Podiatrist

Specializations

  • Orthopedic Podiatrist – treats bone, muscle and joint ailments.
  • Podopediatrician – specializes in foot diseases in children.
  • Podiatric Surgeon – performs foot surgeries.

Work Activities/Work Locations

  • Podiatrists, or doctors of podiatric medicine (DPM), diagnose and treat ailments, injuries, and diseases of the foot and the lower leg.
  • They are trained to understand problems of the human foot, perform diagnostic tests, and administer treatment for foot injuries, abnormalities, and disorders or diseases.
  • They may perform surgery, give medications, and may fit artificial foot devices (prosthetics) or corrective support devices (orthotics) to the foot and lower leg to correct skeletal deformities and improve mobility.
  • Podiatrists consult with patient’s physicians as well as refer patients to specialists for diagnostic and treatment of symptoms related to the foot disorder or disease.
  • Podiatrists work in a variety of healthcare settings including working in their private offices, hospitals, clinics, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), public health agencies, and nursing homes.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Podiatrists say their work is interesting because they deal with many different medical problems.
  • They enjoy helping people and teaching them about proper foot care.
  • Those who are self-employed enjoy the independence this gives them.
  • They dislike the time and energy spent on completing paperwork for insurance companies.

 Education: 7+ years

 Patient Interaction: High

 Physical Activity: Medium

 Salary: $167,140

 Job Growth: Medium

Getting Started

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High School Courses

  • Students should take a college preparatory curriculum.
  • Helpful high school courses would include anatomy & physiology, biology, chemistry, algebra, foreign language (minimum of two years), public speaking, and statistics & probability.

Education and Training

  • Colleges of podiatric medicine offer a 4-year program whose core curriculum is similar to that in others schools of medicine.
  • During the first 2 years, students receive classroom instruction in basic science, including anatomy, chemistry, pathology, and pharmacology.
  • Third-and fourth-year students have clinical rotations in private practice, hospitals, and clinics. During these rotations, they learn how to take general and podiatric histories, perform routine physical examinations, interpret tests and findings, make diagnosis, and perform therapeutic procedures.
  • Graduates receive the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree and are called doctors.
  • Most graduates complete a hospital residency program after receiving a DPM.
  • Residency programs last from 1 to 3 years. During this time, residents receive advanced training in podiatric medicine, surgery and serve clinical rotations in anesthesiology, internal medicine, pathology, radiology, emergency medicine. During this time residents can receive advanced training.
  • Residencies lasting more than 1 year provide more extensive training in specialty areas.

Educational Institutions

There are no schools of Podiatry offered in Wisconsin.

 

Pre-Professional Programs

Ripon College
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh
University of Wisconsin – Parkside
University of Wisconsin – Platteville
University of Wisconsin – Superior
Viterbo College

Hospitals with Associated Educational Programs

Columbia St. Mary’s
Gunderson Medical Foundation, La Crosse (Postgraduate)

Method of Entry

  • Students interested in this field must complete a minimum of three years of college before applying for a podiatry school.
  • Most, 90%, earn a bachelor’s degree prior to applying to a podiatry school.
  • Prerequisites for admission to a school of podiatric medicine include the completion of at a minimum of 90 semester hours of undergraduate college study, an acceptable grade point average, and suitable scores on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Academic minimum course requirements can vary slightly for different schools. Most require 8 semester hours each of biology, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, all with laboratory components, and 6 hours of English.
  • Admission into accredited podiatry school requires a multi-step application process including resumé, MCAT scores, personal statement, and letters of recommendations.
  • Admission into podiatry school is VERY competitive. As there are many qualified applicants NOT everyone gets in.
  • Podiatrists must be licensed. To qualify, students must first graduate from an accredited school of podiatry then pass state written and oral tests.
  • Some states require podiatrists to complete internships prior to applying for licenses.
  • Some require podiatrists to complete a specific number of continuing education credits in order to renew their licenses.
  • There are 9 colleges of podiatry medicine in the U.S. It takes four years to obtain a doctorate degree in podiatry. Residency (1-3 yrs) usually follows.
  • About 1000 applicants apply to podiatric medical schools each year. First year enrollments are between 550-650, so understand acceptance IS competitive.
  • Undergraduate courses can be taken at any postsecondary school as long as prerequisites courses are satisfied and MCAT admissions test taken.

Professional Organizations

 

American Association for Women Podiatrists
365 County Road 39A, Suite 9
Benton Plaza
Southampton, NY, 11968
www.americanwomenpodiatrists.com

American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine
15850 Crabbs Branch Way, Suite 320
Rockville, MD, 200855
301/948-9760
www.aacpm.org

American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery
445 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA, 94117-3404
415/553-7801
www.abfas.org/

American Board of Podiatric Medicine
3812 Sepulveda Boulevard, Suite 530
Torrance, CA, 90505
310/375-0700
www.abpmed.org/

American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons
8725 West Higgins Rd., Suite 555
Chicago, IL, 60631
773/693-9300 or 800/421-2237
www.acfas.org/

American Podiatric Medical Association
9312 Old Georgetown Rd.
Bethesda, MD, 20814-1621
301/571-9200 or or 301/581-9200 or 800/275-2762 (800/ASK-APMA)
www.apma.org

American Podiatric Medical Licensing Examination
877/302-8952
apmle.com

American Podiatric Medical Students Association
9312 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD, 20814
301/581-9263 or 800/275-2762
www.apmsa.org/

American Society of Podiatric Medical Assistants
1000 W. St. Joseph Hwy., Suite 200
Lansing, MI, 48915
888/882-7762
www.aspma.org

American Society of Podiatric Surgeons
9312 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD, 20814
301/581-9214 or 877/277-7616
www.aspsmembers.org/

Council of Teaching Hospitals
15850 Crabbs Branch Way, Suite 320
Rockville, MD, 20850
301/948-9764
www.cothweb.org/

Council on Podiatric Medical Education
9312 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD, 20814-1621
301/581-9200
www.cpme.org/

Podiatry Residency Resource
445 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA, 94117-3404
415/553-7801
www.podiatryrr.com

Career Outlook

Number Employed in 2012 (Wisconsin): 120
Number Employed in 2014 (U.S.): 9,600
Expected Employment in 2024 (U.S.): 11,000
Percent Employment Growth (2014-2024): 14%
Expected Annual Openings: 330
Median Salary in 2014 (Wisconsin): $167,140

Salary information is located at Career One Stop

Wisconsin AHEC Health Careers Information Center provides the most current salary information available from CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop will have a lapse between when the information is gathered and when it is released.

  • Podiatrists usually work 40 hours a week.
  • They can work weekends, nights, and holidays.

Can be involved in upper level teaching, research, and medical management.