IVO Japan: Recognition of the profession is the aim

The executive committee of IVO Japan (front row from left); OSM Edward Herbst, president Kaoru Kuribayashi, Noriaki Shibuya, Kaoru Abe. Back row from left: Hiraku Endo, Yoshihisa Suzuki, Yuichi Akiyama

On 28 and 29 January the 13th congress of the Japanese Pedorthic Association “IVO Japan” took place. After Osaka in the year before this time Nagoya, Aichi, was chosen as the venue for the annual congress. With nearly 400 visitors and about 50 presentations in the specialized program the congress president Kaoru Kuribayashi was very happy about the attendance.

With about 50 lectures there was a broad spectrum of topics that were all under the congress motto “Pedorthics is intelligence and technology”. Dr. Kaori Shionoya talked about new surgical treatments of the hallux valgus and about treatments with orthoses. Dr. Kazuma Takeuchi informed about pathological modifications in cases of diabetes. Dr. Yoshiteru Mutoh presented strategies against falls of older people. Koichi Oguruma, former top-ranking sumo-wrestler and today a sumo master talked about his time as a sumo-wrestler and the injuries occurred during his career.

Dr. Yashitero Mutoh explained how to avoid fallsIn various panel discussions topics from science and practice were discussed. Researchers and a shoe producer exchanged for example their views on the options to integrate scientific findings into shoe production. Nurses and shoe saleswomen exchanged their experiences about how to communicate patients with the diabetic foot syndrome the importance of the correct shoes.

In a further discussion the younger generation of pedortists in Japan discussed in a relaxed atmosphere how pedorthics is supposed to develop in Japan in the future. In various workshops practical knowledge was im­parted such as e.g. the foot analysis, the treatment of ingrown toe nails or the foot treatment in case of the diabetic foot syndrome. 15 companies, ­also from abroad, presented their offers during the congress.

The nearly 400 visitors of the congress were from various professions, such as e.g. from pedorthics, prosthetics and orthotics, nursing, medicine and science as well as from shoe sale.

“A special feature of the IVO Japan is the fact that its members come from different areas”, the president of the association, Kaoru Kuribayashi, says. This enables the congress to offer a broad spectrum of topics and lectures. On the other hand it is getting harder this way to lead the way clearly in one direction as an organization. Unfortunately there is thus still no state-approved degree for the profession.

Nurses and shoe saleswomen exchanged their ­experiences on convincing diabetes patients to wear suitable shoes.

IVO Japan therefore intends to make pedorthics better known in Japan and to develop in a first step their own certificate for pedorthics. This is planned to be done within the next three years. For the implementation of the education plan and the examination plan, the IVO Japan counts on the support of other IVO member states. The education level is intended to be high in order to create the prerequisites for a state approval. That is why they plan to contact the respective ministry at an early date.