Podiatry (also called podology or chiropody)
is non-medical foot care.
The name podology derives from the Greek pous (πούς) – podos (ποδός) in the genitive case – for 'foot' and logos (λόγος) for 'explanation/reasoning'.
The interventions performed by podiatrists are diverse and are derived from the specialties internal medicine (diabetology), dermatology, surgery and orthopaedics.
They include preventive and curative therapeutic interventions concerning the foot.
Podiatrists are defined as non-medical allied health professionals by the Podiatry Act (Podologengesetz, PodG).
Most podiatrists are registered for statutory health insurance benefits, since people with diabetes who also have health effects on their feet as described by diabetic foot syndrome (DFS) can – being the only such patient group so far – receive a podiatry treatment order from their health insurance (statutory or private) as prescribed by their doctor.
Podiatrists work as independent service providers in their own podiatry practices with or without statutory health insurance registration, as freelance personnel in a joint practice or practice cooperative, or as employees in hospitals or special outpatient foot care clinics together with members of other professions, such as physicians, orthopaedic shoemakers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists etc.