Most foot problems result from the fact that human feet were never designed to walk on asphalt and concrete or even to wear shoes (all that cushioning we demand in our shoes may be doing us more harm than good). So today we have an entire medical specialty devoted to feet. In the U.S., a podiatrist is a doctor of podiatric medicine (D.P.M.), who is licensed to perform surgery. The root pod- comes from the Greek word for "foot". But in England a foot doctor is often called a chiropodist, a term that dates from the time when the same specialist treated hands as well, since chiro- means "hand".