I treat patient with foot and ankle conditions in an office setting several days per week. I also see elderly patients at assisted living facilities and nursing homes one day per week. I perform s...
Podiatrist Career Profiles
Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in treating problems or diseases that affect the foot, ankle, and lower leg. As thoroughly trained doctors, they can diagnose, treat, and even surgically correct any issue that arises in the lower extremities.
Like most doctors, podiatrists perform physical examinations, order tests and X-Rays, prescribe medications, provide referrals, and perform surgeries. Podiatrists frequently treat patients for arch problems, heel spurs, ingrown toenails, and diabetic neuropathy. They also provide surgical reconstructions or correction of deformities.
Podiatrists work in hospitals, outpatient care centers, and specialty clinics. Some run their own podiatry offices. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that as of 2012, approximately 14 percent of podiatrists were self-employed.
Becoming a podiatrist requires a significant educational investment. Candidates who have obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant laboratory science must pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and enroll in a four-year Doctor of Podiatric Medicine program. After completing this program, an additional three-year podiatric medical and surgical residency program must be completed.
Obviously, potential podiatrists need to be committed to enduring the rigorous educational demands of this career. Successful podiatrists should also be compassionate, focused, and detail-oriented. Effective communication skills are also important to developing a good bedside manner.
Browse the real-world career profiles below to learn more about this field. In each profile, an experienced podiatrist explains their daily career experience, work environment, salaries, and more.