Podiatry Overview


Doctor with PatientA Podiatrist is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, known also as a podiatric physician or surgeon, qualified by their education and training to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot and ankle.  A doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) is a specialist in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. 

Podiatry Fast Facts Printable (PDF)

Choosing a Career in Podiatry

Doctors of Podiatric Medicine specialize in a variety of areas such as surgery, orthopedics, or public health.  DPMs practice sports medicine, pediatrics, dermatology, radiology, geriatrics, or diabetic foot care.  A DPM utilizes x-rays and laboratory tests for diagnostic purposes, prescribes medications, orders physical therapy, sets fractures, and performs surgery.

While some podiatric physicians will cite compensation as the main reason they chose to pursue podiatric medicine, most will state it was the best fit when comparing the lifestyles of other medical specialties.  The average DPM works just over 40 hours a week, which is much below the average work week for most sought after MD or DO specialties.

Frequently, podiatric physicians set their own hours, but often work evenings and weekends to accommodate their patients.   Podiatrists who are affiliated with a hospital or clinic may also have on-call schedule, where they respond to all lower extremity related emergencies during weekends and evenings.


General Information

  • Podiatric Physicians are licensed in all 50 states , the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico
  • The Average DPM works just over 40 hours per week and treats approximately 100 patients pre week
  • After completing 4 years of podiatric medical studies, podiatric physicians apply for a comprehensive 3 year Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Residency (PMSR).
  • 10 Schools and Colleges of Podiatric Medicine in the U.S.
  • The median salary in 2014 was $120,700
  • 97% of the students enter a college of podiatric medicine have a bachelor’s degree.
  • Applicants need 90 semester hours or the equivalent of college credit at an accredited institution to apply.
  • The 4-year podiatric medical curriculum is robust and rigorous, offering many challenges and much satisfaction
  • Women made up 40% of the applicants and matriculating students in 2012

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