How to Become a Podiatrist
Podiatrist Job Details
Skills and Qualities of Podiatrists
Podiatrist Salary
Influential Professional Podiatrists
Leading Organizations for Podiatrists
Top Cities for Podiatrist Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Podiatrist

To become a podiatrist one must be licensed and will be required to complete a three-four year undergraduate educational program as well as successfully complete a four year podiatric university program and be able to pass National and State examinations.

To be admitted into a podiatric medicine college one must have about ninety semester hours of undergraduate study, a sufficient GPA, and score high enough on the Medical College Admissions test.

The required areas of study are inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, physics and at least six credit hours of English. Other areas of importance are community involvement, personal interviews, and letters of recommendation. It is estimated that ninety-five percent of students of podiatry have at least a bachelor's degree.

During course work at institutions of podiatric medicine one will go through a core curriculum that can be compared to curriculums found in schools of medicine. The first part of the program will focus on basic sciences and the second part of the program will require students to go on clinical assignments that will help them to gain hands on experience. These clinicals will be a done at hospitals, clinics and private practices - students will learn how to obtain patient histories, carry out routine exams, interpret test results, make diagnoses and carry out various therapies. Graduates will be awarded a degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. After graduation most podiatrists complete a residency program at a hospital for two to four years to gain more knowledge and hands on experience. .

In order to practice podiatric medicine every State requires licensure in order to insure that they meet standards therefore they must pass oral and written exams. In addition, Podiatrist must participate in continuing education programs in order to keep their license active. Each state has their own requirements and procedures, but generally speaking reciprocity is usually granted to podiatrists that are licensed and relocating to a different state.

What does a Podiatrist do?

Usually podiatrists work in private offices or clinics and have a small support staff. Also, it is not uncommon for podiatrist to visit nursing homes or utilize hospital facilities for the purpose of performing surgery. Podiatrists are responsible for treating and caring for our feet. Their task is composed of diagnosing and treating problems such as bunions, corns, heal spurs and other a variety of other foot problems and infections. They may prescribe drugs, physical therapy, set fractures or perform surgery. Other means of correcting problems may involve casting inserts for shoes or even designing and making custom foot wear.

X-ray technology and lab test are used to diagnose foot problems and the podiatrist must be careful to determine whether or not there is a condition attached to a problem such as diabetes or heart problems. Surprisingly enough, our feet can be the first area of our body to give a sign or implication of a more serious health problem.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Podiatrist?

If you are planning to practice podiatry you should have a good grasp of scientific theories and practices, work well with your hands, and be able to work well with others, as well as have the capability to build good rapport with your patients. If you intend to run a private practice you will also need to have management and business skills, such as marketing, as you will be running a small business.

How much does a Podiatrist make?

It has been reported that the median annual earnings of salaried podiatrists is $114,000. According to the Podiatry Management Magazine, practitioners in a partnership arrangement generally earn higher net incomes than those that practice alone, this can be attributed to the fact that a partner shares in the costs of running the practice. Also they noted that those that hold a salaried position receive employer sponsored benefits, where self-employed practitioners are responsible for providing their own. No matter which way you look at it podiatrist are generously compensated for their work.

Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Some of the most accomplished podiatrist is the field have been identified as Dr. Beaton, who was awarded the 2008 Podiatrist of the Year from the Florida Podiatric Medical Association, which he has received five times! Dr. Lawrence Huppin who was one of only two podiatrists to be accepted into the California College of Podiatric Medicine Fellowship in Podiatric Biomechanics in 1989. Also he is a nationally renowned lecturer and professor on orthotic therapy and biomechanics. Marybeth Crane is also a notably recognized podiatrist who has many accomplishments; she has been double board certified in foot surgery and wound care and is a managing partner of the Foot and Ankle Assoc. of N. Texas. More importantly, she was named the most influential podiatrist in the nation by the Podiatry Management Magazine in September 2006.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

There are several notable organizations in the field of Podiatry. The American Podiatric Medical Association is one that is an advocate for the profession in that it increases public awareness and understanding of the field and provides acknowledgement for its members. They also seek to provide career development and education to ensure that their members continually develop themselves professionally. Their overall goal is to unify the field of podiatric medicine and surgery. Another organization is The National Podiatric Medical Association which was formed in 1973 as a non-profit organization that focuses on minority recruitment, retention, achievement and personal development. Another notable organization is the American Board of Podiatric Surgery which has been acknowledged by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education and its main purpose is to certify qualified podiatric surgeons.

What are the top cities for Podiatrist jobs?

According to the US Department of Labor the top three metropolitan areas for the practice of podiatry are Bethesda-Gaithersburg, MD with an annual mean wage of $189,100, Warren-Troy-Farrington Hills, MI at $188,060 and Virginia Beach-Norfolk, VA at $186,980.

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