I get this question all of the time. "What did you say?"
"Did you say Podiatrist?" Nope. Pedorthist!
A Pedorthist is a professional who has specialized training to fit and modify footwear and lower limb devices like orthotics. A Certified Pedorthist is an allied health professional specifically educated and trained to manage comprehensive pedorthic patient care. This includes fitting, fabricating, adjusting or modifying devices that reflect the level of education and training received.
People coming into pedorthics study foot and lower limb anatomy; pathology; biomechanics, which involves human locomotion; gait analysis; footwear fitting; lower extremity orthotic design, fabrication and materials; shoe construction and modification; and patient/practice management. In addition, most seek non-academic experience under the supervision of a credentialed or Certified Pedorthist (CPed) to familiarize themselves with pedorthic approaches, terminology and techniques. After studying and being mentored, they attend specific pedorthic courses which are prerequisites for their certification examination. Credentialed pedorthists maintain their certification by following continuing education and renewal requirements.
Steps to certification:
1. Completion of a National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE) approved pedorthic pre-certification education course.
2. Successful completion of a rigorus 3 hour certification exam.
3. Completion of 1,000 hours of pedorthic patient care experience obtained either before or after completion the pedorthic education program.
Yes. Many people can benefit from pedorthic devices or footwear modifications to make their shoes more comfortable. Sometimes they just need a shoe that has been properly fit. You can see a credentialed pedorthist without a footwear prescription, but some credentialed pedorthists prefer to work by appointment, to assure they can give your feet the attention you deserve. Keep in mind that if you have a medical condition, you will need a footwear prescription before the credentialed pedorthist can help you.