DPM vs MD
Your foot, ankle, or lower leg is in pain. You know you need help, but how do you know if you should be seeing a podiatrist or a medical doctor (MD)? How does each medical professional differ when treating foot, ankle, and lower leg problems? Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPMs) are far more than simply foot doctors. Only podiatrists are thoroughly and specifically trained to treat the lower legs, feet, and ankles.
Podiatrists Are Trained to Treat Legs, Feet, & Ankles
Your podiatrist uses proven, evidence-based medicine through specialized training and practice to treat all conditions that relate to the foot, ankle, and lower leg. Podiatrists are also fully-trained surgeons and have a thorough understanding of the entire body, but focus on the lower extremities. This focus includes how the health of the feet, ankles, and legs impact the rest of the body. Many podiatrists are trained to treat the patient as a whole person, integrating care of the legs, feet, and ankles, to meet the patient’s needs in ways that support the entire body and the patient’s ability to live a full life.
Medical Doctors (MDs) Lack the Focused Knowledge Podiatrists Have
A medical doctor, even an orthopedist, has a broader base of training and education. In fact, general medical doctors and orthopedists may only cover the feet and ankles in just a few weeks of training. Your podiatrist invests years in understanding the complexities of these parts of the body. With over 26 bones, 33 joints (20 of which are actively articulated), and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the human foot alone, podiatrists have a much better idea of what might be wrong with their patients with foot and ankle problems.
What Kind of Specialized Training Does a Podiatrist Have?
To become a doctor of podiatric medicine, your podiatrist has completed podiatry-specific medical school training, clinical rotations in medicine and surgery, and a residency in podiatric medicine and surgery.
To maintain board certification, your podiatrist must also complete regular continuing education and training activities to stay on top of their skills and make the most of emerging technologies and treatment options.
When seeking a podiatrist, it is important to look for a doctor whom you are comfortable with, who understands you as a whole person, and who is thoroughly trained and able to provide the level of care you both need and deserve.
What Kind of Foot Problems Does a Podiatrist Treat?
Podiatrists treat a wide array of foot, ankle, and lower leg issues. This includes:
Meet the Podiatrists of Kansas City Foot Specialists:
Dr. David B. Laha
Able to treat a broad spectrum of podiatric issues, Dr. David B. Laha takes special pride in performing reconstructive foot surgery and offering sports medicine of the lower extremities.
He is an expert in these podiatric specialties, and is often sought out by other physicians for guidance in treating their patients -- making Dr. Laha an integral part of the patient’s treatment team.
Dr. Laha is board-certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, an American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons fellow, and a fellow with the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine.
He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Podiatric Medical Association.
Dr. Jennifer G. Phillips
Dr. Jennifer G. Phillips, like Dr. Laha, has the training and education to treat a broad spectrum of podiatric issues, but with specialized training in reconstructive foot surgery and diabetic foot care.
She takes pride in offering patient education to her patients so that they may be their own best champion in their care. As a runner, she also understands the needs of sports-medicine podiatric patients.
Dr Phillips is an American Board of Podiatric Surgery diplomate and is board certified in foot surgery. She is also a member of the American Diabetes Association, American Podiatric Medical Association, and the Kansas Podiatric Medical Association.
Dr. Andrew M. Hall
Dr. Andrew M. Hall has special interest in podiatric sports medicine, trauma, and limb preservation.
Dr. Hall completed his foot and ankle surgical residency at Southern Arizona VA Medical Center, and has a thorough understanding of the complex problems associated with foot and ankle traumas and diabetic complications of the lower limbs.
Dr. Hall takes pride in training in and applying technologically advanced therapies to help his podiatric patients. He is board qualified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, and is a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association and the Kansas Podiatric Medical Association.