A podiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in the care of foot and ankle problems. Specifically, they target issues including, but not limited to, sprains and fractures, warts, fungal toenails, heel pain, and bunions. They find and diagnose foot related medical issues by using methods such as medical exams, x-rays, and laboratory tests.
A physician may refer you to a podiatrist if you have foot and ankle problems that require extensive care and attention. Podiatrists can prescribe medications and treatments such as special shoe inserts to help with mobility or advice about general wellness. If they find evidence of a larger problem such as diabetes, they may refer you to another physician. Some podiatrists focus in on specialties such as sports medicine.
Podiatrist Career Snapshot
Some podiatrists own and manage practices and others work in hospitals or clinics with other doctors. A podiatrist collaborates with other medical professionals such as nurses, medical assistants, and surgeons. A podiatrist may work up to 50 or more hours per week.
Further details on a career as a podiatrist are listed below (statistics from the May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):
is the average annual salary for podiatrists.
increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.
have a Post-Doctoral training while 26% have a Doctoral degree.
Almost all podiatrists earn a bachelor’s degree before pursuing their degree in podiatry medicine. Podiatrists must have a Degree of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) which takes four years to complete. After earning their DPM, a podiatrist must complete a three-year medical and surgical residency.
Podiatrist Job Duties
A podiatrist may provide patient consultations, diagnose illnesses such as tumors and bunions, design orthotics such as casts, braces, and straps to correct problems with mobility. A podiatrist may also write articles for medical journals and attend conferences and trade events to learn more about their profession.
According to BLS.gov, the median wages for podiatrists in 2015 was $119,340 with the lowest 10 percent earning less than $48,920 and the highest 10 percent earning more than $187,200. Most podiatrist work full time with some employed in hospitals working evenings and weekends.
Podiatrist Job Outlook
The job expectancy for a podiatrist is projected to grow 14 percent between 2014 and 2024, probably due to the aging population. There are a limited number of podiatric medicine colleges, so there is little competition for jobs.
Podiatrist Skills & Traits
|Podiatrist Skill Set:||Required Abilities:||Tools Used by Podiatrists:||Typical Work Activities:|
|• Active Listening |
• Critical Thinking
• Reading Comprehension
• Active Learning
|• Deductive Reasoning|
• Inductive Reasoning
• Problem Sensitivity
• Oral Comprehension
• Oral Expression
|• Floor grade forceps|
• Surgical chisels or gouges
• Surgical clamps
• Powered surgical drills
• Surgical scissors
|• Caring for Others|
• Decision Making
• Documenting Information
• Getting Information
• Processing Information