Why do Orthopedic Surgeons Hate Podiatrists; Podiatrists are doctors. They are medical doctors. The same as an orthopedic surgeon. They have gone to medical school, they have taken the same tests, they have been licensed by the same board, and they have the same legal rights and responsibilities as any other physician.
However, and this is a big however, the training of a podiatrist in the United States does not include the ability to perform general surgery or to prescribe medications for systemic use (like antibiotics). The training of a podiatrist does not include any training in internal medicine, family practice, obstetrics/gynecology or emergency medicine. Their clinical training is limited to podiatric medicine (the foot) and dermatology (the skin).
So why do orthopedic surgeons hate podiatrists? Because most podiatrists in this country are very poor physicians when compared to their allopathic or osteopathic colleagues. They generally know very little about medicine outside of their specialty. An orthopedic surgeon that graduated from an American medical school will be far better trained than any podiatrist in terms of knowledge of general medicine, basic surgical principles and post-operative care. This is because they will have had four years of medical school, one year of internship and three years of
I am a podiatrist who has practiced for over 30 years. I do not hate orthopedic surgeons and I have many good friends who are orthopedic surgeons. The reason for the animosity between podiatrists and orthopedic surgeons is because of the turf wars that have been going on for decades in the debate about who should perform foot surgery. Orthopedic surgeons would like to eliminate podiatrists from performing surgery on feet and ankles, while podiatrists want to maintain their right to practice their specialty, which is the lower extremity (foot and ankle).
Orthopedics is a surgical specialty that covers the entire musculoskeletal system from head to toe. Most orthopedic surgeons specialize in one or more areas of the body such as hands, shoulders, knees, spine, etc. The majority of orthopedists do not have much training in treating foot and ankle problems. There are some foot and ankle specialists who are board certified in orthopedics but they have undergone specific training in foot and ankle surgery beyond what is required for general orthopedists.
Podiatric medicine is a surgical specialty with the emphasis on the treatment of conditions affecting the foot and lower extremity from the hip down. Podiatric surgeons have extensive training in all
I’m a Podiatrist who works in Orthopedics and the majority of my patients are under the care of an orthopedic surgeon. I’ve never met any orthopedic surgeons who hate podiatrists. It’s usually the other way around.
Podiatrists don’t really like orthopedic surgeons because they think that there’s nothing an ortho can do for foot and ankle problems that a podiatrist can’t do just as well (if not better). For example, if you have a plantar fasciitis problem on your foot, your podiatrist is going to tell you that you don’t need an orthopedist because there’s nothing an orthopedist can do for you that he can’t do himself. Orthopods get annoyed by this because they know that it’s not true — plantar fasciitis is a common problem which can be effectively treated with surgical intervention by a skilled surgeon. But most podiatrists aren’t going to let their patients see an outside physician if they feel they can treat them themselves (it’s bad for business).
The general consensus among podiatrists is that orthopods are “bone doctors” and should leave the treatment of soft tissue disorders (like plantar fasci
The podiatrist-orthopedist relationship is a fairly complicated one. These two fields overlap in many ways, and podiatrists have traditionally been the kings of anything below the ankle.
That’s changing though. Increasingly, these days I see orthopedic surgeons getting into the foot and ankle game more and more, to the point that the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery even has an optional certificate of added qualification (CAQ) in foot and ankle surgery available to their members.
This leaves podiatrists feeling threatened, as they should be. Orthopedists are trained to do the same things podiatrists are trained to do, but they tend to make more money doing it (I remember when my residency director at Ohio State told me that it was not unusual for a podiatrist to have an income less than half of his or her orthopedic surgeon counterparts).
The main issue is turf wars, because there’s only so much elective surgery money floating around out there, and if an orthopedist can take away some of what was once traditional podiatric territory, then that will affect the income of those practice areas. This is particularly important when you consider that most managed care plans require a referral from a primary care physician to see
Podiatry is not a respected profession, but it has its place.
I think many of us orthopedists feel that podiatry is an afterthought to medicine, and most podiatrists don’t seem to try and change our minds. They refer patients to us for cases that are “too complicated” or that they just plain don’t want to perform. They often don’t even try to understand the anatomy of the foot and ankle (which is very complex) or they choose to simplify it so much that they are missing important nuances that we have found to be critical in treating foot and ankle problems.
I have many podiatrist friends who do excellent work when working within their scope, but the problem I think many of us have is the “I’m a doctor too” attitude. There is no need for that, but in fact it makes you look insecure in your profession if you feel the need to compare yourself with MDs or DOs, which leads one to believe that you are uncertain about your own abilities as a doctor of podiatric medicine.
No one can do everything, and there are certainly some things we orthopedists should not do…or at least would not want to do! We refer out for colonoscopies because
Podiatrists are Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), also known as podiatric physicians or surgeons, qualified by their education and training to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg.
Podiatrists are experts in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of medical and surgical conditions of the foot and ankle. They can offer advice on how to take care of your feet, and will be able to provide information on shoes, custom-made orthotics, braces, padding and other medical supplies that may be helpful for you.
Podiatrists can be specialists in areas such as sports medicine, pediatrics (children’s foot health) or geriatrics (the elderly).
Is There a Difference Between a Podiatrist And an Orthopedic Surgeon?
An orthopedic surgeon deals with the musculoskeletal system, and can specialize in such areas as the spine, the hand and upper extremities, pediatrics, trauma and sports medicine. An orthopedic surgeon can perform foot surgery if needed. This may include surgery of the ankle joint or foot deformities.
A podiatrist practices medicine on the ankle, foot and related structures of the leg. Podiatrists are considered primary care doctors for foot problems. Podiatrists can prescribe medicine for conditions affecting your feet or ankles, but they cannot prescribe narcotics or other controlled drugs.
The difference between a podiatrist and an orthopedic surgeon is that a podiatrist specializes in the feet, ankles and lower legs, whereas an orthopedic surgeon specializes in the maintenance of bones, muscles, ligaments and joints throughout the body. Podiatrists are doctors of podiatric medicine (DPM).
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Orthopedic surgeons are considered the more skilled and trained specialists in the foot and ankle. They do not treat only the feet as a podiatrist does. An orthopedic surgeon also treats other areas of the body. The surgeon is more equipped to perform surgeries that may be necessary for some foot and ankle problems.
A podiatrist is a lower level specialist that treats only issues of the feet and ankles. Most podiatrists do not perform surgery. Some podiatrists are able to prescribe medication or give injections, which can help with pain management.
Podiatrists are better suited to treat basic issues, such as warts, corns and calluses, but they should refer you to an orthopedic surgeon if you develop a serious or complex problem in your foot or ankle, including fractures, torn ligaments or tendons, or severe arthritis.
Orthopedic surgeons are typically better equipped to deal with severe problems that arise with your feet and ankles.
Podiatrists and orthopedic surgeons are both medical doctors that specialize in treating the foot and ankle, but they receive different types of training. Podiatrists are trained in podiatric medicine, while orthopedic surgeons are trained to provide general medical care with an emphasis on the musculoskeletal system.
Podiatrists are able to perform surgery, but only on the foot and ankle. Orthopedists, however, can perform surgery on the entire body.
Podiatrists can be primary health care providers for foot and ankle problems, but will often refer out to other specialists when treatment or surgery involves other parts of the body or requires more expertise than a podiatrist has. Orthopedists will often refer patients to podiatrists when their injury specifically involves the foot or ankle.
Orthopedic surgeons have broad training in general medicine plus specialized knowledge in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and diseases of the bones, joints, muscles and tendons. They are able to diagnose and treat any part of the body where there is an orthopedic problem. While many people associate orthopedists with sports medicine, they also treat fractures and work with patients who have arthritis or bone cancer.
Orthopedic surgeons are medical doctors who have chosen to specialize in the surgical treatment of musculoskeletal problems. They generally treat problems involving bones and joints, although many also treat soft tissue problems like sports injuries.
Podiatrists, also called doctors of podiatric medicine, or DPMs, are also medical doctors. However, they have chosen to specialize in conditions of the foot and ankle. While some podiatrists treat routine foot and ankle conditions, such as bunions and hammertoes, others focus on more complex problems like sports injuries or diabetic foot care.
Orthopedic surgeons have much broader training than podiatrists and can perform surgery anywhere in the body. So while a podiatrist may be an expert in treating foot and ankle problems, an orthopedic surgeon is an expert in any bone or joint problem throughout the body.
Podiatry is a branch of medicine devoted to the study, diagnosis, and medical and surgical treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle and lower extremity.
Orthopedic surgery or orthopedics (also spelled orthopaedics) is the branch of surgery concerned with conditions involving the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedic surgeons use both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors, and congenital disorders.
The main difference between podiatrists and orthopaedic surgeons is that podiatrists only treat the foot or ankle. Podiatrists can perform some surgeries on the foot or ankle but are not able to perform surgeries on any other part of the body. An orthopaedic surgeon can perform surgeries on any bone or joint in the body.
Podiatrists, who are also called doctors of podiatric medicine (DPMs) or podiatric physicians, diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and structures of the leg. Orthopedic surgeons, who are also called orthopedists, diagnose and treat diseases and injuries of all parts of the musculoskeletal system — essentially everything that moves in the body.
Podiatrists may specialize in foot and ankle surgery. They can perform many surgical procedures in a hospital or on an outpatient basis. However, podiatrists are not able to do certain surgeries, such as joint replacements or limb lengthening. They may refer patients to orthopedic surgeons for these procedures.
Orthopedic surgeons are trained to perform surgical procedures on many parts of the body, including the foot and ankle. Many orthopedic surgeons specialize in sports medicine or another area of specialization within orthopedics.
What are The Disadvantages of Being an Orthopedic Surgeon?
Orthopaedic surgery is a very satisfying specialty of medicine. It is also one of the most demanding. To become a specialist, one must complete four years of medical school, followed by five years of an accredited orthopaedic residency program. This is followed by a rigorous certification examination given by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. After completing this training and passing the certification examination, an additional fellowship year or two may be undertaken for further training in a specific area such as sports medicine, spinal disorders, or trauma. In essence, one can expect to be in training for at least thirteen years before entering practice as an “orthopaedist”.
The years of preparation are required because orthopaedists must be experts in musculoskeletal problems and their treatment. The field encompasses all aspects of medicine from primary care to highly specialized surgery involving the musculoskeletal system. The training is broad and demanding because the specialty requires considerable expertise in anatomy, biology and physics to be able to treat patients with disorders ranging from simple sprains and fractures to complex spine and joint replacements.
This long period of preparation is only the beginning. Maintaining board certification requires participation in
Orthopedics is a good field. You get to see patients of all ages and you have a lot of different procedures you can do, from open fracture fixation to arthroscopic surgery to total joint replacement.
I think orthopedic surgeons get to have some of the most rewarding jobs in medicine. Having done a rotation in orthopedics, I can tell you that on the day after you did a total knee or hip replacement, you got to go back and see your patient walking with no pain for the first time in years. It’s an amazing experience that I haven’t seen in any other specialties.
The disadvantages are that its very hard work, both physically and mentally. It’s probably one of the more demanding surgical specialties because there is so much variation in what you are doing from one case to another. You aren’t really able to “drill” cases like you might be able to do in general surgery or urology or something like that. Each case requires a different approach and therefore careful thought and planning on your part.
Also, there is a lot of work outside of the hospital as well in terms of seeing patients in clinic and rounding on patients that you have already operated on either at home or at subacute rehab facilities
Orthopedic surgeons are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the bones and joints. Some orthopedists focus on a particular part of the body, such as the foot, while others focus on specific procedures, such as hip or knee replacement surgery or treating spinal injuries.
Orthopedic surgeons must complete at least four years of pre-med undergraduate training, four years of medical school, five years in an orthopedic residency program and often one or two additional years of a fellowship program. In addition to their strenuous training regimen, orthopedic surgeons must also be highly organized, detail oriented and motivated to learn new techniques and procedures.
The most common disadvantage experienced by orthopedic surgeons relates to their patient population. Orthopedic patients often have very painful injuries and ailments that affect their daily lives in significant ways. While many patients respond well to treatment and regain full use of their injured body parts, some do not. It can be very difficult for physicians who strive for excellent patient outcomes to see patients suffer when treatment does not work as expected.
As with many other types of physicians, orthopedic surgeons are expected to work long hours and face frequent emergency situations that require immediate attention. Orthopedists must
As a physician, you will have to deal with the following factors:
- The hours are extremely long and unpredictable. You will be on call most of the time, especially when you are a surgeon-in-training.
- It’s a very expensive profession, both in terms of education and lifestyle. Many orthopedic surgeons maintain multiple homes, but this can be problematic in today’s real estate market.
- The malpractice premiums are very high, which means you will have to pass on these costs to your patients or take less pay overall.
- The pay is very well compared to other professions, but it’s not as lucrative as people think it is. Most of your income goes towards paying back your loans and maintaining your lifestyle.
- There is a high risk of burnout because of the long hours and high stress level associated with being an orthopedic surgeon. It takes a toll on you physically and emotionally, so it’s important to take care of yourself too!
- The lifestyle is not for everyone – many people find that their families suffer due to lack of sleep or time spent away from home (especially if there are children involved). A good partner will
Here are some of the disadvantages:
- Long training (4 years of medical school, 5 years of residency)
- Long hours in training (long days and long weeks)
- Physical demands (standing for long periods of time, lifting heavy things, working with sharp things)
- Emotional demands (working with sick people and people in pain)
- Pay is good but not great (assuming you do a fellowship to specialize)
- Relatively low malpractice exposure compared to other specialties
They aren’t real doctors.
It’s a joke, but it’s not really. Orthopedics is the least respected of all medical specialties. It’s the profession that orthopedic surgeons hate most, and when people say “orthopedic surgeon”, it’s a punchline.
Orthopedic surgeons are like the guys who wear jean-shorts and socks with sandals. They’re the guys who ask you for a light for their cigarette, then bum one off you, then throw it away because they don’t smoke. They’re the guys who spray Axe Body Spray all over themselves and think they smell good. They’re the guys who make jokes about how fast their Ferrari is going to be when they get out of med school. They’re the guys who can’t finish residency because they got kicked out of two programs for insubordination, yet somehow passed their boards on their third try without any training whatsoever.
I am now in my third year of orthopedic surgery residency, having completed all of my core rotations and now focusing on orthopedics.