Choosing a Health Profession
Allied Health Program
How to Prepare
Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM)
The demand for podiatrists is expected to surge in the coming years due to the growing population and the number of foot related diseases and injuries, as well as the impending retirement of the senior generation of practicing podiatrists. It is estimated that 2,000 plus podiatrists will be needed to work with all ages of patients ranging from pediatrics to geriatrics. A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) must undergo lengthy, rigorous study to become well qualified to prevent, diagnose and treat disorders of the ankle and foot, as well as diseases and injuries. A DPM is similar to a medical doctor in the fact that they are trained to diagnose, perform or order all necessary diagnostic tests, perform surgery, administer medication and prescribe long term rehabilitation for patients. In addition, a DPM is often the first to detect and diagnose serious systemic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis that might not otherwise be detected since many of these diseases start in the lower extremities. Podiatrists tend to work in private practice or group practices and many choose to focus their practice on a particular area of podiatric medicine and the options include:
A career in podiatric medicine lends itself to a flexible schedule, the ability to set your own hours, and determine your type of practice, all of which offer a comfortable and balanced lifestyle.
Although there are only nine podiatry schools, Podiatry School Admissions Committees consider applicants with work experience in the podiatry field to be highly desirable candidates. Applicants are encouraged to explore the podiatry field either by employment or in a volunteer capacity by shadowing, observing, interning, or working with a practicing podiatrist. The primary objective is to ensure that you are familiar with the scope of the profession and to assure the Admissions Committee that you are making an informed decision. You will be asked for a letter of recommendation from a podiatrist, in addition to the two letters of recommendations from science professors that are familiar with your work.
Application to a college of podiatric medicine is made through the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine Application Service (AACPMAS). Similar to online central application services for medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, and the other health professions, AACPMAS offers students a convenient way to research and apply to podiatric schools with a single online application. Please refer to the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine website for a complete list of participating podiatry schools. The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is required for admission into podiatry school and students should apply at the earliest possible date, which varies by school.
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