Should you choose an orthopedic doctor or podiatrist to address your foot or ankle issue? An orthopedic doctor (MD) can evaluate, treat and perform surgery on the foot, ankle, knee and elsewhere.
An orthopedic surgeon can evaluate and treat all bones, joints and soft tissues of the body, and this may also affect the foot and ankle (such as alignment issues or conditions of the knee or hip). An orthopedic surgeon specializing in foot and ankle surgery typically has, in addition to 4 years of medical school and 5 years of orthopedic surgery residency, a 1-year advanced fellowship training, which focuses on surgical techniques of the foot and ankle.
A podiatrist does not go to medical school, and they typically complete some form of podiatry training to earn a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree (DPM) in podiatry college. The scope of practice for a podiatrist in New York State is limited to foot only.