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Who is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a healthcare practitioner who will be narrowly focused on the diagnosis and treatment of the problems related to the foot, ankle and the related structures. He/she may be otherwise called as ‘podiatric physician’ or a ‘physician surgeon’. It has been found that the podiatrists are among the ‘best paying healthcare professionals’ with an average annual pay of $119,340. This equals to an hourly rate of $57.37.

If you are willing to become a podiatrist and take the steps from now on, you will be one of the best-paid healthcare professional in the United States. So, are you wondering how to become a podiatrist? Continue reading to know about it…

What are the Primary Roles and Responsibilities of a Podiatrist?

As a podiatrist, you will have to do the following things on a given day:

  • Evaluating the patients’ feet, ankles, and/or the lower legs by various methods like:

    • Reviewing the patients’ medical histories

    • Listening to the concerns of the patients

    • Examining the patients physically

  • Diagnosing the foot, ankle, and lower leg problems of the patients through various methods like:

    • Physical examinations

    • X-rays

    • Medical laboratory tests

  • Providing treatments for the ailments by prescribing orthotics (special shoe inserts) for enhancing the patients’ mobility

  • Performing the surgeries of foot and ankle like:

    • Removing bone spurs

    • Fracture repairs

    • Correcting the deformities of foot and ankle

  • Educating and instructing patients on the foot and ankle care

  • Prescribing medications

  • Coordinating patient care with physicians

  • Referring patients to other specialists and physicians on account of other health issues

  • Conducting research, reading journals and attending conferences in order to keep themselves updated with the advances in podiatric field

How to become a Podiatrist?

Educational Requirements:

To become a podiatrist, you must earn a ‘Doctor of Podiatric Medicine’ degree which would generally take four years to complete. It’s important that you get this degree through the program that is accredited by the ‘Council on Podiatric Medical Education’.

In order to get admitted to this program, you must require an undergraduate degree which includes the courses in the following subject areas:

  • Biology

  • Chemistry

  • Physics

  • English

Also, you would have to take the ‘Medical College Admission Test’.


After earning your ‘Doctor of Podiatric Medicine’ degree, you must complete a three-year program called ‘podiatric medical and surgical residency’ program.

Licensing and Certification:

In the United States, all states require podiatrists to be licensed. For obtaining a license, you must pass the exam called ‘American Podiatric Medical Licensing Exam’ conducted by the ‘Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners’.

Several podiatrists are opting for becoming certified which requires work experience and passing an examination conducted by the following bodies:

  • American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery

  • American Board of Podiatric Medicine

  • American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry

Job Outlook and Opportunities:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment opportunities for the podiatrists are estimated to increase by 14% from the year 2014 to 2024.


Average Annual Pay:  $119,340

Average Hourly Pay: $57.37

Education:  Doctoral degree

Employment Growth from 2014 to 2024: 14%

On-the-job training: Residency training

Work Experience: None