Podiatrist Education Requirements

A podiatrist is a foot and ankle doctor. The educational path to becoming a podiatrist starts with a pre-med bachelor's degree program and encompasses medical school, licensing, a residency, a fellowship and board certification in podiatry. Explore these steps in greater detail here, and find out more about being a podiatrist. Schools offering Allied Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Education Do I Need to Become a Podiatrist?

To become a podiatrist, you'll first need to complete a bachelor's degree program, which should include courses in chemistry, physics and biology. Once you've graduated from your undergraduate program, you'll need to attend graduate school to complete a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) program. This will take you about four years. Then, you'll need to complete a podiatric medicine residency, typically at a hospital or medical clinic.

Education RequirementsBachelor's degree with courses in the sciences, complete a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) program, podiatric medicine residency
Program OptionsCurrently there are nine accredited podiatry colleges in the U.S.
Study TopicsAnatomy and physiology, clinical practice, podiatric medical practice, patient care instruction
LicensureSpecific license requirements vary by state, though licensure through a national organization is required to practice anywhere in the U.S.

Where Can I Study?

In 2011, there were only nine podiatry colleges accredited by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education. Most schools offered a 4-year program, which includes pre-clinical and clinical training. Some podiatry colleges also offer dual degree or accelerated programs. Because this is a medical field, you may need to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) prior to admission.

What Will I Study?

Podiatry colleges are medical schools, so your first two years of school will be similar to the education programs that physicians and other medical professionals complete. This typically includes classes in anatomy and physiology, patient care instruction, essentials of clinical practice and podiatric medical practice. The following two years likely will consist of both courses and medical rotations, which may take place at rehabilitation, surgical and clinical facilities. After you graduate from podiatry college, you'll complete a residency program, which can range from 2-4 years.

Do I Need a License or Certification?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), you'll need a license to practice podiatry anywhere in the U.S.; however, licensure requirements vary by state. In general, you'll need to pass a state licensure exam or a certification exam from a national organization, such as the American Board of Podiatric Orthopedics and Primary Podiatric Medicine. To maintain licensure and certification, you'll likely need to meet continuing education requirements.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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