Q? What is a Podiatrist?
A Podiatrist is a physician that is specialized in medical care of the foot, ankle, and lower leg.  They must receive a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree from one of seven medical colleges.  They also must pass a written and oral board examinations and must obtain a state license to practice podiatric medicine.

Q? How do I become a podiatric physician?
1. Get a high school degree: Time: 4 years
2. Go to college and get a degree (does not have to be science related): Time 4 years
3. In your junior of college take the MCAT exam
4. In your senior year begin the application process of podiatric school below http://www.aacpm.org/apply/apply.asp
A List of Podiatry Schools:
Des Moines University
Barry University
California School Of Podiatric Medicine
Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine
Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine
Temple University

5. Application process will require a possible interview at the school or a designated site.6. Get accepted to Podiatric school and begin

7. Years 1-3 of Podiatry school will be academic in many different subjects such as:Gross Anatomy, Histology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Lower Extremity Anatomy, etc.These subjects are the same as every other medical school in the country.

My note to everyone: It’s not hard to get into podiatry school or medical school, it’s hard to stay in school.  You will have to be dedicated to your studies for at least 4-7 years after college.

8. 4th year of podiatry school is your Externship year.These are the list of hospitals that I spend my 4th year of Podiatric school:
Forest Park Hospital St. Louis, MO.
Community Medical Center Scranton, PA
St.Mary’s Hospital Hoboken, NJ
Cambridge Hospital Boston, MA
Passaic Beth Israel Hospital Passaic, NJ
Washington Hospital Center Washington D.C
9. Get accepted in a Residency program.  Residency programs are many in the country but differ in years and degree of training. They range from 1-3 years.  Residents may elect to do more years of training with an added fellowship.Training in residency is a lot of hard work long hours (8-14 hours/day).  I worked in St. Louis at Forest Park Hospital.  This residency is noted as a top 5 residency in the country in Foot and Ankle                      surgery.  Dr. Alan M. Jacobs is the residency director and is one of the best if not the best podiatric physicians in the world.  I spent 5 months of my externship and 3 years of residency under his supervision.  I recommend any student or physician to try to meet him or listen to him lecture at least once in your lifetime.  You will always learn something new.

Q? What is the Difference between a Podiatric Surgeon and a Foot & Ankle Orthopedic surgeon?
A common question…..simple answer…..Podiatric physicians and orthopedic physicians go through same undergraduate programs and learn the same academic classes in medical school.

Podiatric Surgeon Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Surgeon
4 year medical school DPM degree 4 year medical school MD degree
1 year externship rotating hospitals throughout the country                            during 4th year of medical school 90% education of Foot and Ankle Surgery 1 year internship at 1 hospital no Foot and Ankle surgery                            training
3-4 years of surgical residency of the Foot and Ankle 3-5 years of surgical residency of orthopedics including                            upper extremity and lower extremity
Possible Fellowships in Trauma, wound care, or foot                            reconstruction 1 year each Typically only 1 year of foot and ankle surgery fellowship. (possibly more you will need to ask)
State license State License

Please see information on the Pathway to Certification for podiatric physicians by clicking here.