A podiatrist’s work is both in the clinic, hospital, and surgery room. A podiatrist uses laboratory data, radiographs, specific imaging testing, and clinical examination to treat the patient that is in need. A DPM works closely with other healthcare team members such as physical therapists, internal medicine doctors, infectious disease doctors, radiologists, etc. They work closely with other doctors to treat a presenting disease for the long term care of their patient.
Yes, our practice is limited to the foot and ankle, but trust me there is plenty of injuries, sickness, and painful disorders in the world to go around, so we have plenty of work to perform on a daily basis. You need to be a well-rounded person to be a good podiatrist. Your communication skills, empathy, quick thinking, and long term commitment are necessary if you choose the path of podiatry.
Choosing the Right Path
If Podiatric Medical School is your calling, there are undergraduate programs available to guide you in your admission process. However, you have to understand initially, that the terms “pre-podiatry” or “pre-medicine” are not majors. They are just terms to identify you as your long term goal.
Actuall majors include the following: Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, and Physics are the popular. You don’t necessarily need to have one of these majors, but it will help you in the long run when taking the MCAT. Realistically you can choose ANY MAJOR. Other popular majors include English, Mathematics, Music, and Business majors. As long as you meet the prerequisite requirements for when you apply, you can be accepted to the class/program.
Pre-medicine acts as guidance to students as they prepare for podiatric medicine (D.P.M.), osteopathic medicine (O.D.), and medical doctorate (M.D.) degrees. What can you do while in high school to prepare yourself?
- Volunteer with a student organization
- Intern at a clinic
- Intern at a hospital
- Have a solid background in math and science courses
- Meet with an advisor your Junior and Senior year
- Explore other professions before finalizing your decision
- Update your resume every 4 months
- Shadow podiatry as early as possible
- Shadow orthopedics, physical therapy, family doctors, and general surgeons to compare
Going into a health profession is a very long and unwinding road. You will need to complete 4 years of undergraduate school, 4 years of medical school, then 3-7 years of residency, depending on your overall career choice. You will learn to be self- motivated, dedicated, and confident. There will be several tests, obstacles, and moments where you will want to second guess yourself. You must remind yourself WHY you went down this path in the first place. The desire to help others, wear a white coat, and earn the title of ‘doctor’ are strong motivators through this path you will embark.