Industries & Professions /
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts average employment growth for podiatrists through 2018. Demand for podiatrists' skills is rapidly increasing, however, as the profession gains recognition as a health care specialty and as foot disorders become more widespread. More people are involved in sports and fitness programs, which can cause foot problems or make existing foot problems more apparent or unbearable. Also, a rapidly growing aging population, many of whom may have neglected their feet, will seek podiatric care. The demand for podiatric services is expected to grow even more as health insurance coverage for such care becomes widespread. Although foot care is not ordinarily covered by health insurance, Medicare and private insurance programs frequently cover acute medical and surgical foot services, as well as diagnostic X-rays, fracture casts, and leg braces. Many HMOs and other prepaid plans provide routine foot care as well.