Podiatrist Training Program and School Facts

Podiatrists help patients overcome foot injuries and deal with foot pain related to aging or chronic diseases. See what's required for admission to a podiatry program, learn what courses are involved, and find out about requirements for licensure in this profession. Schools offering Allied Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

You will need to complete an appropriate undergraduate degree program and receive a minimum score on the Medical Colleges Admission Test (MCAT) for admittance into Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) program. The Council on Podiatric Medical Education accredits nine colleges in the U.S. that offer such programs. They are typically 4-year degree programs designed to prepare you for residency training and professional licensure with a state board of podiatry.

Degrees Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM)
Courses Anatomy, biology, chemistry, pharmacology, physics, immunology, histology; radiology and orthopedic medicine; basic life support, advanced cardiovascular and respiratory medicine; podiatric medicine, biomedical engineering
Schools Nine accredited schools across the U.S.
Licensing National and state board licensure requires completion of 4-year DPM program, passing scores and minimum residency experience; the National Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners offers the American Podiatric Medical Licensing Examination (APMLE); state licensure might also require continuing education and periodic license renewal

Which Schools Offer DPM Programs?

It is recommended that those seeking to become a podiatrist complete an accredited Doctor of Podiatric Medicine program. The Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME) currently accredits the DPM programs offered at the following schools:

  • Barry Unviersity
  • Samuel Merritt University
  • Des Moines University
  • Kent State University
  • Midwestern University
  • New York College of Podiatric Medicine
  • Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
  • Temple University
  • Western University of Health Sciences

What Types of Courses Will I Take in the First and Second Years of a DPM Program?

Your first two years of study in a DPM program may entail coursework in anatomy, biology, chemistry, physics, neuroscience, histology and immunology. By the end of your second year, you may be exposed to courses in radiology and orthopedic medicine. You may also study basic life support and advanced cardiovascular and respiratory medicine. Specific courses you might take include:

  • Neuroanatomy
  • Pharmacology
  • Medical microbiology
  • Infectious diseases
  • General podiatric principles
  • Lower extremity anatomy

What Can I Expect in the Third and Fourth Years of a DPM Program?

Your third and fourth years of training may allow you to gain clinical experience in podiatric medicine, learning to interpret tests and x-ray technology, and working with patients in consultations, screenings and wellness promotion. You will take more advanced coursework in functional orthopedics, internal medicine, sports medicine and surgical procedures.

Clinical rotations are usually taken in various areas, such as radiology, medical imaging and podiatric surgery. You may study biomedical engineering or take part in research programs focusing on topics such as the podiatric effects of diabetes and chronic pain management. Certain clinical programs may involve geriatric podiatry, athletic performance or rehabilitation treatment. Coursework may correlate with an osteopathic medicine program.

What Type of School Facilities Can I Use?

In addition to established affiliations and relationships with regional clinics, long-term care facilities and hospitals, many schools offer laboratories with advanced x-ray technology, 3-D scanners and slow-motion video systems. Laboratory facilities may also include 3-D motion analysis systems, joint flexibility measurements and electromyography machines.

What Licensure Will I Need?

In order to obtain national and state board licensure, you will need to fulfill basic requirements, including the successful completion of a 4-year DPM program, passing scores on board examinations and minimum residency experience.

The National Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners offers the American Podiatric Medical Licensing Examination (APMLE), which is generally administered to DPM program students in two parts - the first part following the first two years of study, and the second part following the program completion. APMLE tests draw from job analyses to assess your preparedness for professional challenges.

State boards may either accept APLME testing scores or choose to substitute or supplement their own board examinations. State licensure may also require continuing education and periodic license renewal.

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