FN: Have the changing health issues in the U.S. created a greater need for pedorthics?
BL: The need is certainly going to grow, and that comes with public education, as well. There’s always been a need for what a pedorthist does. People are becoming more aware of their health [requirements] and who can provide them with exactly what they need.
FN: How do you explain a pedorthist’s role to consumers?
BL: At a very basic level, pedorthists can select the right pair of shoes for you. They provide a much better fitting experience than someone who doesn’t have any background in biomechanics and advanced fitting.
FN: Other than education, what are some of the key programs PFA offers?
BL: One of our most tangible benefits is our Current Pedorthics magazine, the only professional magazine solely dedicated to pedorthics. [Additionally], we do twice-monthly e-mail newsletters. We offer professional and malpractice and business insurance, credit-card processing discounts, pre-paid legal service and more.
Outside of that, the educational component comprises the annual symposium and continuing education programming throughout the year. The other benefit we offer is our government affairs program — our pedorthic advocacy program. Tied to that is our awareness campaign.
On an annual basis, PFA exhibits at about eight to 10 allied health care association conferences. We do it to build awareness between pedorthics and other practices. We’re [indirectly] getting to the public through the patient base of family physicians, diabetic educators and physical therapists.