams and balms for their patients, and also use x-ray equipment to diagnose foot problems. They also use surgical instruments and dressings, sterilising equipment, and treatment tables, as well as orthotic materials, grinders and shaping equipment, and video gait-analysis equipment.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a podiatrist, you usually need to study a degree in any field, followed by a postgraduate degree in podiatry.

All universities in Western Australia offer relevant undergraduate courses.
The University of Western Australia offers a three-year Doctor of Podiatry Medicine. This is the only postgraduate degree in podiatry medicine in Western Australia.

Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Required registration and licensing

To work as a podiatrist in Western Australia, you will need to obtain registration from the Podiatry Board of Australia. You will need to have a National Police Certificate and may need to obtain a current Working with Children Check issued by the Department of Communities.