Founded in 1914, the Michigan Podiatric Medical Association (MPMA) mission is to promote, protect and advance the science and practice of podiatric medicine in Michigan.
There are more than 14,000 practicing doctors of podiatric medicine in the United States. The skills of these physicians are in increasing demand, because foot disorders are among the most widespread and neglected health problems affecting people of this country.
The neglect may stem from a curious misconception on the part of many people that their feet are supposed to hurt. That's not the case, and it is estimated that more than 75 percent of Americans will experience foot problems of varying degrees of seriousness at one time or another in their lives.
The increasing demand for services of podiatrists probably stems from two factors. First, as more Americans engage in exercise and fitness programs, more of them become aware of the limits foot pain places on full participation. Second, foot problems are often the result of a lifetime of neglect, and the number of older Americans are increasing almost three times as fast as the population as a whole. Thus, they may account for a disproportionate share of the growing demand.
Whatever the case, the estimated number of patient visits to podiatric physicians in the 1990's was 50 million. This number is expected to continue growing.
Headquartered in Lansing, the MPMA has an executive director and a full-time administrative staff. It consists of six geographical divisions: Macomb/Oakland, Northeast, Southeastern, Southern, Upper Peninsula and Western. The Association provides its members with national representation through its affiliation with the American Podiatric Medical Association.