is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine?
A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) is to the foot what
a dentist is to the mouth, or an ophthalmologist to the eye --- a doctor
specializing in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of foot
disorders resulting from injury or disease. A DPM makes independent
judgments, prescribes medications and performs surgery. The human foot
has a complex interrelation with the rest of the body which means that
it may be the first area to show signs of serious conditions such as
diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Since the podiatric physician is
often the first to detect symptoms of these disorders, he or she becomes
a vital and sometimes lifesaving link in the health care team.
does the Curriculum Consist of at the Colleges of
The course of instruction leading to the DPM degree is
four years in length. The first two years are devoted to classroom
instruction and laboratory work in the basic medical sciences, such as
anatomy, physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, and
pathology. There is some clinical exposure in the first and second year. During the third and fourth years, students concentrate on
courses in the clinical sciences, gaining experience in the college
clinics, community clinics, and accredited hospitals. Clinical courses
include general diagnosis (history taking, physical examination,
clinical laboratory procedures, and diagnostic radiology), therapeutics
(pharmacology, physical medicine, orthotics, and prosthetics),
anesthesia and surgery.
can I Apply to the Colleges of Podiatric Medicine?
AACPMAS begins processing
admission applications the first Wednesday in August for
the following year. To complete the on-line
to the colleges of podiatric medicine, visit our website at
www.aacpm.org or go directly to the
application's URL at
https://portal.aacpmas.org. Call 1-617-612-2900 if you
have any questions.
Deadline Dates are as follows: For priority
consideration April 1st of each year for the upcoming FALL
admission. The FINAL AACPMAS DEADLINE DATE is June 30th of
each year for FALL admission of the same year.
are the Selection Procedures for Admission?
Potential podiatric medical
students may be evaluated on the basis of their grade point average
(GPA), performance on the MCAT or US DAT, extra-curricular
and community activities, work or volunteering in a health care setting,
shadowing a podiatrist, personal interview, professional potential, etc.
Admission criteria may vary slightly by institution; therefore, visit
the school or college of your choice to obtain specific information.
are Some of the Characteristics of Entering
one thousand applicants apply to podiatric medical school each academic year.
First year enrollment totals range from 500-600 per year.
- In 2009-10
minority students constituted almost 45% of all applicants:
Asian applicants totaled 24%, African American applicants totaled 8% and
Hispanic applicants totaled 7% of the total applicant pool.
have remained about the same in past years. In 2009, the overall GPA was
3.3 and the average science GPA was 3.1. Average
also remained relatively constant in all categories over the previous year:
Verbal Reasoning went from 7.1 to 7.3; Physical Science scores stayed
the same at 7.1; and Biological Sciences increased from 7.5 to 7.7 over
the previous year.
- Approximately 97% of applicants in 2010-11
held a bachelor's degree or higher.
- Academically, the
average undergraduate GPA and MCAT Scores of
- First-year enrollment for
the 2010-11 entering class was 671, of which 41% (278) were female.
enrollment at AACPM's
member educational institutions of podiatric medicine totaled 2424 in
How Many Students Graduate
from Podiatric Medical
School Each Year?
In 2011 the eight schools
of podiatric medicine graduated 543 Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPMs),
of which 44% or 226 were females and 36% (197) were minorities.
there a Demand for Doctors of Podiatric Medicine?
YES! The future for a
podiatric physician is bright. The demand for podiatric services will
increase dramatically for several reasons, including burgeoning issues
related to diabetes and obesity, sports medicine/injury issues and an
aging population that is not satisfied with slowing down. It is
important to note that a 2007 Workforce Study from SUNY-Albany notes
that the podiatric medical profession needs to be graduating three
times the current number of graduates each year to meet
future practitioner needs.
are the Benefits & Income Potential for a
The work hours of a podiatric physician vary from less
than 40 hours a week to 50 hours or more per week. In general, the practice of
podiatric medicine lends itself to flexible hours and is therefore
comfortable for individuals who want to make time for family, friends
and other involvements that characterize a balanced lifestyle.
Earnings of podiatrists
depend upon geographic location, type of practice, number of patients
seen per week, years of experience, etc. According to a survey by
the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA 2008 Podiatric Practice
Survey), the average NET income of full-time (30+
hours/week) podiatric physicians in 2008 was as follows:
(after practice expenses) in 2008
PERCENTAGE OF PODIATRISTS WITH THAT LEVEL OF INCOME
$201,000 - $250,000
$251,000 - $300,000
More than $300,000
The average net
income increased from an estimated $134,000 in 2001 and $154,000 in 2004
to $189,030 in 2006 and $190,670 in 2008.
Whatever way you measure success, podiatric medicine can
meet the standard: the satisfaction of alleviating human suffering;
recognition from the community; job security and financial opportunity.
will Podiatry School Cost?
The annual tuition for the
nine member colleges of the AACPM
for fall of 2012 ranges from $27,830 to $32,671. These amounts do
not include fees, books, or room and board. For specific costs of fees
and other charges, visit the
of the college of your choice.
do I as a Pre-Health Student Need to Know about
Financing My Professional Education?
I need to plan ahead for financing my
education just as I need to plan ahead for the application process.
I need to discuss my plans for funding
my medical education with my family/spouse/significant people in my
I need to find out from podiatric
medical schools I'm interested in what financial assistance they
I need to investigate federal and
institutional grant and loan assistance programs, service-obligated
scholarships and other resources.
I need to find out from the institution
financial aid office how to apply to these programs.
I must be a U.S. citizen or permanent
resident to qualify for most forms of financial assistance.
I need to limit my borrowing for my
education so that repaying my loans will not jeopardize my future.
I need to set up a budget and stick to
I need to save as much money as I can.
I need to limit debts; pay off credit
I must have a good credit rating to
qualify for some student loans.
I need to obtain a copy of my credit
report to check for errors and to correct any negative information.
I need to understand the consequences
of student loan defaults.
I must understand my rights and
responsibilities regarding financial assistance programs.
if I Need Financial Assistance?
Due to the increase in the overall costs of podiatric
medical education, students are strongly urged to investigate possible
sources of financial aid immediately upon acceptance. Accepted
applicants should meet with the podiatric medical school's Financial
Aid Officer as soon as possible after notification of acceptance to
ascertain which of the following programs are available at their
are the Licensing and Board Certification
Podiatric physicians are licensed in all 50 states, the
District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to treat the foot and its related
or governing structures by medical, surgical or other means. State
licensing requirements generally include graduation from one of the
accredited schools and colleges of podiatric medicine, passage of the National Board
exams, postgraduate training and written and oral examinations.
National Boards are taken in two parts while in podiatric medical
school. Part I covers basic science areas and is generally taken at the
conclusion of the second year. Part II covers clinical areas and is
taken in the spring of the fourth year, prior to graduation.
Podiatric physicians may
also become certified in one or both specialty areas: primary care and
orthopedics, or surgery.
National podiatric specialty boards grant certification
to qualified podiatrists who have completed the specified educational
requirements and who successfully complete written and oral
Is Residency Training Required?
completing four years of podiatric medical training, the podiatric
physician is required by most states to complete postgraduate residency training in an approved healthcare institution
and pass parts one and two of the National Podiatric Board of Medicine
Examination. Three years of residency training are required for board
certification. A residency provides an interdisciplinary experience with
rotations such as anesthesiology, internal medicine, infectious disease,
surgery, ER and pediatrics.
Residency training provides a combination of medical and surgical
experiences that are competency-based. Podiatric medical graduates
participate in a three year Podiatric Medicine and Surgery
Residency (PM&S-36). This residency includes training in
rear foot and ankle surgery.
All entry-level residency programs are required to participate in a
national, centralized application and matching service such as CASPR.
This matching program is similar to that of allopathic medicine.
Students may apply through the Centralized Application Service for
Podiatric Residencies (CASPR) in order to save time and money during
their residency search. For additional information about residency
programs call AACPM's Graduate Services Department at 301-948-9764.
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Once I'm a DPM, How
do I Keep Up with New
Developments in the Profession?
The professional association for practicing Podiatrists
is the American
Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), which has component
societies in every state including the District of Columbia and Puerto
Rico. Because these jurisdictions impose
continuing podiatric medical education requirements for license renewal,
educational programs and seminars are developed and presented each year
by the colleges, as well as the state associations and the national
podiatric medical association.
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