American health care increasingly requires the skills of doctors of podiatric medicine because they play a critical role in treating lower extremity complications related to diabetes and obesity. As part of the medical team, podiatric physicians help to prevent many of the consequences of local and systemic diseases. Recognizing the expertise of podiatric physicians, medical specialists routinely refer patients to podiatric physicians. Additionally, podiatric physicians have been successful in assessing and anticipating the health care needs of the public in relation to patient safety and cost and efficiency.
Due to the education, training and experience, podiatric physicians have had a significant impact on reducing the number of amputations caused by complications from diabetes and peripheral arterial disease. In a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “More than 60% of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations occur in people with diabetes.” The report goes on to say that “Comprehensive foot care programs can reduce amputation rates by 45%-85%.” The cost savings as a result of prevention efforts could be in the billions of dollars. The American Diabetes Association has cited podiatrists for playing a significant role in treating diabetic patients and saving feet and lower limbs. These are among the many reasons why podiatric physicians are essential members of America’s health care team.
To learn more about podiatric medicine and to obtain foot health information, visit www.apma.org.
Visit our footcare library for specific foot health issues by clicking here.