What is a podiatrist / podiatric surgeon?
The term "podiatrist" comes from the Greek 'pod' (foot) and 'iatros' (physician). In British Columbia, a podiatrist is a foot specialist with a doctorate degree--a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. The same is true in Alberta and the United States. In some Canadian provinces and in many British Commonwealth countries, however, the term "podiatrist" may refer to practitioners with a wide variety of training levels. This can be quite confusing to patients and physicians alike. So in British Columbia, those with a doctorate degree are often referred to as podiatric surgeons. In fact, for a number of years the licensing body for podiatric surgeons in BC has been known as the College of Podiatric Surgeons of BC, though in September of 2020, podiatric surgeons joined the physicians of BC in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC.
What is the training of a podiatric surgeon?
A podiatric surgeon has four years of undergraduate training, four years of medical training, and a residency program of three years, with a very strong focus on the foot and ankle. Some podiatrists have additional years of fellowship training in a variety of disciplines.
Some podiatrists, like Dr. Schumacher, also seek out board certification. This is a voluntary distinction that demonstrates particular knowledge and skill above and beyond what basic licensure requires.
Dr. Schumacher is board certified by both major boards in his profession, and has a variety of other certifications. For more information on Dr. Schumacher's credentials, click here.
What do you treat?
Dr. Schumacher and the other podiatric surgeons at our facility treat most any medical complaint of the foot and ankle. This may range from a skin condition to complex surgical cases, from diabetic wounds to chronic heel pain, from pediatrics to geriatrics. A list of our specialties can be found here.
Are your services covered by MSP?
The Medical Services Plan (MSP) of British Columbia partially insures some podiatric services. Those it deems low income, for example, are eligible for $23 per visit, up to ten visits. Some surgical services may be partially covered by MSP as well.
Do extended plans cover what MSP does not?
Third-party insurers--extended medical plans like Blue Cross, Manulife, Green Shield, and Dejardins--often cover podiatric services, in part or in full, depending upon what's been negotiated by your employer. Reimbursement rates commonly range from 50% to 100%, with most covering 80%. Some plans, however, work on a dollar limit, not percentages.
How can I find out what my extended plan covers?
Most extended plans provide those they cover with a book outlining your benefits. Most plans have websites or apps you can check as well. Most plans have phone numbers on your card that you can call to find out your benefits.
If you have any questions about what is covered, give our office a call at 604.589.5234, or write us at AchillesFootHealthCentre@gmail.com. We can assist with understanding your plan and get pre-approval.
Does RCMP / Worksafe BC / ICBC / Social Services / Indian Affairs cover your services?
Yes, RCMP, Worksafe BC, ICBC, Social Services, Indian Affairs and other providers often cover our services, often in full. Payment is authorized on a case-by-case basis.
How much is an initial visit?
Fees vary depending upon the nature of the complaint and the time it takes. Initial visits run $165. Extensive surgical consultations, extensive medical-legal consultations, complicated cases in general, and emergency visits are typically more expensive.
As stated above, there are a number of 3rd parties that may cover part or all of this fee.
Do I need a referral to see the doctor?
Not typically, no. An exception might be if your extended plan requires a referral for some reason. Most plans do not require a referral.
Do you provide second opinions?
Yes, we do. Second (or third) opinions are often a good idea, particularly when you're considering an invasive procedure. With the podiatric surgeons in our facility, we can provide multiple opinions in house.
Is there a waiting list to see Dr. Schumacher?
One of the benefits of not being government controlled, is efficiency. We have no long waiting lists to be seen, no long waiting lists for surgery or for most any service we provide.
Why should I see Dr. Schumacher?
Dr. Schumacher is board certified by both major boards of his profession, and is the only podiatric surgeon in the province so certified. He is also certified in sub specialty areas of shockwave medicine and wound healing, making him particularly helpful for diabetic foot issues. He is the only podiatric surgeon with either of those certifications as well. He has hospital privileges at Vancouver General Hospital and Abbotsford Regional Hospital. He also has over 30 years of experience, and has spoken on four continents. More details on his credentials can be seen here.
What should I bring on my initial visit?
1. Bring your MSP care card.
2. Bring a list of medications.
3. Bring the name of your physician and his or her address, along with the names and addresses of any other doctors involved in your care.
4. Bring, or have forwarded, any imaging (x-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, etc.) that is germane to your case. Reports are great, actual images are better.
5. Bring typical shoes you wear.
6. Bring any orthotics, any braces or other orthopedic appliances you use.
7. Bring someone who speaks English or Spanish.
Where is your office?
Our address is Suite 102, 10190 - 152A Street in the Guildford portion of north Surrey, British Columbia. You can find a map and more specific directions here.
What about parking?
We have free parking in the back. It's immediately adjacent to our back door and marked "Achilles Patients Only." Free street parking is also available.
I'm visiting from out of town. Where should I stay?
There are several hotels nearby our facility. We have information on this here.
What else should I know?
We try to run a tight ship in terms of scheduling. We don't waste your time by double or triple booking patients, making you wait to be seen, like in many doctor's offices. We don't like it when we have to wait to see a specialist, so we try our best not to have this happen to you.
There are times when something comes up, as when a surgery runs long or there is an emergency, but we strive to stay on time, and in most cases you'll be seen promptly. Likewise, if you come in promptly, we can better keep to our schedule, and give you enough time for your issue..
I have a question not answered on this page. How can I find an answer to my question?
Call us at 604.589.5234. We'll be happy to any questions you may have.