Podiatrists (Doctors of Podiatric Medicine) specialize in the prevention, diagnosis and
treatment of foot and ankle disorders. Some podiatrists specialize in areas ranging from
sports medicine to podiatric surgery to orthopedics or biomechanics.
• examine, diagnose and develop a treatment plan for patients with foot and ankle
disorders resulting from injury, disease or natural aging.
• identify foot ailments that indicate more serious conditions, such as diabetes,
arthritis or cardiovascular disease and refer patients to other physicians.
• prescribe and administer drugs and treatments.
• treat muscles and tendons that influence foot function, using surgery or
mechanical corrective devices.
• use surgery to treat ingrown toenails, tumors, cysts and bone disorders, such as
bunions and hammertoes.
• prescribe and fit corrective footwear and arch supports (orthotics).
• educate patients on how to prevent recurrence of preventable foot and ankle
• teach, consult and lecture on foot health care.
Most podiatrists work in private practice, with hospital privileges for surgery and
Average Salary Range
$61,000 – $120,000
Students wishing to pursue a career in podiatric medicine should take the most challenging high school courses available in science, math and English, including advanced placement courses. To become a podiatrist, students must
complete education requirements that include college and four years at a college of podiatric medicine. They also must pass national and state board examinations, and complete at least one year of postgraduate training in an approved hospital (internship/residency).
American Podiatric Medical Association
Department of Public Affairs
9312 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 2081 41698
American Association of Colleges
of Podiatric Medicine
3200 Grand Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50312