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How to Become a Podiatrist

Indrajit Deshmukh
To become a podiatrist, you are required to pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). However, there are some colleges which accept Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores as well. Here's more...
Outside the medical profession, a podiatrist is described as a foot doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating foot ailments. Some podiatrists go on to pick a specialization, like pediatrics, sports medicine, surgery, etc.
Getting in to the medical profession is not easy, and aspirants need to work hard with their studies. Students who want to make a career as a podiatrist should take courses related to sciences, like biology, chemistry, etc., to prepare for their MCAT's.
Start your preparation early in college; keep a check on the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine website to know details about the application process and due dates.

Educational Qualifications

You need to successfully complete a four-year training program from a college of podiatry. Becoming a podiatrist is not that easy. You will have to maintain a good grade point average (GPA) throughout your bachelor's degree, to get admission for a podiatry program.
If you don't have a bachelor's degree, you will need at least 90 credit hours of an undergraduate program.
Students are also expected to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), which is a computer-based exam. MCAT is compulsory in most colleges for admission to a medical course. MCAT will test a student's problem solving, scientific concept, and writing ability.
Most colleges require students to give the MCAT; however, there are a few colleges which will accept Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores as well. Students are also required to have studied subjects like chemistry, physics, and anatomy, which are foundations of any medical study program.
After successful completion of the four-year degree program, students will have to apply for licensure to practice as a podiatrist. The requirements for the licensure vary for different states. In most states, the requirements to become a podiatrist and get licensure include giving a written as well as oral exam for certification.


Upon successfully getting admission to a podiatric program, students are trained on basic science course work, and are introduced to advanced anatomy and biology.
The first two years of the 4-year degree program will be classroom training. These two years are quite similar to the pre-medical education program.
Students will be taught details of chemistry, physics, and pathology, which will enable them to become able medical professionals. They will also be inoculated with knowledge in the field of pharmacology and biomechanics.
During the course work, budding podiatrists will be introduced to advanced emergency medicine, anesthesiology, and surgery. They will be exposed to clinical settings, and will also have to complete 2 - 3 years residency programs, before applying for licensure to practice. Successful completion of the course and certification will earn the students the degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM).

Job Description and Salary

A qualified podiatrist diagnoses ailments related to the feet, like fractures, infections, tumors, cysts, etc. They are required to use diagnostic equipment and administer local anesthetics. A podiatrist performs a wide range of procedures, from treating ingrown nails to performing surgery.
They are also required to make and fit patients with prosthetic devices. The salary is quite enviable, with the national average ranging between USD 90,000 to USD 150,000, annually. Like most medical jobs, podiatrists with experience earn much higher pay packets, with some even earning upwards of USD 200,000, annually.