Podiatrist essential career information:
- 2012 median pay: $116,440
- 2012, number of jobs: 9,090
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 20 percent
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
Podiatrists; what they do:
A podiatrist career is a demanding profession for people who enjoy helping others, have excellent attention to detail, a good bedside manner and want to study the mechanics and physiology of feet. Podiatrists must have oral comprehension, as well as complex problem solving and scientific skills.
Podiatrists diagnose and treat diseases, injuries and deformities of the feet, ankle and lower leg as well as perform surgery and set fractures.
Podiatrists can work as a pediatric podiatrist, sports podiatrist or an advanced surgical podiatrist as well as other specialty areas.
Podiatrists deal with systemic diseases such as arthritis and manage patients who suffer from foot problems associated with diabetes. They also refer patients to other physicians and specialists if they detect larger medical issues. Podiatrists also prescribe medication, physical therapy and corrective devices to further aid the healing of foot diseases and deformities.
Many foot doctors need business and financial skills as many podiatrists now own their own clinics and medical practices.
Podiatrists job titles:
- Pediatric Care Podiatrist
- Podiatric Physician
- Foot and Ankle Surgeon
- Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM)
- Sports Podiatrist
- Advanced Surgical Podiatrist
Podiatrists Education, Certification and License Requirements
Admission into a school of podiatry and attaining a Doctor of Podiatric Degree (DPM) requires completing an undergraduate degree and taking the nationwide medical exam called MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). Once admitted, a student takes similar courses as those with other medical degrees such as anatomy and physiology.
Students in their last two years of school spend a lot of time in clinical rotations to attain experience in areas such as general surgery, pediatrics and sports medicine all under the supervision of trained physicians.
After earning their degree, a podiatrist needs to apply to a residency program that lasts for three years and may also further their training in specific fellowship areas for an additional few years. Podiatrists may also decide to become board certified in surgery, orthopedics and primary care.
Podiatrists also participate in continuing medical education programs and conferences.
Podiatrists programs cover subjects such as:
- Human anatomy
- Podiatric surgery
- Medical Ethics
Podiatrists Job Outlook
Forecast: 20 percent employment growth for podiatrists from 2010 to 2020. An increase in population, the growth of outpatient services and podiatric group practices and the increase of mobility and foot-related problems increases the demand for podiatrists. The small number of podiatry colleges and the rising number of retiring physicians increases the number of podiatrist job openings.
- 2012 median annual wage: $116,440
- 2012, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $167,500
- 2012, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $81,880
- Health practitioner offices
- Private medical and surgical hospitals
- Federal government
- Physician offices