Residency & Beyond

How to Be a Podiatrist

Podiatrists are healthcare professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of the feet, the ankle, and the lower leg. They improve the standard of living for people as they improve the performance of people’s feet. Without podiatrists, many hurting feet would go untreated. Podiatrists are also crucial in educating the public in prevention methods.

Due to the intellectually demanding nature of this job, podiatrists need to be adequately trained. To be a podiatry, you need many years of education. Though it can be mentally draining, podiatrists live a fulfilling life knowing that their career helps people in a way that no else can help them. ProspectiveDoctor has outlined and described the typical path an aspiring podiatrist in the US must take to achieve their goal. You can view a general timeline on how to be a podiatrist.

{slider=1. Graduate from High School (~4 years)}

What courses should I take?
To be a podiatrist, you must take many science and math courses during your undergraduate and graduate career. Therefore, it is wise to start taking challenging math and science courses in high school. Challenging yourself this way will only help you perform well in your classes during college.

What extracurricular activities should I be a part of?
It is recommended that you volunteer or intern for a podiatrist to determine whether this is truly a profession you want to pursue.

{/slider}{slider=2. Graduate from an Undergraduate College (~4 years)}

What should I major in?
Like most advanced healthcare professions, you do not need to major in a science field to enter podiatric medicine. However, there are required science and math classes that podiatry schools require you to take at your undergraduate college. You must perform well in all your classes, especially in the required coursework.

Is there a standardized test I must take?
Another general requirement to enter podiatry school is to take the Medical College Admission Test, or simply known as MCAT. Your GPA and MCAT scores are probably the biggest determinants in whether you obtain admissions into podiatry school so make sure to earn high marks in them.

Do I need to graduate?
To enter the field of podiatric medicine, one needs at least three years of undergraduate coursework. However, most podiatrists have a bachelor’s degree. It is definitely recommended that all prospective podiatrists obtain a bachelor’s degree.

What are the requirements for podiatry school?
There are nine podiatry schools in the United States and each school may differ in what they require from their applicants. It is the responsibility of the applicant to research and understand the prerequisites of each respective schools.

{/slider}{slider=3. Graduate from a Podiatry School (~4 years)}

What is Podiatry school like?
Podiatry school last four years and is similar in structure to medical school. The first two years are generally focused on classroom lectures and exams. In contrast, podiatric medical students complete clinical rotations to learn to apply what they have learned thus far in school. After graduating from podiatric medical school, graduates are awarded the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree, or simply D.P.M.

Am I licensed after I graduate podiatry school?
Not quite. To be fully licensed to practice as a podiatrist, one must take licensing exams which are required in each state. Most states also require that podiatrists complete residency before obtaining a license.

{/slider}{slider=4. Finish a Residency Program (~3 years)}

How long are podiatry residency programs?
Podiatric residencies are currently 2 or 3 year programs. However, the podiatric field is in a transition state where all podiatric residencies must be at least three years effective June 2013.

What is podiatry residency?
Podiatric residency is a training program that helps podiatrists practice medicine under the supervision of licensed practitioners. Podiatric residency is crucial because it is where future podiatrists are trained to fully practice podiatric medicine independently.

{/slider}{slider=5. Finish a Fellowship Program (Optional, ~1-2 years)}

What is podiatry fellowship?
After finishing residency, podiatrists can also opt to complete an optional fellowship program. The purpose of a fellowship is to train podiatrists in a highly specialized field such as sports medicine, foot and ankle trauma, and geriatrics.



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