Wales: Brief Photoblog 1

By Phil Plait | October 7, 2009 12:00 pm

[Entire post redacted.]

[Update: In this post, I was trying to poke fun at chiropractors, but wound up making fun of the wrong target. I don’t like to remove posts — I’ve never done it before in my memory — but I couldn’t find a way to edit this one without leaving a joke up that in the end, due to a mistake on my part, missed the mark. Since this was basically a content-free post anyway, taking it down seems like the right thing to do.]

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Alt-Med, Antiscience
MORE ABOUT: chiropractic, Wales

Comments (37)

  1. Anonymous

    “Chiropodist” is British for “Podiatrist” – a foot doctor.

  2. I guess I’m not familiar with chiropodists. Why do you think he/she would cripple the patient? At least this person is mobile. Would that any doctor would make housecalls.

  3. catbasket

    Chiropodist does not equal chiropractor!

    Chiropodists treat feet 😀

  4. Gareth H

    In Wales? Wales is a reasonably big place – where in Wales was this?

    Bonus points for spelling it correctly… ;o)

  5. JD

    Shhhh … not to burst your bubble, but a chiropodist is a foot doctor, essentially a synonym for a podiatrist. They’re a regulated field in many countries, including the U.K., Canada, & the U.S. 😀

  6. bg Porter

    According to several dictionaries I just checked, “chiropodist” is the British equivalent to what the US calls a ‘podiatrist’ — doesn’t seem to be any connection to chiropractics at all.

  7. Dylan Llyr

    I’m not sure I follow. A chiropodist (or podiatrist) is someone who specialises in the treatment of feet. It doesn’t have anything to do with chiropractic as far as I know.

    I’m Welsh; where did you visit? We’ve got billions of castles!

  8. Akheloios

    Yup, it’s the proper protected medical term for foot doctor in the uk. They probably need to be mobile to visit the housebound elderly diabetics and some such. As you may well know, diabetics need regular foot inspections because of poor circulation.

  9. Brango

    Aw come on Phil, the mobile bunion doctor is one of the good guys… so my immobile granny says.

  10. NewEnglandBob

    It used to be used as the name in the US but then was replaced by podiatrist.

    From Wikipedia:

    The first society of chiropodists, now known as podiatrists, was established in—and still operates in—New York in 1895 as NYSPMA, with the first school opening in 1911. One year later the British established a society at the London Foot Hospital and a school was added in 1919. In Australia professional associations appeared from 1924 onwards.

  11. sophia8

    Yes, in the UK, chiropodists look after peoples’ feet, they have to go through a proper medical-type course (three years I think) and because most of their patients are elderly and/or disabled, they almost invariably make house calls.

  12. Andrew Barton

    Molly @ 1: Doctors in Wales, like those in the rest of the UK’s NHS, do indeed make house calls.

  13. Sc00ter

    yah, as many have pointed out, including on the original flickr post, this person is the same as a podiatrist.

  14. Mchl

    Will a libel suit follow?

  15. Is there a reason why I can’t seen the photo to which you are all referring? Nobody likes a tease.

  16. Phil, your joke was a toe-tal disgrace. You were a heel for saying it. It was very callous. Where was your sole? You now have to foot the bill for it. You were nailed.

    And that, ladies and germs, is how you do bad humor.

  17. Joseph

    An interesting note: Though I can’t see what the picture was I can see your original post I can see most of if not all of the removed original post by reading the roll over pop-up on my igoogle home page for your RSS blog feed link.

    Just interesting.

  18. Tom Woolf

    Mattrand: Boo-hissss (and I say that with the utmost respect!)

    Phil: Whataconcept…. make a mistake, admit to it, apologize, and correct for it…. Thanks for the positive example.

  19. Rhys Williams

    Am also interested in where you went! I live in Wales; the Brecon Beacons area. Gorgeous scenery. How was your trip?

  20. TGAP Dad

    FWIW – I’ve always considered podiatrists as analogous to chiropractors, making the Welsh moniker “chiropodist” particularly fitting for me.

    For those who protest that chiropodists/podiatrists attend a “proper medical-type course”, I’d like to point out that chiropractors also attend a “proper medical-type course,” at least from their own perspectives. Homeopaths, herbalists, naturopaths, ayurvedists, etc., all go through some kind of formal training which, to them, seems rigorous and suported by sound theory.

  21. Greg. Tingey

    What about some photographs anyway?

    Bugger the chiroprators, and help the chiropodists?

  22. Chris

    Ohhh, I don’t even know why it was so bad :-(

  23. Moxiequz

    #21, @TGAP Dad: For those who protest that chiropodists/podiatrists attend a “proper medical-type course”, I’d like to point out that chiropractors also attend a “proper medical-type course,” at least from their own perspectives.

    You could make that same argument about doctors and nurses – and about all fields of medicine from general practitioners to specialists. Why – specifically – do you lump podiatrists/chiropodists in with chiropractors and other alt-med peddlers?

  24. TGAP Dad

    #24 Moxiequz:

    I am willing to be proven wrong, or even given strong indication that I’m wrong. Doctors (and by this, I mean MDs, not DOs) go through a rigorous course of study at an accredited medical school, have to be licensed by the states, and practice a craft which is based on science. Podiatry is based on what, exactly? (I’m not being facetious, I really don’t know, and that’s part of the problem). Chiropractic is provably phony, and has been shown to be so. There isn’t even any good definition of podiatry is. What, if any, are the licensing requirements? What constitutes best practice and what doesn’t? What peer-reviewed scientific journals focus on podiatry? I’ve had doctors (again, MDs) refer me to specialists for foot issues, but never a podiatrist.

    One point I attempted to make was that from a layman’s perspective, the description “proper medical-type course” is not at all helpful. Chiropractors follow a (somewhat less) rigorous course in their studies, learning all about the anatomy of the spine and nerves, but their underlying philosophy is nonsense. So that alone doesn’t distinguish quacks from docs.

  25. Leander

    Ah, instant classic. A word contains the syllables “chi” and “ro” in that order, and your desire to make fun of anything not as sophisticated as your understanding of the world completely overrides any common sense – and in this case, doing your homework/knowing your terms. Just illustrates what a high percentage the need to feel superior by ridicule has in your behaviour, compared to the need to inform (and to be informed). Like I said, classic.

  26. mariana

    Yes, could be a classic, Leander, but you may also notice he admitted his error and I’d bet he’s a bit red-faced about it too.

    Were he an altie of any sort though he would defend his post to the death (see any antivax, creationist, truther, birther, warming denialist website where they’ll defend long debunked points and won’t acknowledge even the most egregious of errors).

    Science is a self-correcting process and Phil, being a scientist, self-corrected. Things like that point out the difference between science and pseudoscience, skeptics and denialists, experts and arm-chair cranks. Refreshing.

  27. John Phillips, FCD

    TGAP Dad:

    To quote from their front page:

    Chiropodists or Podiatrists specialise in assessing, diagnosing and treating abnormalities and diseases of the lower limb. They are trained to alleviate, prevent and correct these disorders and provide professional advice on proper foot care to patients of all ages and walks of life.

    Note: They also have to meet professional standards set by external bodies outside their control, i.e. unlike chiropractors, and have to undergo a three year accredited degree course with mandated continued training after.

    @mariana, well said and really does highlight the difference between Phil and the various alties (here used in a wider sense to denote anyone who dismisses/ignores/cherry picks evidence even when it is overwhelmingly against them, e.g. MMR/Vaccines |= Autism etc.).

  28. Andrew Barton – I live in the Pacific Northwest of the USA and US drs. really don’t care where you live. If you’ve been following the Great Health Care Debate you’ll see there’s nothing in it about housecalls. I know the UK complains about the NHS, but I’ll bet they don’t want to trade.

  29. John Phillips, FCD

    Molly, while it is not perfect by any stretch, the NHS has the highest satisfaction rate by users of any organisation in the UK. I am one of them, NHS user that is, and without the medical care offered by the NHS my life would be a much less happier one than it is. So you are right, I certainly wouldn’t want to swap it for a US style system.

    As for getting to see a GP, apart from home visits which are available if necessary, if I don’t mind waiting I can walk in to my practise and see them the same day or get an appointment in 48 hours maximum. Similarly, if I need to see my hospital consultant, rather than just my GP, I can, with just one phone call, usually see them in equal short order. Though I might have to hang around a while for them to fit me in on any particular day.

    Much of the whining about the NHS picked up on by many on the anti-health care reform side in the US usually comes from a certain segment of the press, ironically, the segment least likely to use it. They so like to highlight any problems, sensationalise any shortcomings and run down the UK in general while totally ignoring all the good.

  30. Sir Eccles

    ZOMG CENSORSHIP, big chiropodidy must have got to him and you know what they say about men with big feet…

  31. Ah. I learned this word from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio program, where the Foot Soldiers on the planet Brontitol abandon their attack on Arthur, Lintilla, Marvin, Poodoo, and the last remaining Allitnil. When Arthur inquires about where the Foot Soldiers, – who all walk with limps because, as the executive for the shoe company that owns the planet explains, their feet are the wrong size for their shoes – have gone to, Lintilla explains “The Flying Chiropodist just arrived…”

  32. sophia8

    TGAP Dad, you are confusing chiropodists with reflexologists. Both of them deal with feet, but there all similarity ends.
    This is how you get to be a qualified chiropodist in the UK
    This is one of the ways you get to be a qualified reflexologist
    See the difference?

  33. Gary Ansorge

    32. Sophia8:

    SO, to be a reflexologists you need a whole 100 hours of class and a three hour final (apparently only) exam. Yeah, that sounds like someone I’d trust to know more about my reflexes than do I.

    Gary 7

  34. Gary Ansorge

    See Phil. This is what happens when you don’t know the difference between English and American(the language, that is). Those two words may sound similar, but,,,


    GAry 7

  35. Chris

    I am a Podiatrist so I feel a need to comment.

    Podiatry is an allied health profession so falls under the same catagory as physiotherapy. We have extensive training in medicine, anatomy, physiology, pathomechanics and biomechanics. A significant portion of the profession deal with high risk vascular or neuropathic patients and people at risk of losing bits, and have cross over with tissue viability nursing and diabetes and rheumatology.

    We have many peer reviewed journals, such as the journal of foot and ankle research. Significant portions of research goes into more specific journals, my field of work and research (biomechanics) reports normally in clinical biomechanics or gait and posture, amongst others. We are an evidence based profession and adapt and change as knowledge increases.

    We are, in the UK, an intergrated health profession, unlike chiropractic, and have stringent licensing requirements. Chiropody is an old fashioned term but is retained to prevent confusion by our elderly patients (no really), podiatry is the correct term but both are state registered and have protection of title.

  36. Damon

    Chiropractic pretty much works. :] Fixed my posture, allowed me to swallow again and pretty much kept me healthy 99% of the time.


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