Around 75% of Americans will experience foot problems at one time in their lives.
Whenever you notice consistent pain in your feet, you must contact a foot doctor (or a podiatrist) immediately. Perhaps you’re struggling with a foot issue but you don’t know how to find the best foot doctor in your area.
If this sounds similar, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 7 things to consider when choosing foot doctors.
1. How Much Experience They Have
When weighing options for doctors, it’s important to consider their experience. Knowing the foot’s complex anatomy is no easy feat so find a physician who is an expert in various issues like arthritis, geriatric food issues, and infections like ingrown toenails. Also, figure out whether you need a specialist or a doctor who can cover basic foot health issues.
A telltale sign the podiatrist is an expert in how quickly they can diagnose your foot problem and whether they can suggest the right treatment. Still not convinced? Check the podiatrist’s qualifications and certifications.
Further, find out whether they use advanced technology. Great podiatrists know the importance of staying atop industry trends and their practice should offer ultrasound, digital x-rays, and vascular testing for optimal foot care.
Reputable podiatrists have formal training and are qualified to handle foot and lower leg ailments. If they don’t have adequate licenses, find another candidate. Those looking for certified foot doctors should visit thefootdocaz.com as they feature a range of excellent podiatrists to help you.
2. Your Medical Condition
You may have a medical condition that seemingly doesn’t feel like it’s foot-related. For instance, patients with fibromyalgia or diabetes may suffer from chronic foot pain.
If this sounds like you, find a podiatrist who understands this and knows how to deal with your foot complication.
3. What They Specialize In
Before comparing doctor fees, find out what the podiatrist specializes in. There’s an extensive list of foot ailments and the best doctors specialize with specific conditions whether it’s sports injuries or surgery. If you’re not sure what the problem is, visit several podiatrists for a basic check-up and they’ll either recommend a specialist or the relevant treatment.
On your quest to find the perfect podiatrist, consider references and reviews online or from your loved ones. Reputable podiatrists should have multiple five-star reviews from happy patients as it shows they have the right expertise to help you.
Talk to your doctor about your foot ailment and they’ll tell you whether to go for a referral. If they can’t help, ask the support staff as they may personally know a podiatrist or have useful resources.
You should also ask anyone you know who has visited a podiatrist as they could give you a list of good recommendations. It’s better to ask loved ones as they’ll give you an honest opinion and a basic idea about costs.
And don’t forget to search online for local podiatrists. Tell them you’re interested in their services and schedule a meeting so you can ask them questions in-person.
There are currently 18,000 podiatrists practicing in the U.S.
Although this is great, find a foot doctor that’s at a convenient distance from you especially if you need prolonged treatment. The prospective podiatrist must have an updated website with their opening hours, phone number, email address, and an easy way to book an appointment online.
6. Your Insurance
The cost of your foot treatment will have a massive impact on which specialist you choose. Find a podiatrist that your insurance covers and then meet them to figure out whether they’re the best option.
Avoid choosing the cheapest podiatrist because you likely won’t get the treatment you need. To determine whether the foot doctor is giving you good value for money, consider the complexity of your ailment, if home-based treatment like exercises is included, and whether you get feedback during the healing process.
7. What They’re Like
Once you’ve got a list of prospective podiatrists, schedule an appointment to get a clearer idea of whether they’re suitable. Meeting in-person will show you whether you get along with them and let you ask about their background, credentials, and experience.
Stumped for questions? You could ask the podiatrist:
- Are you board-certified?
- How quickly and regularly can you see patients?
- What is your area of expertise (e.g. athletic injuries)?
Remember that you’re trusting the podiatrist with your physical health so don’t be afraid to ask for more information.
Look out for red flags, for instance, if the podiatrist can’t provide proof of training or they avoid answering your questions. Reputable foot podiatrists will give you clear answers, honest feedback, and happily show you their certificates.
In the meeting, the podiatrist should ask about your health, complete a physical exam, and evaluate your foot. The podiatrist will look at your foot posture when you walk or stand so they can analyze the range of motion in your foot’s joints.
Then, using this information, the foot doctor will give you a clear action plan so you know what to expect in the treatment.
That’s What to Consider When Choosing Foot Doctors
Now you know seven factors to consider when choosing foot doctors.
Find prospective podiatrists online, make sure they have adequate experience, and that the treatment is covered by your health insurance plan. Meet the foot doctor in-person to learn more about their action plan, their specialty, and whether they’re close enough to regularly visit. Happy searching!
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