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A 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.
- 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
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.
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The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a tool used by the medical schools to judge an applicant’s preparation and suitability for medical school course work and predict his or her ability to pass medical boards. The MCAT exam is an arduous 5 1/2-hour exam offered ~24 times per year and should be taken approximately a year before you plan on applying. The MCAT score is based on the number of accurate responses and there is no penalty for incorrect answers.
Breakdown of the MCAT
In April 2015, in an attempt to keep up to date with medical advances and healthcare transformations AAMC launched a New MCAT exam. The new test is composed of:
- Biological & Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems: understand processes, biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and biochemistry
- Chemical & Physical Foundations of Biological Systems: mechanical, physical, biochemical functions, biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and biochemistry
- Psychological, Social, & Biological Foundations of Behavior: psychology & sociology concepts, mental processes, and behavior
- Critical Analysis & Reasoning Skills: analyze, evaluate, & apply information, social sciences, humanities, ethics, and philosophy
|Test Sections||Length of Time||Number of Questions (roughly)|
|Biological & Biochemical Foundations||95 minutes||67 questions|
|Chemical & Physical Foundations||95 minutes||67 questions|
|Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations||95 minutes||67 questions|
|Critical Analysis & Reasoning Skills||90 minutes||60 questions|
Students receive five scores for the MCAT exam: one for each of the four sections and one combined score. Each of the four sections is scored from a low of 118 to a high of 132. The total score ranges from 472 to 526. Almost all U.S. medical schools require students to submit MCAT exam scores. Many schools do not accept MCAT scores that are more than three years old.
Preparing for the MCAT
A preview guide is available through the American Association of Medical Colleges that contains a full description of the changes and sample questions for anyone planning on taking the MCAT. The Preview Guide for MCAT 2015 can be found free online at the AAMC website or if you prefer, there is a hardcopy located in the Pre-Health office for students to browse through.
Information was provided by the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) which is the ultimate source of information about the MCAT and applying to medical school. For more information on the MCAT and the changes, visit www.aamc.org/mcat.
The American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine Application Service (AACPMAS) allows students to apply to all nine of the colleges of podiatric medicine with one online application.
- Arizona School of Podiatric Medicine at Midwestern University (AZPod)
- California School of Podiatric Medicine at Samuel Merritt University (CSPM)
- Western University of Health Sciences-College of Podiatric Medicine (WUCPM)
- Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine (BUSPM)
- Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (SCPM)
- College of Podiatric Medicine & Surgery at Des Moines University (DMU-CPMS)
- New York College of Podiatric Medicine (NYCPM)
- Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine (OCPM)
- Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine (TUSPM)
- Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine
What does a podiatrist do?
Podiatrists are practitioners who are experts in the study of human movement, with the medical care of the foot and ankle as its primary focus. Many podiatrists focus on a particular area of podiatric medicine, including surgery, sports medicine, biomechanics, geriatric care, pediatrics, orthopedics, and primary care. With the increase number in diabetic patients, podiatrists are often the care provider responsible for lower extremity problems.
How do I become a podiatrist?
In order to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, you must complete four years of study at an accredited podiatric medical college. Similar to other medical schools, the first two years concentrate on classroom instruction and laboratory work; the third and fourth years focus on clinical science and patient care.
How long is the residency (or post-graduate medical education) for podiatrists?
After completing four years of podiatric medical training, graduates typically select a Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Residency of 24- or 36 months in duration. Most states require that podiatrists require a minimum of one year of residency training for practice; two years for board certification.
Is there an admission test required?
Yes, podiatric schools require the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) for admissions.
Are there any podiatric medical schools in Ohio?
Yes. The Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine is located in Independence, Ohio. There are 8 other podiatric medical colleges: Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine (Miami Shores, FL), California School of Podiatric Medicine at Samuel Merritt University (Oakland, CA), Des Moines University College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery (Des Moines, IA), Midwestern University of Arizona School of Podiatric Medicine (Glendale, AZ), New York College of Podiatric Medicine (New York, NY), Dr. William M. School College of Podiatric Medicine at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (North Chicago, IL), Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine (Philadelphia, PA), and Western University of Health Sciences College of Podiatric Medicine (Pomona, CA).
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