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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:
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.
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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Podiatrist
Top Careers After Podiatrist
Hispanic or Latino14.4%
Black or African American0.8%
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New York College of Podiatric Medicine32.3%
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (Illinois)4.2%
Trident Technical College3.1%
San Joaquin Valley College2.1%
University of the Sciences2.1%
University of Pennsylvania2.1%
San Antonio College2.1%
Florida Technical College2.1%
Mercer County Community College2.1%
Georgia State University2.1%
Pennsylvania State University2.1%
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine2.1%
Nassau Community College2.1%
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science2.1%
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|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 -
|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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