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Medicine

Podiatrist

Career data updated last on 10/15/2014
Podiatrist Podiatrists, also known as doctors of podiatric medicine (DPMs), diagnose and treat disorders, diseases, and injuries of the foot and lower leg to keep this part of the body working properly. Podiatrists treat corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, bunions, heel spurs, and arch problems; ankle and foot injuries, deformities, and infections; and foot complaints associated with diseases such as diabetes. To treat these problems, podiatrists prescribe drugs, order physical therapy, set fractures, and perform surgery. They also fit corrective inserts called orthotics, design plaster casts and strappings to correct deformities, and design custom-made shoes. DPMs consult with and refer patients to other health practitioners when they detect symptoms of these disorders.
Salary $55.98/hr - $116,440 annually
Significant Points Demand for podiatric care is expected to increase; however, only a limited number of job openings for podiatrists is expected because the occupation is small and most podiatrists remain in it until they retire.
Specializations Podiatrists may practice other specialties such as:
  • sports medicine
  • pediatrics
  • dermatology
  • radiology
  • geriatrics
  • diabetic foot care
Work Environment Podiatrists usually work in their own offices. They also may spend time visiting patients in nursing homes or performing surgery at hospitals or ambulatory surgical centers, but usually have fewer afterhours emergencies than other doctors have. Those with private practices set their own hours, but may work evenings and weekends to meet the needs of their patients.
High School Prep General college preparation is recommended: three courses in math including algebra I, algebra II and geometry, or a higher level math course for which algebra II is a prerequisite; three science courses including one biological science, one physical science and one lab course; four English units and two social studies units, including one in U.S. History; and two years of a second language.
Academic Requirements Prerequisites for admission to a college of podiatric medicine include the completion of at least 90 semester hours of undergraduate study, an acceptable grade point average, and suitable scores on the Medical College Admission Test (some colleges also may accept the Dental Admission Test or the Graduate Record Exam). Colleges of podiatric medicine offer a 4-year program whose core curriculum is similar to that in other schools of medicine. Most graduates complete a hospital residency program after receiving a DPM. Residency programs last from 1 to 3 years. Residents receive advanced training in podiatric medicine and surgery and serve clinical rotations in anesthesiology, internal medicine, pathology, radiology, emergency medicine, and orthopedic and general surgery. Residencies lasting more than 1 year provide more extensive training in specialty areas. Colorado requires passing national exams, current CPR certification, and an annual renewal of license.

Schools/Organizations

There are currently no schools in Colorado that offer training or a degree. We suggest you look in the Organization listing, often the associated professional organization list schools where a degree or training can be found.

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