What is a podiatrist?

A podiatrist is the health care professional of your feet. He holds a doctorate in Podiatric Medicine (DPM). He is a member of the Ordre des podiatres du Québec (OPQ). Its basic academic training includes 1770 hours of theoretical training and over 2300 hours of practical training over a period of four years. A podiatrist is a health professional who is governed by the Code des professions du Québec, the Podiatry Act and the Code of Ethics of podiatrists. He is trained to evaluate and treat disorders, diseases, disorders or anatomical biomechanical foot problems by different approaches: surgical procedures, medical / pharmaceutical, mechanical, etc. He may administer and prescribe medication, perform surgery or use the approach of rehabilitation of the feet. At the Clinique de Podiatrie Montarville, Dr. Marie-Claude Charest will be pleased to offer you the best care and treatment.

Should we have a referral from a doctor to consult a podiatrist?

A podiatrist is the health care professional of the feet and no reference from a doctor is required.

What is the difference between a podiatrist, orthotist, nurse foot care, chiropodist and foot care hygienist?

A podiatrist is the health care profesionnal of the feet and holds a doctorate in Podiatric Medicine (DPM) and must be a member of the Ordre des podiatres du Québec (OPQ). He propers academic training to diagnose and treat various injuries, wounds, deformities, defects and disorders of the foot. A podiatrist can manufacture or factory itself appropriate orthotics custom-made for each patient, after a full biomechanical exam. In Quebec, only podiatrists and physicians can prescribe orthotics.

The orthotist/prosthetist has a college degree in technical orthotics and orthopedic prothesis, it may be a member of the Association of orthotists, prosthetists or orthotist of the foot or the member of the Ordre des technologues professionnels du Québec, but nothing requires it. He designs, manufactures, adjusts, repairs and maintains prostheses (artificial limbs) and braces (braces or corsets) prescribed by a health care professional such as a doctor or podiatrist. The orthotist/prosthetist can not make a diagnosis nor mechanically changed the position of the foot.* Taken from ‘’Protégez-vous’’ January 2007.

The nurse (or the auxiliary nurse) in foot care received a training of 115-160 hours. She is recognized by the Association des infirmières et infirmiers en soins podologiques du Québec (AIISPQ) ou l’Association des infirmières et infirmiers auxiliaires en soins de pieds (AIIASP). The nurse can not treat diseases without having it diagnosed by a podiatrist or doctor, nor prescribe drugs. The auxiliary nurse for must obtain a prescription from a doctor or a podiatrist to provide foot care. Some foot care nurses work in podiatry clinics under the supervision of a podiatrist, but they can not make diagnosis.

When the “podologue” this title is only used in France and no training is recognized in Quebec.

Hygienist foot care pedicure has a training focused on the aesthetics and beauty of the foot. Some courses are offered in different schools but are not recognized by the Ministère de l’Éducation du Québec (MEQ) and school boards. Hygienist foot care and pedicure can neither diagnose nor treat diseases of the feet.

What are the major causes of foot problems?

Causes for foot problems are multiple and various.

  • Injuries or neglected wounds
  • Genetic problems of the feet or legs
  • Hygiene of feet
  • Calluses or corns
  • Viruses (plantar warts), fungus and athlete’s foot
  • Some workplaces and sporting activities
  • Biomechanical or anatomical problems
  • Inadequate shoes that are too small, too big, too tight or ill-fitting to your feet, etc.

Do not hesitate to contact us at the Clinique de Podiatrie Montarville for any questions or for an appointment. We will be happy to receive you.


At what age can you check for a child?

Once a relative suspects an abnormality in the feet or legs of the child or a condition, he may consult a podiatrist. A podiatrist is a foot health professional and has the skills to assess birth defects, growth abnormalities, neurological problems, injuries / wounds and dermatological injuries of feet.

Are the fees for a podiatrist are covered by the Quebec’s health insurance plan (RAMQ)?

The fees for podiatrist are not covered by the RAMQ. As dentists, they work in the private practice. However, most private insurance plans reimburse a portion of the fees and expenses. These fees and expenses are also subject to a deduction in medical expenses for taxes.

Why should diabetics consult a podiatrist?

People with diabetes can develop many foot problems. Diabetics must be very careful since their healing process can be compromise than the general population. If diabetes is not well controlled, damage to blood vessels and nerves can occur and cause a loss of sensitivity of feet to cold, to heat and even a general loss of sensitivity. Since the sensitivity decreases, diabetic person can be injured without realizing it and develop an infection that slow to heal or even destroy the affected tissue.