Podiatry Definition and Meaning
A podiatrist or Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), is a medical professional that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the foot and ankle.
Are Podiatrists doctors?
Yes! Podiatrists study and obtain a doctorate degree. They earn a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree (or DPM).
Podiatrists perform a variety of medical procedures and treat patients in clinic and hospital settings.
Most podiatrists are trained as surgeons as well, however it is not a requirement to do surgery as a podiatrist.
Podiatry Salary: How much does a Podiatrist Make?
According to Salary.com, podiatrists make anywhere from $138,000 to $330,000, with the median around $200,000.
This of course varies depending on region, training, and experience.
When I was interviewing straight out of residency, I was receiving offers as low as $60,000, which is something to consider if you are planning to take out student loans to pay for school.
Podiatrists are unique from other medical doctors, in that they attend their own school (similar to dentists).
Podiatry school is 4 years just like medical school.
You first need a bachelor’s degree (or at least the minimum prerequisites for admission). You will also need to take the MCAT exam.
The first 2 years of podiatry school focus mainly on academic work, with the remaining 2 years tailored more to clinical experiences and rotations through different hospitals and externships.
After you receive your DPM degree, you will then complete a 3 year residency where you will be surgically trained.
You have the opportunity to receive training in both forefoot and rearfoot surgery, however depending on the residency program that you place at, you may receive more extensive and thorough training than others.
There are opportunities for a fellowship after your residency training is over, however this is not a very common option.
Most podiatric surgeons are fully trained and ready to practice after their 7 year stent in school and residency.
Podiatry Jobs: What do podiatrists do?
I love this career because each day is different and exciting, and allows me to help amazing people, and opens doors to a variety of unique opportunities.
My husband and I work in our private practice office setting where we see patients daily. This allows us to own our own business, which presents a whole bunch of other challenges and experiences.
We enjoy owning our own practice because we have a lot of flexibility.
Since we have 3 young children, I’m able to work part time and create my own schedule which allows me to be home with the kids quite a bit. This was important to us as a family.
We also have privileges at nearby hospitals and surgery centers where we take call and perform surgical procedures.
We have other podiatrist friends that work in a variety of other settings.
Some podiatrists work in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, others are full time hospital employees. We know podiatrists that work for other doctors as associates, and others that work in wound care centers. We even have podiatrist friends that work in academic settings, teaching other young students and residents.
There are so many different settings where you can use your podiatry training!
As far as what you will actually be doing each day, here is a short list of the diverse conditions and injuries that we treat in any given month in our practice:
- Achilles tendon pain and injuries
- Ankle injuries
- Athlete’s foot
- Bone spurs
- Children’s foot pain
- Complex fractures
- Corns & calluses
- Diabetic foot care
- Diabetic foot infections
- Shoes and Orthotics
- Fall prevention
- Flat foot
- Foot infections
- Foot injuries, sprains, fractures
- Fungal nails
- Hammer toe
- Heel spur
- Heel pain
- Ingrown toenails
- Morton’s neuroma
- Neuropathy pain
- Thick toenails
- Bracing and Casting
- Sports medicine
- Stress fractures
- Ulcer of foot
Many people think seeing a bunch of feet all day might be a little bit strange, but it’s really very interesting!
Your feet are so important, and are often neglected.
You are given your two feet to carry and support you throughout your entire life. Just one pair of them!
Take care of your feet and see your podiatrist regularly, and definitely if you are feeling any pain.
Foot pain is not normal, despite the fact that people often accept it as that way.
There are ways to help you get back on your feet.
You can go here, to learn more about my professional background.
If you are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and are looking for a podiatrist, or landed on this page while trying to make an appointment, please visit our practice website.