Podiatrists diagnose, treat, rehabilitate and perform surgery on patients with an illness or injury on the feet and/or lower limbs. Podiatrists treat a variety of foot and ankle aliments as well as foot and leg problems resulting from diabetes and other diseases.
Many podiatrists spend the majority of their time performing surgeries, such as foot reconstruction. But they can specialize in other areas, too, including sports medicine, pediatrics, and diabetic foot care. Most podiatrists work full time and either have their own practice or work in group practices with other physicians and specialists.
How to Apply
Podiatrists must obtain a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) and be licensed in order to practice. Podiatric medical schools are highly competitive; most applicants earn a bachelor’s degree before applying. Most schools take four years to complete, and then students must complete a residency program.
Here are some recommended courses that students could take in preparation for Podiatric Medical School. This is not an exhaustive list. You are responsible to check with the schools you wish to apply for specific requirements. Check with the individual schools if they intend to use AP or community college credits to ensure those are accepted.
Although you can select any undergraduate major, most podiatry schools require that you take specific pre-requisite courses to be eligible to apply. The required courses are different depending on the school. It is your responsibility to research the specific admissions requirements for the schools you want to apply to.
Students can use this resource to check on required admissions requirements for specific Podiatric Medical schools. But you also need to check directly with each school: Podiatric Medical College Information Book.
Most Podiatric medical schools require the MCAT (Medical Colleges Admission Test). The MCAT is offered from January and March through September. Register for the MCAT. The recommended amount of studying to prepare for the test is 300-350 hours over the course of several months. MCAT scores range from 472-528. The average MCAT score is a 500. A competitive score is 508 or more.
- MCAT Essentials Guide
- Top 10 Tips for MCAT Examinees
- General MCAT FAQs
- What’s on the MCAT?
- AAMC Resources
- Khan Academy
- Kaplan Test Prep
Podiatric medical schools highly consider your cumulative GPA as well as your prerequisite science GPA, so it's important for you to maintain a competitive GPA. The average cumulative GPA for accepted podiatry students is a 3.3 with an average science GPA of 3.2.
Apart from your pre-requisites and MCAT Score, most podiatric medical schools require letters of recommendation, a written personal statement or essay, and if selected, an in-person interview.
In addition, most schools want applicants to have clinical shadowing and/or volunteer experience. Clinical experience is a big factor that weighs heavily in admissions decisions. Explore more information on Podiatric Medical School Admissions Requirements and the Podiatric Medical College Information Book.
The professional Association for podiatric medical schools is the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine (AACPM).
Most schools go through a centralized application called the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine Application Service (AACPMAS). Applications open in August, with deadlines ranging from April through June.