Podiatrist Rata Waewae

Podiatrists diagnose, treat and prevent foot and lower limb problems.

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Podiatrists need to be registered with the Podiatrists Board of New Zealand and have a current Annual Practising Certificate.

Podiatrists may do some or all of the following:

  • treat foot problems, sports injuries and walking or running disorders
  • treat gait (walking) abnormalities in children
  • prescribe and arrange the making of orthotics (inner soles) to correct foot problems
  • advise patients about foot health, prevention and treatment of problems, and choice of shoes
  • perform foot surgery such as nail or wart removal, or toe realignment
  • carry out biomechanical assessments.

Physical Requirements

Podiatrists need to have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses).

Useful Experience

Useful experience for podiatrists includes:

  • work caring for people, such as nursing
  • experience in shoe manufacturing or sports industries.

Personal Qualities

Podiatrists need to be:

  • patient, friendly and helpful
  • practical and accurate, with an eye for detail
  • efficient and able to work well independently
  • good listeners and communicators
  • good at time management.

Skills

Podiatrists need to have knowledge of:

  • the structure and function of the skeleton and its muscular system
  • medical conditions that influence mobility
  • various medicines and how they affect the body
  • different x-ray and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques
  • how to sculpt orthotics (inner soles)
  • how to carry out minor surgical operations.

Podiatrists who run their own businesses also need business skills.

Conditions

Podiatrists usually work:

  • regular business hours
  • in clinics or from their homes, but may also work in hospitals, marae or shoe shops.

Podiatrists can earn around $46K-$65K per year.

Pay for podiatrists varies depending on experience and level of responsibility.

  • Graduates usually start on about $46,000 a year.
  • After two to three years' experience they usually earn about to $65,000.
  • Senior podiatrists and those with extra clinical or managerial responsibilities may earn between $69,000 and $95,000.

Podiatrists in private practice may earn similar amounts or more, depending on the success of the business.

Source: Podiatry New Zealand, 2017.

Podiatrists may progress to work in managerial or educational roles, or establish their own practice.

Podiatrists may specialise in:

  • high-risk feet (diabetes)
  • sports injuries
  • paediatrics (children's feet)
  • aged care.

Years Of Training

3 years of training required.

To become a podiatrist you need a Bachelor of Health Science majoring in podiatry from Auckland University of Technology (AUT), or an overseas qualification recognised by the Podiatrists Board of New Zealand.

You also need to be registered with the Podiatrists Board of New Zealand and have a current Annual Practising Certificate.

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children.

Podiatrist

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