Podiatrists/chiropodists diagnose and treat abnormalities of the lower limb. They offer professional advice on preventing foot problems and care. In the NHS, they'll see many patients at high risk of amputation, such as those suffering from arthritis or diabetes.
Hear from podiatrists and other allied health professionals in this film.
You may choose to specialise in a particular area of practice; for example, biomechanics, working with children (podopaediatrics) or surgery. Chiropodists have a vital role to play in assessing, treating and advising high-risk patients.
Teaching or research are also options. You could also move into management, either within chiropody services or general management. As head of a local chiropody service you would be responsible both for a team of staff and for managing a budget.
If you've worked as a podiatrist at advanced practitioner level, you will be able to independently prescribe medication to your patients with a wide range of conditions including diabetic foot ulcers and arthritic disorders in the foot and ankle. You will need to have successfully completed an approved education programme in independent prescribing that has been approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). These are due to start in summer 2014.