NHS Scotland Guide to Careers as a Podiatrist /Chiropodist
As a Podiatrist, you would be an autonomous professional, with your own caseload of patients, but you would also be part of a highly skilled multi-disciplinary team. You would diagnose, evaluate and treat a wide range of lower-limb disorders.
Podiatrists begin their careers in general clinics and then often go on to work in more specialised areas. These specialities include biomechanics, which is a method used to diagnose and treat sports injuries, and the management of high-risk patients who have an underlying illness or condition that puts their legs and feet at increased risk of injury or disease. These patients include people with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and cerebral palsy. Some Podiatrists go on to train as Podiatric Surgeons.
Responsibility for assessing and treating patients obviously demands a high level of knowledge and expertise. Your training will ensure that you have the necessary clinical skills. However, personal qualities such as good communication skills and a sympathetic manner are also essential.
For entry to a degree course in Podiatry the usual requirement is three Highers (B-C), including a Science subject. English is required at Standard Grade (1-3).
However, entry requirements vary between courses and alternative qualifications may be accepted check prospectuses for details.
On completion of the three- or four-year degree you are then eligible to apply for the State Registration necessary to work as a Podiatrist in the NHS.
Each year consists of both theory and clinical experience. You study each area in small sections (modules), which are assessed separately. You take exams at the end of each year, and many schools also use continuous assessment to measure progress. Assistant posts are not yet a route to qualifying as an Allied Health Professional but further opportunities are being developed.
You may choose to specialise in a particular area of practice, for example, biomechanics, working with children (podopaediatrics) or surgery. Podiatrists have a vital role to play in assessing, treating and advising high-risk patients. Teaching and research are also options.
You could also move into management either within podiatry services or general management. As head of a podiatry service you would be responsible both for a team of staff and managing a budget.
Scottish Universities offering Podiatry Degrees
Glasgow Caledonian University Division of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery
Queen Margaret University College School of Health Sciences
The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists