why Orthopedic Surgeons hate Podiatrists


Why do Orthopedic Surgeons hate Podiatrists? It is indeed a point to wonder! Both are doctors and belong to the field of medicine. Both medical professionals are experts in the same area – the musculoskeletal system. They study the bones of the human body. Whenever we break our bones or sustain a sprain, people advise us to see an orthopedic surgeon. The Podiatrists take care of your foot and ankle. Both enjoy immense respect in the society. Then how come there be any enmity or differences between them? Still let us look deep into the matter –

The Significance of Orthopedic Surgeons!

Orthopedic surgeons are doctors who have attained specialization in the treatment of bones of the human body. Whether you have a torn ligament or fractured limbs, your Orthopedic Doctor will surely bring you back on your feet. He is an expert at handling the musculoskeletal system, which includes your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves. Orthopedics can treat patients of all ages. He gives you relief from bone tumors, diseases, and injuries. Whether it is the spinal deformity in a newborn, niggle in the shoulder of a cricketer, or a senior citizen needing a Hip replacement, an orthopedic surgeon can give you the best care. So, an Orthopedic Surgeon is crucial for your bone health.

Their area of practice includes: 

  • Diagnosing Orthopedic Problems in the Body. 
  • Prescribing Treatments. 
  • Assisting in Rehabilitation.

What do Podiatrists do!

Podiatrists are medical professionals who specialize in treating the ankle, foot, and the related parts of the leg. The word ‘Podia’ is derived from a Greek word which means Foot. So the doctors involved in the treatment of Foot are called Podiatrists. If you twist your ankle or somehow fracture your foot, you should consult a Podiatrist foot doctor at your earliest. They not only diagnose the cause of the problem and cure it but also prevent the problem from developing in the future. According to the SA Podiatry Clinic, after curing the foot tissues, the Podiatrists work to provide you with complete wellness.

Their area of practice includes: 

  • Foot and Ankle Ailments including in-grown toe-nails, calluses and heel spurs.
  • Foot And Leg problems associated with Obesity and Diabetes. 
  • Arthritis
  • Diagnosis, Treatment and Rehabilitation. 

Why do Orthopedic Surgeons Hate Podiatrists!

The Orthopedic Surgeons and the Podiatrists are both bone health specialists, yet there is perceived animosity between them. Many patients favor Podiatrists, saying they are the best at relieving pain. While others think the Orthopedics were great as they treat the entire body instead of just ankle and foot. While both the bone specialists claim to respect each other, they cannot hide an underlying tension between them. This tension could be due to a variety of reasons –

Overlapping Field of Practice – The most important reason could be an overlapping field of Practice. Orthopedic doctors can treat the whole body, so they can also treat the ankle and the foot with the same level of expertise as the Podiatrists. This overlap leads to disagreements and a debate regarding which specialty is well-equipped to handle the related problem.

Training and Education – Orthopedic Surgeons undergo advanced education in a school of Medicine, from where they get their MD degree. After this, they can also proceed for a specialization in the field of ankle or foot. Podiatrists, on the other hand, only acquire specialization in foot or ankle from the beginning. They become the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM). This difference in training leads to tension between the two specialists.

A History of Professional Rivalry – The two specialties carry a history of professional rivalry. Coming from the same field, the Orthopedic Surgeons and the Podiatrists compete for recognition and domination in the medical field. Both want to be known as the best in the industry. This rivalry is a point of struggle between them.  

Difference in the level of Competence – Due to their difference in training and specialization, some Orthopedic Surgeons may think that the Podiatrists are less qualified than them. They might consider themselves superior than the foot doctors and have a lack of respect for them. This perception can create a rift between the two specialties. 

Matter of Finances – The competition for referrals and patients can lead to hostile relationships. Financial considerations also play a significant role in defining how they perceive each other regarding patient care and professional participation. Podiatrists get low payments as compared to Orthopedic Surgeons. In addition, the bonus structure is also not definite. So, financial restraints can make Podiatrists feel alienated from their counterparts.


The above factors are enough reasons to know why Orthopedic Surgeons hate Podiatrists. The point to note is that both specialties are equally important for their patients as they help us to stand on our feet. It would be better if we reform the structure of the medical system to provide an equal status to both specialties. We hope you never feel the need for an Orthopedic Surgeon or Podiatrist!

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