Podiatry

Earnings Potential

Podiatrists typically earn between $53,486 and $249,346 per year.

Facts at a glance

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 9-17% increase in jobs for Podiatrists through 2014.
  • Podiatrists held about 10,000 jobs in 2004. About 23 percent of podiatrists are self-employed (BLS).

Summary of what this career entails

Podiatrists diagnose and treat foot disorders, diseases, and injuries.  Podiatrists treat diabetes-related foot illnesses, as well as foot infections and deformities caused by corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, bunions, heel spurs, and arch problems.  They prescribe drugs, order physical therapy, set fractures, and perform surgery. They also fit corrective inserts called orthotics, design plaster casts and strappings to correct deformities, and design custom-made shoes (BLS).

Examples and or details of work

In an online article titled “Treatment Solutions for Common Soccer Injuries” published by PodiatryToday.com, podiatrist Richard T. Braver, DPM discusses common soccer injuries and what DPMs can do to get players back on the field.  Soccer is the most widely played sport in the world for two reasons: 1) soccer is more popular around the world than American sports like football, and more appealing to female participants and 2) there are far fewer traumatic injuries. However, soccer-related injuries like shin-splints, ankle sprains, contusions, and muscle spasms are still in abundance among players.  Podiatric physicians who treat sports injuries have also seen an abundance of posterior heel pain in children (Braver).

Podiatrist Dr. Mark N. Charrette discusses the benefits of Orthotics (orthopedic braces) on the brain in an article titled “Neurological Benefits of Orthotics”.  In the article, posted on October 17, 2006 on Foot.com, Dr. Charrette explains why he recommend cu

stom-made, flexible orthotics to his patients: “Orthotics enhance the proprioceptive response of the entire lower extremity (including the foot), and help to stabilize the pelvis and spine. And when I’m asked about my idea of the optimal orthopedic appliance, my reply is again simple. My idea of the optimal orthopedic appliance is an orthotic that supports all three arches of the foot within normal ranges of motion during weight-bearing and allows for flexible locomotion. In essence, it’s a device that allows movement within normal ranges, blocks excessive motion and does not restrict normal motion” (Charrette).

 

Degrees that lead to this career

Podiatrists are required by all States and the District of Columbia to require a license for the practice of podiatric medicine (DPM).  Applicants for licensure must be graduates of an accredited college of podiatric medicine and must pass written and oral examinations.  Admission to medical school requires the completion of 90 semester hours of undergraduate study, an acceptable grade point average, and suitable scores on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).  All of the medical schools require 8 semester hours each in the following subjects: biology, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics, as well as 6 hours of English.  The science courses should be those designed for premedical students (BLS).

References

Braver, Richard T. “Treatment Solutions for Common Soccer Injuries”.  PodiatryToday.com

 <http://www.podiatrytoday.com/article/2015>.

Charrette, Mark N. “Neurological Benefits of Orthotics”.  Foot.com

<http://www.foot.com/articles/?cat=7>.

Salary.com

<http://www.salary.com>. Path: Enter title; Podiatrist; National Base Salary.

U.S. Department of Labor.  Bureau of Labor Statistics.  “Physicists and Astronomers”.

<http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos075.htm>.

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