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Become A Podiatrist

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Working As A Podiatrist

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Getting Information
  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Make Decisions

  • $98,322

    Average Salary

What Does A Podiatrist Do

Podiatrists provide medical and surgical care for people with foot, ankle, and lower leg problems. They diagnose illnesses, treat injuries, and perform surgery involving the lower extremities.

Duties

Podiatrists typically do the following:

  • Assess the condition of a patient’s feet, ankles, or lower legs by reviewing his or her medical history, listening to the patient’s concerns, and performing a physical examination
  • Diagnose foot, ankle, and lower leg problems through physical exams, x rays, medical laboratory tests, and other methods
  • Provide treatment for foot, ankle, and lower leg ailments, such as prescribing special shoe inserts (orthotics) to improve a patient’s mobility
  • Perform foot and ankle surgeries, such as removing bone spurs, fracture repairs, and correcting other foot and ankle deformities
  • Advise and instruct patients on foot and ankle care and on general wellness techniques
  • Prescribe medications
  • Coordinate patient care with other physicians
  • Refer patients to other physicians or specialists if they detect larger health problems, such as diabetes
  • Conduct research, read journals, and attend conferences to keep up with advances in podiatric medicine and surgery

Podiatrists treat a variety of foot and ankle ailments, including calluses, ingrown toenails, heel spurs, arthritis, congenital foot and ankle deformities, and arch problems. They also treat foot and leg problems associated with diabetes and other diseases. Some podiatrists spend most of their time performing advanced surgery, such as foot and ankle reconstruction. Others may choose a specialty such as sports medicine or pediatrics.

Podiatrists who own their practice may spend time on business-related activities, such as hiring employees and managing inventory.

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How To Become A Podiatrist

Podiatrists must earn a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree and complete a 3-year residency program. Every state requires podiatrists to be licensed.

Education

Podiatrists must have a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree from an accredited college of podiatric medicine. A DPM degree program takes 4 years to complete. In 2014, there were 9 colleges of podiatric medicine accredited by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education.

Admission to podiatric medicine programs requires at least 3 years of undergraduate education, including specific courses in laboratory sciences such as biology, chemistry, and physics, as well as general coursework in subjects such as English. In practice, nearly all prospective podiatrists earn a bachelor’s degree before attending a college of podiatric medicine. Admission to DPM programs usually requires taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

Courses for a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree are similar to those for other medical degrees. They include anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and pathology among other subjects. During their last 2 years, podiatric medical students gain supervised experience by completing clinical rotations.

Training

After earning a DPM, podiatrists must apply to and complete a 3-year podiatric medical and surgical residency (PMSR) program. Residency programs take place in hospitals and provide both medical and surgical experience. They may do additional training in specific fellowship areas, such as sports medicine or pediatrics.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Podiatrists in every state must be licensed. Podiatrists must pay a fee and pass the American Podiatric Medical Licensing Exam (APMLE), offered by the National Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners. Some states also require podiatrists to take a state-specific exam.

Many podiatrists choose to become board certified. Certification generally requires a combination of work experience and passing an exam from the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery, the American Board of Podiatric Medicine, or the American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Since podiatrists provide care for patients who may be in pain, they must be able to treat patients with compassion and understanding.

Critical-thinking skills. Podiatrists must have a sharp, analytical mind to correctly diagnose a patient and determine the best course of treatment.

Detail oriented. To provide safe, effective healthcare, a podiatrist should be detail oriented. For example, a podiatrist must pay attention to a patient’s medical history as well as current conditions when diagnosing a problem.

Interpersonal skills. Because podiatrists spend much of their time interacting with patients, they should be able to listen well and communicate effectively. For example, they should be able to tell a patient who is slated to undergo surgery what to expect and calm his or her fears.

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Podiatrist Demographics

Gender

  • Female

    63.6%
  • Male

    34.0%
  • Unknown

    2.4%

Ethnicity

  • White

    74.5%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    14.4%
  • Asian

    7.9%
  • Unknown

    2.5%
  • Black or African American

    0.8%
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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

    62.5%
  • French

    4.2%
  • Hindi

    4.2%
  • Russian

    4.2%
  • Swahili

    2.1%
  • German

    2.1%
  • Swedish

    2.1%
  • Chinese

    2.1%
  • Mandarin

    2.1%
  • Burmese

    2.1%
  • Japanese

    2.1%
  • Urdu

    2.1%
  • Dari

    2.1%
  • Arabic

    2.1%
  • Korean

    2.1%
  • Wolof

    2.1%
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Podiatrist Education

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Real Podiatrist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Podiatrist Mid Dakota Clinic Bismarck, ND Sep 30, 2015 $248,198
Podiatrist Mid Dakota Clinic Bismarck, ND Sep 16, 2013 $248,198
Surgical Podiatrist Kosciusko Medical Group, LLC Warsaw, IN Jan 09, 2016 $240,000
Podiatrist Avera St. Luke's Aberdeen, SD Mar 30, 2016 $215,000
Podiatrist Avera St. Luke's Hospital Ellendale, ND Aug 01, 2014 $215,000
Podiatrist Avera St. Luke's Hospital Aberdeen, SD Aug 01, 2014 $215,000
Podiatrist Avera St. Luke's Hospital Eureka, SD Aug 01, 2014 $215,000
Podiatrist Avera St. Luke's Hospital Redfield, SD Aug 01, 2014 $215,000
Podiatrist Henry Ford Health System Dearborn, MI Apr 01, 2016 $180,000
Podiatrists Kitsap Podiatry, PLLC Silverdale, WA Sep 11, 2012 $164,115
Podiatrists Kitsap Podiatry, PLLC Silverdale, WA Jul 16, 2012 $164,115
Podiatrists Henry Ford Health System Dearborn, MI Feb 27, 2013 $154,000
Podiatrist Henry Ford Health System Dearborn, MI Jul 21, 2010 $154,000
Podiatrist Henry Ford Health System Dearborn, MI Jul 21, 2013 $154,000
Podiatrists Podiatric Surgeons PC Adrian, MI Dec 29, 2011 $115,000
Podiatrist Podiatric Surgeons PC Adrian, MI Jul 01, 2010 $115,000
Podiatrist House Call Medical Services of New York PLLC New York, NY Jun 06, 2016 $107,000
Podiatrist Jamaica Hospital Medical Center NY Feb 01, 2014 $104,350
Podiatrist Foot Specialists, P .C. Farmington Hills, MI Feb 15, 2016 $100,176 -
$127,307
Podiatrist Thomas C. Hosey DPM & Associates, PC Clinton, MI May 09, 2016 $85,000
Podiatrist Thomas C. Hosey DPM & Associates, PC Troy, MI May 09, 2016 $85,000
Podiatrist Thomas C. Hosey DPM & Associates, P.C. Troy, MI Jun 25, 2016 $85,000
Podiatrist Thomas C. Hosey DPM & Associates, P.C. Clinton, MI Jun 25, 2016 $85,000
Podiatrist Thomas C. Hosey DPM & Associates, PC Sterling Heights, MI May 09, 2016 $85,000
Podiatrists Primary Medical Care Services PLLC NY May 20, 2016 $84,323
Podiatrist Bronx Foot Rehabilitation Associates, P.C. New York, NY Jul 01, 2014 $80,266

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Top Skills for A Podiatrist

PodiatricSurgerySurgerySchedulingFootOrthoticsRoutineFootCareAnkleSurgicalProceduresExamRoomsMedicalRecordsAppointmentSchedulingSportsMedicinePatientCareVitalSignsFrontDeskPrivatePracticeMedicalHistoryInsuranceCompaniesMedicalProceduresFrontOfficePatientInformationExternship

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Top Podiatrist Skills

  1. Podiatric Surgery
  2. Surgery Scheduling
  3. Foot Orthotics
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Board Certified by the American board of podiatric surgery.
  • Fitted and made custom foot orthotics and ankle foot braces.
  • Provided surgical and medical management of foot and ankle ailments.
  • Performed outpatient and inpatient minor and major surgical procedures under anesthesia.
  • Keep exam rooms stocked with adequate medical supplies, maintain instruments, and prepare sterilization as required.

Top Podiatrist Employers

Podiatrist Videos

Check out Podiatry as a Career

Dr. Pelto Presentation About Podiatric Medicine

A career in Podiatry

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