As a practicing podiatrist, I believe there should be a working relationship between the nail industry and doctors. By developing a good working relationship with podiatrists they have faith in, nail techs can protect themselves when and if a problem occurs. Unfortunately, problems do occur; whether it is the patron who believes an infection or ingrown toenail was caused by the nail technician, or the nail technician who comes across a situation she thinks needs special attention beyond her abilities. It is always helpful to have someone to refer to. Form the doctor’s point of view. I appreciate referrals from nail technicians. Also, patients often ask who the doctor recommends for a pedicure.
If you are interested in developing a relationship with a podiatrist or health care professional in your area, I recommend that you send them an introductory letter or visit them. Make sure to drop off some of your cards so they may conveniently give your name to their patients.
Because the HMO environment is not conducive to taking care of routine problems, I strongly believe that there will be an increased dependence on pedicurists to provide care for nail and skin problems of the feet, as well as refer out these problems. Therefore, it is critical that nail techs and doctors have a good working relationship to ensure that clients receive the care they need.
Ivar E. Roth DPM, MPH, is a podiatrist in Newport Beach, Calif, and is board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery.