Making Pedorthics visible worldwide

(Photo: C. Maurer Fachmedien)

For the IVO Congress 2022 on October 14-15 in Cologne, the two journals "foot&shoe" and "Orthopädieschuhtechnik" together with the International Pedorthic Association (IVO) are launching a project with which they want to make pedorthists around the world more visible and bringing them together.

Compared to Prosthetics and Orthotics (P&O), which is known worldwide as a profession and field of activity, the pedorthics profession is still struggling on the international stage. In German-speaking countries and also some neighboring countries, there is a tradition of orthopedic foot care, in some cases a long tradition, with structured, state-recognized training and reimbursement of services by health insurances. Other countries such as Canada, Australia, and Japan have made very great strides in the development of the profession over the past 25 years.

However, many people around the world suffer from foot problems. If there is no nationally recognized training in a country, it does not mean that there are no specialists there who take care of foot problems professionally. In part, there are craftsmen who have learned their trade in Europe or other countries and have used their skills to build a livelihood in another country or are employed in a business there. Also there are people who have dared to learn a profession that is still largely unknown in their home country to help people with foot problems either as self-employed people or within an organization, a clinic, a sponsored project or a private company.

We are looking for you

According to its self-understanding, the IVO wants to promote professional contacts across national borders. But unfortunately, it is not well known where in the world those people are who have chosen pedorthics as their field of activity and are looking for opportunities to exchange ideas with others in order to advance in their profession.  

Our idea for the IVO Congress 2022 is therefore to look for those people of whom we know that they exist, but who have so far not been visible in the industry.

For our project, we are looking for pedorthists or pedorthic companies from all over the world who would be willing to tell about themselves and their work. In the issues of foot&shoe and Orthopädieschuhtechnik that will be published before the trade fair, we would like to introduce them in short portraits. In this way, we want to show that pedorthics is needed all over the world and that people can be helped, even though there is still no state recognition of the profession.

Exchanging opinions at the congress

During the trade fair or the congress, it is planned – in cooperation with the IVO and Fred Holtkamp from Fontys University, The Netherlands – to offer various events/forums for visitors from abroad who are planning to set up professional structures in their countries or are already working on it. The following topics would be conceivable for this:

- Training: Establishment of training structures/training levels

- Practical care (e.g. diabetic foot)

- Innovations

- Workshop equipment/technology

- Finances/earnings in the profession

If you are interested in being part of our project and would like to present your work, we look forward to hearing from you. For more information, please contact Wolfgang Best, editor in charge of foot&shoe and Orthopädieschuhtechnik (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel. +49 7331 3070810).