Podiatric medicine is a branch of the medical sciences devoted to the study of human movement with medical care of the foot and ankle as its primary focus.
A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of foot disorders resulting from injury or disease. A DPM makes independent judgments, prescribes medications, and when necessary, performs surgery.
After completing four years of podiatric medical training, the podiatrist is required by most states to complete at least one year of postgraduate residency training. Surgically-based residencies can last from one to three years. State licensing requirements generally include graduation from an accredited college of podiatric medicine, passage of National Board examinations, and oral examinations.
To enter a college of podiatric medicine, students must first complete at least three years or 90 semester hours of college credit at an accredited institution. Over 90% of the students who enter a college of podiatric medicine have a bachelor’s degree. Many have also completed some graduate study.
The sciences courses you take should be designed for health professions students, and MUST include a laboratory experience. Brief survey courses will not prepare you for podiatry school. Actual minimum semester credit hour requirements for all of the colleges of podiatric medicine include the following prerequisites.
- One year (8 credit hours) of general chemistry with lab
- One year (8 credit hours) of organic chemistry with lab
- One year (8 credit hours) of physics with lab
- Two years (12 credit hours) of biological sciences with lab
- One year (6 credit hours) of English—many schools will accept English 1000 and a Writing Intensive course
* See Plan of Study for MU course numbers.
The list of required courses provides the general minimum requirements for the schools to which MU students usually apply. For details on a particular school, contact the school directly.
Please Note: Podiatry schools differ on their acceptance of AP credit for science and non-science course work. Check with your adviser or the schools to which you are applying. Do not make assumptions.