Frequently asked questions about foot care

Do we use sterilized instruments?

Do we deal directly with insurance companies?

What is the training for a chiropodist/podiatrist in Ontario?

Are chiropodists in a regulated profession in Ontario?

What is the difference between a chiropodist and podiatrist in Ontario?


Do we use sterilized instruments?  Yes!

We take great care to make sure that any instrument that either  contacts or cuts into your skin or nail is sterilized.  We make sure  both of our offices sterilizes any instruments used on your feet such as clippers, files, probes and scissors. Autoclaving (sterilizing under high pressure using hot steam) is the only sure way to sterilize instruments.

  1. Before our instruments are autoclaved we place the intruments in an ultrasonic bath to clean any debris in the crevices or grooves  of the instruments

  2. After the ultrasonic cleaning, the instuments are placed in sealed autoclave envelopes that have a colored marker that changes color when the autoclaving is successful.

  3. Our autoclave bags have a pink square that turns brown with successful autoclaving.

  4. We routinely check to see if the autoclave will kill bacteria by running a small sealed test tube that contains bacteria. After this test tube has run through the autoclave we will put it in an incubator for 24 hours to see if it will grow bacteria. If the test tube grows bacteria it will change colour.

  5. In both of our offices, the autoclaves are maintained on a monthly basis.

Soaking instruments in a disinfectant is not a guaranteed way to kill nail fungus or bacteria.

You will notice that our office opens a sterile bag of instruments for every patient every time right in front of you, the patient.

Do you deal directly with my extended health insurance company to get reimbursed for the cost of my intial or follow up treatments or custom foot orthotics?

The simple answer is no.

For this reason, please make sure that you have extended health benefits for your  any of the services we provide before you decide to go ahead with your treatment or order your custom foot orthotic.  we can provide you with a predetermination or quote for our more costly services such as nail surgery or custom foot orthotics.

Generally,  the whole cost of the custom foot orthotic is paid for in advance of receiving the custom foot orthotic. We provide you with all of the necessary documentation for you to get reimbursed by your extended health insurance company.
The extended health insurance companies expect you to pay in full for your custom foot orthotic before you get reimbursed.
You may also need a prescription from you family doctor for your custom foot orthotic device.  Some insurance companies will accept the prescription from a chiropodist or podiatrist.
Please check with your benefits department of your employer or the insurance company for the exact amount of your custom foot orthotic benefit. The custom foot orthotic benefit may depend on the type of extended health benefit policy your employer has purchased from a insurance company.

Your employer can choose from two types extended health benefit plans. Your employer can buy an extended health benefit insurance policy from the insurance company to cover the health costs of their employees. The level of reimbursement for custom foot orthotic may be $400 or higher.  The level of reimbursement for other treatments may be also $400.  In some policies you may only have $400 to spend on chiropody/podiatry services whether it is orthotics or other services.  Futhermore, your employer may have decided to self fund the health benefits for their employees and arrange for a insurance company to administer the benefits. This option is much cheaper for the employer. in this situation, the level of reimbursement for custom foot orthotic may be lower than $400.

What is the training for a chiropodist/podiatrist in Ontario?

Chiropodist  require an undergraduate degree as an requirement for enrolment  in the Michener Institute Postgraduate Chiropody Program in Toronto,  Ontario

The both the clasroom and clinical training occurs over 3 years - 7 semester program as outlined below.  The training allows the student to sit board examinations for licensure by the College of Chiropodists of Ontario.  Once the board examinations are passed the student is licensed to practice in Ontario.


Semester 1 - Fall

BAIP113 Foundations Interprofessional Collaboration I
APCH111 Structure and Function of the Lower Limb
APCH110 Lower Extremity Anatomy Dissection
PGCH110 Pathophysiology
POCH111 Podiatric Medicine I
DMCH121 Dermatology

Semester 2 - Winter

BAIP124 Foundations of Interprofessional Collaboration II
BMCH121 Podiatric Biomechanics I
PGCH120 Pathophysiology II
PMCH121 Clinical Pharmacology
POCH122 Podiatric Medicine II
CLCH121 Podiatric Practice I


Semester 3 - Fall

RMIP231 Research
IGCH230 Laboratory Diagnosis and Imaging
BMCH230 Podiatric Biomechanics II
LACH230 Podiatric Anesthesia and Injections
POCH230 Podiatric Medicine III
CLCH231 Podiatric Clinical Practice II

Semester 4 - Winter

IPCL251 Interprofessional Collaborative Clinical Simulation
POCH240 Management of the High Risk Foot
PECH240 Podopediatrics
SMCH240 Podiatric Sports Medicine
TSCH240 Podiatric Soft Tissue Surgery
CLCH241 Podiatric Clinical Practice III

Semester 5 - Summer

LSIP250 Leadership in Health Care
EBCH250 Evidence Based Medicine Care
CLCH251 Podiatric Clinical Practice IV
LPCH360 Legislation & Practice Management


Semester 6 - Fall

CLCH361 Podiatric Clinical Placements (Clinical Practice V)

Semester 7 - Winter

CLCH372 Podiatric Clinical Externships

RMCH360 Research Project

Are chiropodists in a regulated profession in Ontario?

Chiropodists are regulated under the Chiropody Act, 1991, S.O. 1991, CHAPTER 20

The scope of practice of  practice of chiropody is the assessment of the foot and the treatment and prevention of diseases, disorders or dysfunctions of the foot by therapeutic, orthotic or palliative means. .

Chiropodists are authorized to perform the following:

1. Cutting into subcutaneous tissues of the foot.

2. Administering, by injection into feet, a substance designated in the regulations.

3. Prescribing drugs designated in the regulations.

4. Administering, by inhalation, a substance designated in the regulations. 1991, c. 20, s. 5 (1); 2009, c. 26, s. 2 (1).

What is the difference between a chiropodist and podiatrist in Ontario?

Chiropodists and podiatrists are both regulated by the College of Chiropodists of Ontario to practice foot care in Ontario.  The difference between a chiropdist and podatrist in Ontario is determined by the country the chiropody or podiatry degree was awarded.  If the chiropodist or podiatrist graduated from a podiatry school in  the United States before July 1993 then they are allowed to use the title podiatrist to practice in Ontario.  US trained podiatrists licensed before July 1993 have an expanded scope of practice that includes forefoot bone surgery to surgically treat problems such as bunions and hammer toes. 

Chiropodists or podiatrists trained in a podiatry school in Ontario or a commonwealth country can only use the title chiropodist.  A podiatrist trained in the US after July 1993  can only use the title chiropodist.  Ontario is the only jurisdiction differentiating use of title based on country of training.  Historically all podiatrists were chiropodists.  In the USA , the profession changed the name in 1960 from chiropodist to podiatrist because of the title chiropodist was being mistaken for chiropractor.  In commonwealth countries,  the name changed from chiropodist to podiatrist in  1990.  Unfortunately,  in Ontario, this name change has not occurred.

Across Canada provincial regulations differ from province to province.

  • British Columbia only allows US trained podiatrists to practice

  • Alberta appears only to allow US trained podiatrists to practice

  • Saskatchewan allows  Canadian, commonwealth and US trained podiatrists to use title podiatrist

  • Quebec allows Quebec trained and US trained podiatrists to use title podiatrist

  • New Brunswick allows  Canadian, commonwealth and US trained podiatrists to use title podiatrist

  • NS, PEI and NFLD allows both Canadian, commonwealth and US trained podiatrists to use title podiatrist