When you've got a foot problem that needs to be diagnoses and treated, it's a good idea to find a podiatrist to work with instead of heading to your general healthcare practitioner. Doing so will help ensure that you get the expert help you need and the support you expect throughout the treatment process. Here are a few important questions to ask when choosing a new podiatrist to work with.
What Specialty Services Are Offered?
While you may be seeking help from a podiatrist for one particular foot problem now, you may end up with a different foot or ankle problem in the future and it would be nice to go back to the same podiatrist to get the care you need. But if the podiatrist you choose to work with now doesn't offer the services you might need later, you'll have to spend time looking for another service provider to turn to.
In addition to examinations and diagnostics, your podiatrist should be able to provide pain management options and even surgical care when necessary. They should be able to handle things like ankle sprains, heel spurs, warts, and neuromas as part of their regular care practices. Ask your podiatrist to provide you with a list of all the types of services they offer so you'll know what you can expect from them in the future.
Is Ongoing Training a Priority?
It's also a good idea to find out how important ongoing training is for your new podiatrist and their support team. Every licensed podiatrist has to have earned a doctorate degree before starting their practice, but that doesn't mean that they take the time and make the commitment to attend ongoing training seminars or earn supplemental certifications as they build their healthcare business.
To ensure that your podiatrist is committed to providing you with the most up-to-date information and the most advanced treatment options, choose a podiatrist to work with who spends their time learning more about their craft and paying attention to industry changes as they happen.
Is Access to Accessories Available?
Your foot problems may result in the need for use of accessories that will help you more comfortable and efficiently function on a day-to-day basis. For example, your podiatrist may want you to use crutches or wear an orthotic shoe until you have surgery or undergo some other kind of treatment plan. You shouldn't have to find a third-party supplier to get the accessories you need.
So make sure that the podiatrist you choose to work with can loan or prescribe you with orthotic accessories when necessary. And if they don't stock your needed accessories in-house, they should be able to source those accessories for you.