Podiatrists spend an average of 8-10 years in higher education, the first four years in undergraduate studies to obtain a Bachelors Degree, and the second four years in medical school to obtain a Podiatric Medical Degree. After obtaining a Podiatric Medical Degree, podiatrists move on to complete a hospital residency for another three years, working in all aspects of medicine to better understand how the body affects the foot and ankle.
At the completion of the residency program, podiatrists have received extensive medical training in surgery with an emphasis on various problems concerning the feet and ankles. They are trained to treat problems ranging from common ailments such as fungal and ingrown toenails, to those which are more complex such as clubfoot, bunions, or reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle.
Podiatrists also have a thorough knowledge and understanding of biomechanics, which is the study of the forces which the feet and legs undergo as we walk, run, or perform other activities. Understanding biomechanics and gait abnormalities, enables a podiatrist to help choose shoes and orthotics which can give pain relief and prevent many problems which the feet commonly encounter, for the long haul.