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Overview

Find out more about what a career as a podiatrist specialising in rheumatology looks like.

Podiatrists are part of the healthcare team that works together to care for people with inflammatory arthritis.

The podiatrist's role is to identify, diagnose and treat disorders, diseases and deformities of the feet and legs and implement appropriate and timely care.

This may be provided directly by a podiatrist or in association with other team members as required by the individual’s foot problems.

Information

Qualifications

Most podiatrists qualify by training for a degree, with entry levels differing depending on which university you'd like to study at.

The courses take three or four years to complete and all include a lot of practical work. Recently, degree apprenticeships have also been developed.

In terms of personal characteristics and skills, you'll need to be comfortable handling other peoples' feet and be caring and calm with good communication skills.

Pathway

Once you're qualified and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, you'll start as a band 5 podiatrist.

You can choose to specialise in rheumatology and there is a chance for career progression once you've built on your skills and experience.

You may choose to expand your skills through training and learn other areas of podiatry. You can choose to move into management, and in larger services, be responsible for a team. Some podiatrists do further qualifications to become podiatric surgeons.

Training opportunities

There are training courses available to help to develop your knowledge and areas of expertise, such as steroid injections and foot and ankle ultrasound.

Some universities hold specific courses for podiatrists, and you may find courses such as our Rheumatology for Specialist Nurses course useful to give you a broader picture of rheumatology care. The College of Podiatry has information about conferences and events for podiatrists.

A typical week

You'll spend most of your time seeing patients in different clinics, supporting their podiatry needs. Working in rheumatology, you'll be treating patients with musculoskeletal problems, tendon issues and joint problems.

Day-to-day, you'll work with patients to relieve pain, maintain function and mobility and minimise the risk of deformity. From footwear advice to tending to nail and skin conditions and helping patients use medical devices, there's a broad scope of work. Your role also involves educating patients on maintaining good foot health.

You'll spend time liaising with the wider rheumatology team and in some Trusts, you'll be part of the multidisciplinary team, working alongside nurses, doctors, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

Resources

The College of Podiatry

Careers in podiatry