Podiatric medicine is the profession that strives to improve the overall health and well-being of patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing, and treating conditions associated with the foot and ankle.
Are you interested in a field of medicine highly involved with athletes and athletics? Perhaps pediatric surgery? Perhaps trauma? Perhaps just helping people do something most of us take for granted – walk painlessly? Many diseases manifest earliest in the body’s extremities. Podiatrists are frequently the first to diagnose diabetes and heart disease. Podiatrists work in all environments, from private practice to large hospitals. It is also a branch of medicine that provides practitioners with control over their time, allowing them to spend more time with their families.
What type of education is required?A plan to prepare for a graduate health professional program.
Coursework required for most podiatric medical schools
- 1 year general chemistry with labs
- 1 year organic chemistry with labs
- 1 year introductory biology with labs
- 1 year general physics with labs
- English, composition, communications, speech, or other writing intensive coursework
Although this coursework will meet the requirements for many schools, students should research the prerequisites of the schools to which they hope to apply.
Note: Schools have differing policies for accepting AP, IB or CLEP credits to meet program prerequisites. Students should contact the schools to which they would like to apply to find out that school's policy. Since most students will not know what schools they will apply to when they are planning their schedules, many students choose to retake the science prerequisites or take the honors version of the course. The decision should be made on an individual basis and it is recommended that students speak to an adviser when making this choice.
Recommended undergraduate coursework
Most podiatric medical schools require that you complete 1 year of English. This can be a combination of literature and writing requirements. Some schools will not consider writing across the curriculum to meet this requirement. To be on the safe side we suggest you plan on completing three English courses prior to taking the MCAT
The amount of math needed depends upon your choice of major and selection of medical schools. We recommend MATH 124, 144, or Q SCI 291 as a beginning course. We also recommend that students complete a statistics course in addition to calculus.
Because of high demand, some students are not able to enroll in BIOL 180 in Autumn quarter. The BIOL 180 sequence can be started in Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer. Students doing a physical science or non-science major may prefer to take physics in Year 2 and biology in Year 3, as juniors should be able to register in BIOL 180 even in Autumn quarter. Students applying to podiatric medical schools requiring additional cell and molecular biology should consider BIOL 355 and/or BIOL 401.
Example four-year schedule (in advance of entering a professional program)
|Four years before||Chem 142|
|Recommended activities: • Attend an information session • Do some independent research on health careers • Join a health related student group • Take VLPA, I&S classes and/or finish your foreign language requirement|
|Three years before||Chem 237|
|Recommended activities: • Attend session on MCAT preparation • Set-up some informational interviewing • Learn about Allopathic vs. Osteopathic Medicine philosophy • Begin getting healthcare experience • Take classes that will prepare you for your major • Get to know at least one professor|
|Two years before||Phys 114/117 or 121|
|Phys 115/118 or 122||Phys 116/119 or 123|
|Recommended activities: • Attend information session on the application process • Take the MCAT • Plan for a "Gap Year" • Take an English writing course • Begin writing your personal statement • Submit your application on AMCAS • Get to know at least two professors|
|One year before||Course work in this year will focus primarily on your major however if you can add a class in Ethics and Genome 371 that would be great.|
|Recommended activities: • Attend an information session on interviewing • Complete a Mock Interview through the Career Center • Complete your major|
Podiatric medical schools do not care what major you choose; they care that you do well in your major and your pre-requisite courses. You should be thinking of alternate future careers in the event that you change your mind, or are not admitted.
Actively participating in student groups can be an invaluable experience. The student groups not only offer services that premedical students find helpful, such as hosting medical student panels, informational interviews and group volunteering events, but they also provide a community of students who have similar interests and goals. By taking on an active role, students can also develop their leadership skills.
- Alpha Epsilon Delta
- The American Medical Student Association
- Husky EMS
- Minority Association of Pre-Health Students (MAPS)
- Student Health Consortium
- Unite for Sight
Websites to visit
Here are some helpful websites to learn about the podiatry, the application process and more:
- American Podiatric Medical Association
- American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine
Applying to podiatric medical school
Applying to podiatric school is a year-long process. The actual application steps are:
- Take the MCAT (some schools will accept the DAT or GRE)
- Submit the AACPMAS application
- Submit secondary applications
- Accept your admissions
However, before you begin you must complete pre-requisite coursework; obtain letters of recommendations and actively engage in healthcare experiences.