When should you consult a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist’s advice can be very helpful as soon as discomfort develops. A podiatric
consultation is necessary if you observe any changes or deformities in the toes or feet for both
children and adults.

What is a podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a health professional subject to the professional code of Quebec, the Podiatry

Act and the Code of Ethics of Podiatrists. They evaluate and treat conditions and diseases of the feet that are not systemic diseases by medical, chemical, pharmaceutical, surgical, mechanical and manipulative means. A podiatrist has the expertise and the skills to detect complications related to the foot and to distinguish the difference between a podiatric condition and a systemic condition, which would be the expertise of a physician.

In addition to provide advice on foot health and hygiene, a podiatrist can prescribe and administer medications, perform minor surgeries and prescribe, make and modify foot orthotics.

Podiatrists integrate four major categories into their practice:

  • Podiatric exam and diagnosis
  • Development and prescription of a treatment plan
  • Execution of surgical and orthopedic treatments
  • Presentation of information and the clinical follow­up

Podiatrists offer three types of treatment:

  • Medical treatments
  • Orthopedic treatments
  • Surgical treatments

In order to practice podiatry, a podiatrist is obligated to obtain a permit administered by the governing board of the Quebec Order of Podiatrists.

In addition to being governed by the ​Podiatry Act,​ podiatrists, as members of the professional order, are subject to professional inspections, the ​Podiatric Code of Ethics,​ several regulations and standards governing quality practice and the Professional Code of Quebec, none of which are obligatory for a non­professional.

(Taken and adapted from www.ordredespodiatres.qc.ca​, the Quebec Order of Podiatrists,

All rights reserved © 2014)

What professional training is required to become a podiatrist?

To become a podiatrist, one most complete an undergraduate level doctoral degree, like a dentist.

In order to become a Doctor of Podiatric medicine, 1770 hours of theory and 2300 hours of practical training must be completed over a period of four years.

Since 2004, the University of Quebec in Trois­Rivières (UQTR), offers an undergaduate level doctoral degree in Podiatric Medicine. It is the first university program of its type to be found in Canada.

In collaboration with the ​New York College of Podiatric Medicine, ​UQTR offers courses by American Professors in order to prepare students for the obligatory four month fieldwork placement that must be completed in New York at the end of their studies.

(Taken and adapted from www.ordredespodiatres.qc.ca, the Quebec Order of Podiatrists,  All rights reserved © 2014)

Are podiatric treatments covered by Medicare?

A podiatrist practices in the private sector, therefore he’s not eligible to accept Medicare in Québec.

Are podiatric treatments covered by private insurance plans?

Depending on your private insurance coverage, most insurance plans include part or full indemnity on podiatric services.

Do I need a referral from a physician to consult a podiatrist?

No. Anyone can consult a podiatrist without a referral from a general practitioner. However, if your doctor asks you to consult a podiatrist, it will be added to your medical file.