Podiatric medicine, formerly called podiatry, is a branch of medicine that focuses on human movement, with the medical care of the foot and ankle as its primary focus. Similar to a dentist or ophthalmologist, a doctor of podiatric medicine thoroughly trains to become a unique specialist, well qualified to treat a specific part of the body.
As a podiatrist, you'll help your patients prevent, diagnose, and treat foot disorders, diseases, and injuries. You'll use x-rays and laboratory tests for diagnostic purposes, prescribe medications, order physical therapy, set fractures, and perform surgery when necessary.
Hamline’s pre-podiatric medicine advising program prepares you to be a competitive applicant for graduate school. You'll get hands-on experience in the skills you need for a career as a podiatrist, as well as support in applying to podiatric medicine programs.
Hamline’s pre-podiatric medicine program is not a major. We encourage students to major in a subject they are interested in and work with program advisors to identify and complete coursework that will meet the requirements of the graduate programs they're interested in.
Candidates applying to podiatric medicine programs should demonstrate evidence of preparation for a career in podiatric medicine. Many programs expect applicants to have a bachelor’s degree and prefer a strong science background. We also encourage students to talk with and shadow a number of podiatrists to learn about the career path. Podiatrists are generally receptive to students' requests for interviews, which can also lead to mentorship and shadowing opportunities.
All podiatric medicine graduate programs use the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine (AACPM) Application Service to review prospective students' applications. All programs also require students to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) within three years prior to matriculation. Applicants are encouraged to take the MCAT in the summer or fall prior to the year of admission. Other admission requirements include personal interviews and letters of recommendation, which writers should send directly to the podiatric medical schools.
There are nine accredited podiatric medicine colleges in the U.S. They are represented by the AACPM, which administers the centralized applications submitted for admission. The podiatric medicine colleges are located in:
- Miami Shores, Florida
- Oakland, California
- Pomona, California
- Des Moines, Iowa
- Independence, Ohio
- Glendale, Arizona
- New York, New York
- North Chicago, Illinois
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Details on each of these colleges is available from the Council on Podiatric Medicine Education and individual websites of these colleges. Students interested in applying can learn more on the AACPM website.
Most graduate programs to earn a doctor of podiatric medicine take four years. The first two years consist of classroom instruction and laboratory work in the basic medical sciences, like anatomy, physiology, pathology, microbiology, biochemistry, and pharmacology, with some clinical exposure. In their third and fourth years, students concentrate on courses in the clinical sciences and gain experience in the college and community clinics and hospitals. Clinical courses include general diagnosis, therapeutics, anesthesia, and surgery.
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