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The Role of Podiatric Medicine in the Health-Care Team

A Paradigm Shift

Leonard A. Levy DPM, MPH1
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  • 1 Nova Southeastern University, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Office of Education, Planning and Research, College of Osteopathic Medicine, 3200 S University Dr, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33328. (E-mail: levyleon@nova.edu)
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As physicians, podiatric medical doctors should not define themselves as medical professionals who treat the foot and ankle but rather as medical professionals who prevent, diagnose, and treat people who have foot and ankle problems. Patients who come to see podiatric physicians often have other health-care issues, and because of the education and training that doctors of podiatric medicine receive, they are uniquely qualified to identify and respond to findings not only related to the pedal extremity but also that may affect overall health, have a major effect on quality of life, and even help reduce overall health-care costs. The role of podiatric medicine as a truly integrated branch of medical care needs to be reassessed.