To look for a foot doctor in a particular field you can begin by searching on the website of the American Board of Podiatric Medicine for board certified doctors in this specific area of medicine. Doctors become board certified by achieving a combination of education, residency, experience, and passing both the podiatric board qualification exam and the podiatric board certification exam.
Searching for a doctor on the Board’s “Find a Doctor” web portal for Houston, Texas returns nine results, which will have the doctor’s name, the practice affiliation, his or her specialty, and then contact information through address, telephone and possible web address. After finding a list of doctors that may meet your need, you can start to gather more information about them either by searching the web or by calling the offices individually.
You will want to examine the “about us” or “about the practice” page on the individual websites to gain more information about the individual doctors and their personal experience. For example, on the “about us” page of one local Houston area clinic, they state that they provide Houston residents medical services in sports podiatry, diabetic foot care, foot and ankle surgery, and the treatment of foot and ankle pain and injuries. It is very important to ask the doctors about the specific conditions you are concerned about, because not all podiatrists will be able to cover all ailments.
Some of the best ways to prepare for your podiatrist consultation are to make a list of your symptoms and questions and make a list of all medications and any previous surgeries. Gather and bring important medical records and laboratory test reports from other doctors or hospitals. Check with your insurance provider to see if a referral is needed and call before your visit to tell the office if you have special needs. Bring a friend or family member if you think it will be helpful and if your problem involves walking and/or exercise, bring your walking/exercise shoes with you to the appointment.
Take notes on your condition. If, for example, you have foot pain, keep a log of when the condition started, what aggravates it, and what alleviates the foot pain. If you are coming in for changes in skin, take note of the size, shape or change in color of any concerning marks or rashes. Also any x-rays, MRIs or recent test results related to your condition should be brought with you. Do bring your shoes for assessment. If you wear orthotics or any assisted walking device, bring them with you for examination as well. Your podiatrist may want to look at the wear patterns of your shoe as well as assess your walking patterns (gait). Finally, do ask questions! There is so much information on the Internet, but there is plenty of false information out there. Talk to your podiatrist about your condition and treatment plan. Make sure you understand what your doctor has recommended, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember an informed patient is always a “step” ahead when you are looking for a podiatrist in Houston!