A day as a podiatrist

You could be working in a community clinic or in a hospital department. Wherever you work, you’ll come across a range of different of patients on a regular basis.

First thing you’ll do is look at what patients you’ll be seeing that day. In the morning, you are seeing patients who are at risk of damaging their feet quite easily, usually because of a condition that they have, such as diabetes or kidney failure. You assess their lower limbs to see how healthy they are, manage skin that might be easily damaged with padding and splints, and give medicines to patients with infections.

In the afternoon you transfer to another site where you lead a clinic where you are working with children with muscle and bone problems in their foot and leg.You spend most of your time measuring their lower limb function, providing them exercise programmes and advice.

You get to spend more time with your patients than many other health staff, so patients can really explain what’s going on in their lives and you can look at their lower limb care holistically.

Real-life stories

Alex Townsend

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Does this sound like you?

You’re caring, compassionate, understanding and keen to help others.You’re a team player who likes problem solving, can think analytically and would like a job where you can really make a difference to people’s quality of life by keeping them mobile.

What's next after GCSE?

You’ll need a minimum of five GCSEs including English language, maths and a science subject. You should apply for three AS/A levels (or equivalent) and ideally one of these should be a science subject.

What's next after A level and beyond?

After gaining the relevant A levels (or equivalent) you’ll need to apply for a degree in podiatry.

Some universities offer both a full time and part time route for the degree so again check for this on their website before you apply. Different universities have different entry criteria, so it’s important to check with the admissions tutor at your chosen university. Degree apprenticeships in podiatry may be available in some parts of the country and you'll usually need the same level of GCSEs and A levels or equivalent qualifications.

Some observational experience would be advisable to enable you to understand the role of a podiatrist before applying for a course or apprenticeship.