When I first started Podiatry times were changing in a big way. My tertiary qualification was Podiatry but the professional registration board in Queensland was still the Chiropodist Board of Registration. Around this time most of us would put Podiatrist / Chiropodist on all our signage and business cards. Even then people were confused as to what we actually did and we would even have to simplify it to the ‘Foot Dr’ at most neighbourhood BBQ’s.
The term Chiropodist originated in the United Kingdom and is still used to this day in the UK to describe the professional who is a Register Health professional that specialises in the treatment and diagnosis of Foot and Lower limb conditions. Australia initially adopted the same name…and so did the Americans.
So why the change of names?
Well the American Chiropodists started to push the boundaries of their profession and to clarify a few legal issues it was decided to start afresh…with the name changing to Podiatrist to signify the advances and also focus the publics attention that they were the Foot and Lower Limb specialists.
Australian Podiatrists decided that it was not a Bad idea and after much deliberation started the process of changing the State Chiropody registration boards to Podiatry registration Boards in the late 1980′s.
You can understand the older generation still thinking of us as Chiropodists…it really hasn’t been that long since Podiatrist became the correct term in Australia.
It seems that there is confusion in more than Australia…on a recent trip to Ireland I noticed the dual purpose signs of Chiropodist / Podiatrist on many a shingle hanging outside a Clinic.
A little trivia for you…if you are interested in the History of Chiropodist Podiatrist…Here
As of 2011 Podiatrists are Nationally registered under the Podiatrist Board of Australia so it is much easier for you to check to see who is a registered Podiatrist. In the early days many people pretended to be “Nearly Chiropodists” and it seems that a few people are pretending to be “Nearly Podiatrists” these days.
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