Do podiatrists go to medical school ? What is DPM ?

Do podiatrists go to medical school ? No, podiatrists go to podiatrist medical schools, They earn the DPM degree (Doctor of podiatric medicine). Applying to podiatrist schools requires MCAT (Medical college admission test) but generally they are less competitive than MD and DO programs.

Most people believe that podiatrist applicants are those who generally had a low MCAT score and GPA. These are people who were not inclined to enter podiatry schools and career but this was their only bet. However, these are false assumptions. Most podiatry applicants that I have come across as an orthopedic resident are those that chose the profession from day 1. When i asked some podiatrists why they chose the career they responded by saying that, “We can choose our own hours, when we want to work and when we want a vacation. We also have the ability to set up our own private practices and adopt any billing procedures and practices that we want. We earn our degrees quite early and don’t have to go through 12 years of medical training to become a specialist in our profession and hence we can start earning early. We also have the ability to start building our medical practices at an early age so that we can retire early”. Seems that these people knew what they were getting into from the start and had a different set of goals in mind. So it is very false assumption in my opinion among many biological science majors that podiatrists are not interested in their careers.


How many applicants do podiatrist schools get ?

Most podiatrist schools get fewer applicants than MD or DO programs and hence they are quiet easy to get into. Most podiatrist programs are not very well known and it is generally easier to get into a podiatrist program even today.

What are podiatrists ?

Podiatrists are specialized in treating ailments that involve the feet and ankles. A person’s feet and ankles collectively include a total of 52 bones, 66 joints, many muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The ankles have a very wide range of motion, yet they must also be able to bear the human body’s full weight. When you include the fact that feet are body organs with circulatory, neurological, muscular, soft tissue, and dermatological issues, the feet and lower legs can have a wide variety of complex problems for podiatrists to treat.

What do podiatrists study ?

Podiatrists earn the DPM degree. DPM focus on treating problems of the feet and ankle structures from day 1. They are similar in their training to dentists and optometrists, and specialize early on in their careers and emerge certified in just 4 years.

Pros of podiatry ?

Self decided hours, plus high salaries. Podiatrists are paid quiet high as they can generally perform a lot of surgical procedures on the feet and ankles. That is their jurisdiction. Albeit they are not allowed to operate on bones and indulge in microsurgery, most podiatrists are generally treating all the major issues that people will have related to their feet. Podiatry does offer further sub specialization so you can move forward in your career.

Cons of podiatry ?

Most podiatrists are not allowed to indulge in bone surgeries (still the domain of orthopedic surgery) and microsurgeries (domain of orthopedic and plastic surgery). While podiatry offers sub specialization, the slots are very limited and hence, most podiatrists do not further sub specialize in the field and hence they are only generalist foot doctors. DPM now requires a mandatory 4 years surgical residency nowadays to perform foot surgeries.

Why do podiatrists have their own school ?

Podiatry is a specialized field. Unlike medical schools that teach you general medicine and surgery first. Podiatrist schools deal with podiatry from day 1. SO they require special trainings and hence can specialize early.

Are podiatrists considered doctors/physicians ?

No, podiatry is separate field. Podiatrists are always regarded as podiatrists, just like dentists are regarded as dentist, and optometrists are regarded as optometrists. It is a different field of study entirely.

Is podiatry a dying field ?

No, absolutely not. Infact podiatry is a flourishing field. Podiatrists schools are increasing in number and that that demonstrates the demand of podiatrists. Many regular procedures done by orthopedic surgeons are now being handed to podiatrists as well.

Do podiatrists make good money ? Is podiatry school worth it ?

Money in any field is quiet relative. Depends on wide variety of reasons. Do you have a private practice ? If so, then you will earn more. Are you willing to spend extra hours ? If yes, then you will earn more. Are you going to do a subspecialty. If so, then you will earn more. Are you going to take on a teaching job along with your medical practice. If so, then you will earn more. In other countries such as the UK, Europe and Australia the pay may differ and can significantly lower.

Can podiatrists do amputations ?

Yes, amputations come under the field of podiatry. But it depends on the hospital and the organization they are working for whether they allow podiatrists to carry out the amputation or not. Scope of practice for podiatrists among various states. Some podiatrists may choose to limit their practices to only certain types of diseases and procedures. What is more common is that most podiatrists will do the amputation along side orthopedic surgeons.

Why are there special degrees for podiatry ?

Podiatry is a specialized field. Most podiatrists are not trained to handle general medical conditions that is why they are not granted the MD (doctor of medicine) degree. They have their own degree which is referred to as Doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM).

What do people in other medical fields think of podiatry ?

Generally you should not care. Neither do they. They have their own responsibilities as do you. So go ahead with what suits your heart. Don’t think, what other will think or say.

What is it like to be a podiatrist ?

Most podiatrists, will work 5 days a week. They train for 3-4 years and then can specialize. They will usually work alongside orthopedic surgeons, diabetologists, medical physicians and general and plastic surgeons to deal with the various ailments of patients on a day to day basis. Most podiatrists don’t have to take calls and night shifts, but it differs based on the job location.


Do podiatrists go to medical school ? No, they go to podiatric medicine schools.

Find more articles related to medical professions that can help you decide your career here.

Find out more at the American Podiatric Medical Association.

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