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Podiatrist Training


Becoming a podiatrist requires completing an undergraduate college education, a 4-year postgraduate degree, and a 3-year medical and surgical residency. Podiatrists also must be licensed.

Podiatrists must have a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree, which is a 4-year degree after earning a bachelorís degree. Admission to podiatric medicine programs requires at least 3 years of undergraduate education, including specific courses in laboratory sciences such as biology, chemistry, and physics, as well as general coursework in subjects such as English. In practice, nearly all prospective podiatrists have earned a bachelorís degree before attending a school of podiatry. Admission to DPM programs usually also requires taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). In 2011, there were nine colleges of podiatric medicine in the United States.

Courses for a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree are similar to those for other medical degrees. They include anatomy, pharmacology, and disease pathology, among other subjects. Also, during their last 2 years, podiatric medical students must complete clinical rotations, where they gain supervised experience in hospital settings, in specialties such as general surgery and emergency medicine. After earning a DPM, podiatrists must apply to and complete residency programs, which last 3 years. They may do additional training beyond 3 years in specific fellowship areas. Residencies allow for additional training in a clinical setting.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition




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