A Chiropodist is a primary health care provider that practices in the field of podiatric medicine. They provide foot care ranging from nail and skin care to prescribing orthotics and performing nail and soft tissue surgeries.
“The practice of chiropody is the assessment of the foot and the treatment and prevention of diseases, disorders or dysfunctions of the foot by therapeutic, orthotic or palliative means.” The Chiropody Act, 1991 S.O. 1991, Chapter 20, s.4.
Chiropodists are regulated health professionals under the Regulated Health Professions Act. They play a key role in the management of both acute and chronic foot conditions. The field of Chiropody focuses on preventing, assessing and treating conditions of the foot and ankle.
"In the course of engaging in the practice of chiropody, a member is authorized, subject to the terms,
conditions and limitations imposed on his or her certificate of registration, to perform the following:
1. Cutting into the subcutaneous tissues of the foot.
2. Administering, by injection into feet, a substance designated in the regulations.
3. Prescribing drugs designated in the regulations.
4. Administering, by inhalation, a substance designated in the regulations.
The Chiropody Act, 1991 S.O. 1991, Chapter 20
Chiropodists complete 7 years of post-secondary education. Chiropodists must complete a four year undergraduate degree at an accredited University. They then complete a three year Advanced Graduate Diploma in Chiropody. At the completion of these programs, the Chiropodist must pass a provincial licensing exam “Board Exam” before becoming a licensed Chiropodist.
Chiropodists and Podiatrists are the only provincially regulated and recognized foot specialists in Ontario. They are also the only profession whose legislated scope of practice includes a provision for orthotics.
The difference between these professions is where they received their education and training. Any practitioners who trained in the United States and registered in Ontario before 1993 are Podiatrists. Any practitioner who registered in Ontario after 1993 holds the title of Chiropodist. Chiropodists and Podiatrists are both regulated by the College of Chiropodists of Ontario.