Podiatrist

Overview

Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in foot and ankle care. They diagnose and treat sprains, fractures and disorders resulting from tumors, ulcers, deformities and skin and nail diseases. Podiatrists address these problems using surgery, medications and physical therapy. The foot is often the first area to show signs of serious health problems like diabetes or heart disease, so podiatrists are vital to the early detection of symptoms.

Work Environment

The majority of podiatrists work in private or group practice, but they may also work in hospitals, nursing homes, public health agencies and long-term care facilities. They generally have flexible hours, working between 30 and 60 hours a week with possible nights and weekends. Podiatrists in private practice can set their own schedules.

Areas of Specialization

Podiatry is a specialized field of medicine, but practitioners can focus on a specific area such as surgery, sports medicine, pediatrics or biomechanics.

Preparation

Training

Podiatrists hold a doctorate and receive over a decade of training before they can practice. This includes four years of undergraduate school, four years of medical school and at least two years of residency. In medical school, students spend the first two years in the classroom studying basic medical science and the last two years in clinical training at hospitals, clinics and private practices.

After med school, podiatrists complete a hospital-based residency that lasts two or three years. Upon completion of the residency requirement, they can become certified podiatrists or pursue a subspecialty by continuing their training.

Schools

There are only nine schools of podiatric medicine in the country, but one is located in Iowa at Des Moines University.

Licensure and Certification

Podiatrists must graduate and pass a national board exam given at their medical school to get a license to practice in Iowa. After residency, they can become board certified by passing both a written and oral exam.

Education

Locations

Career Outlook Map of Iowa

The job outlook for podiatrists is below average. There are only 100 openings a year in Iowa and the profession is expected to grow by just 9%.

Resources

Professional Associations

Student Organizations

About My Job Profiles

VIEW THE STATS

EDUCATION
8 yr

SALARY
121k

PATIENT INTERACTION
High

BLOOD EXPOSURE
Medium

JOB GROWTH
9%


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