The history of podiatry ( chiropodist / podiatrist ) Written on 07 October 2014.
You probably know a little bit about the history of the medical profession and how your primary doctor, cardiologist, and other doctors involved in your care were educated. In school, you probably learned about Hippocrates and the Hippocratic Oath taken by doctors. However, what do you know about podiatry ( chiropodist / podiatrist )? The history of podiatry ( chiropodist / podiatrist ) dates back to ancient Egypt and podiatric medical education is just as rigorous as your other physicians’ educations, but with a highly specialized focus on the feet, ankles, and legs.
The origins of podiatry ( chiropodist / podiatrist )
Although the exact period during which podiatry ( chiropodist / podiatrist ) emerged is unknown, the treatment of the feet and their related disorders dates back to at least ancient Egypt. The first recorded evidence of podiatric practice dates to at least 2400 B.C. and the tomb of Ankmahor, a physician. On the walls at the entrance to his tomb show pictorial carvings of the feet being cared for. Other similar evidence indicates that foot care may have been quite common throughout ancient Egypt. The Greek physician, Hippocrates, studied what we now call corns and calluses of the feet and even developed tools to remove them. In more modern history, our own president, Abraham Lincoln, had severe foot problems and suffered from quite a bit of foot discomfort. He regularly sought podiatric care for these problems.
podiatry ( chiropodist / podiatrist ) becomes organizedIn the United States, podiatrists, originally called chiropodists, made several attempts to organize professionally and formalize their educational practices. However, it wasn’t until 1895 that they were first successful at creating a formal, professional organization, the Pedic Society of New York. By 1907 they had started their first professional podiatry ( chiropodist / podiatrist ) journal, and in 1911 opened their first podiatry ( chiropodist / podiatrist ) school. At about this same time, podiatry ( chiropodist / podiatrist ) began to become more organized in Europe and Australia as well, with England opening the London Foot Hospital and an associated school and Australia’s first professional podiatric society developing in 1924.
By 1958, the American podiatry ( chiropodist / podiatrist ) Association was well established after a few name changes, and in 1984 it became known as the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). The APMA has grown in strength and numbers over the years, focusing on incorporating podiatry ( chiropodist / podiatrist ) into mainstream medical practice and increased professionalism. Over the years, the APMA has only strengthened the skills and qualities of the podiatric profession, allowing podiatrists today to offer patients like you a complete approach to the care and treatment of your feet, ankle, and leg problems.
What about Scholl’s?
You may have seen or heard of Scholl’s or Dr. Scholl. Did you know that Dr. Scholl was a real person and not simply a marketing ploy to get you to buy over-the-counter arch supports? William Mathias Scholl was the owner and operator of a small, specialty shoe store in Chicago in the early 1900s. He was so worried about the pain and discomfort experienced by his customers that he decided to study the anatomy and physiology of the feet by attending medical school. After medical school, he developed his first arch support in 1904, and eventually expanded his product line to include a wide array of foot supports, compression stockings, and much more. In 1912, Dr. Scholl founded the Illinois College of Chiropody and Orthopaedics in order to train others in this specialized field. Dr. Scholl passed away in 1968 at the age of 81, but his legacy still lives on today.
podiatry ( chiropodist / podiatrist ) today
Modern podiatry ( chiropodist / podiatrist ) is better organized than ever with education based on broad medical knowledge with additional specialized training, including residency, fellowships, and continuing education. Podiatrists are fully a part of modern medicine, specializing in the treatment of all foot, ankle, and leg disorders. Podiatrists today treat everyday problems such as corns and calluses as well as diabetic complications, injuries, traumas, and reconstruction. Podiatrists may practice general podiatry ( chiropodist / podiatrist ), serving a broad base of patients or they may specialize in specific areas such as post-traumatic reconstruction of the feet. Podiatrists treat patients ranging from infants and children to adults of all ages, including the elderly. Many also offer specialized services such as orthotics and other devices to assist in correcting biomechanical impairment and increase comfort.