Becoming a Podiatrist (Doctor of Podiatric Medicine)

Podiatrists, also known as “Doctor of Podiatric Medicine”, are dedicated to diagnose and treat ailments, injuries and diseases of the foot, ankle and lower extremity. These professionals are exclusively specialized in treating foot and ankle of human being. They generally work at in offices of podiatry either of their own or in private and public hospitals.

The Podiatrists examine patients’ feet, ankles and lower legs through touch, X-rays, lab tests etc. and after analyzing carefully, they prescribe physical therapy regimens, administer medications or perform surgery to recover from any disorder.

Besides, the podiatrists also detect some life threatening physical problems including diabetes, arthritis, heart and kidney problems etc. as these diseases normally indicate the symptoms at the lower extremities in early stage.

Education Requirements:

The aspiring Podiatrists must earn a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree and complete a 3-year residency program. The coursework includes anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology, physiology, pathology, microbiology, immunology, etc. In addition, podiatric medical students learn the fundamentals of specialized medicine, including biomechanics, podiatric pathology, orthopedics, lower extremity anatomy, infectious diseases and sports medicine courses.

The American Board of Podiatric Medicine (ABPM) offers a comprehensive board qualification and certification process in podiatric medicine and orthopedics. Podiatrists must be licensed to practice in USA.

Salary & Job Outlook:

The job outlook for Podiatrists remains excellent across the USA. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of Podiatrists may grow 23% during 2012 to 2022, which is much higher than the average for all occupations. The average annual salary of Podiatrists was $116,440 in May 2012.