Podiatric Medicine

A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), known also as a podiatric physician surgeon, is qualified by their education and training to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg. When treating patients, this system is also known as the lower extremity. Podiatric physicians are uniquely qualified among medical professionals to treat the lower extremity based on their education, training and expertise. Podiatrists are defined as physicians by the federal government.

Typical Responsibilities

  • Prescribe medication designed to treat specific foot and ankle ailments.
  • Perform complex surgery and simple impatient procedure such as excising a toenail.
  • Treat diabetic patients, children, athletes, and the elderly.
  • Imaging a broken bone using the latest radiological instruments.
  • Conduct research or collecting data for clinical trials.
  • Teaching/training residents or students rotating in clerkships.

Preparing for Admission

  • Resources for researching schools: A complete list of the 9 Podiatric Medicine programs can be found on The American Association of Podiatric Medicine (AACPM) website.
  • Podiatric College Information Book: This reference guide, published biannually in even years, provides prospective students with an overview of the breadth and depth to a career in podiatric medicine and specific information about admission requirements for each of the colleges and schools of podiatric medicine in the U.S. recognized by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME).
  • Prerequisite coursework: A complete list of prerequisite courses is available on the AAPM website. 
  • Standardized Tests: All applicants are required to submit an official Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
  • Experience/Exposure: Most Schools and Colleges require applicants shadow a DPM prior to applying or gaining admissions. The AACPM is works to create shadowing opportunities for undergraduate students interested in obtaining insight in the practice of a podiatric physician.The DPM Mentors Network is a robust matching service, designed to place students with DPMs near where they live or go to school.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Each School or College of Podiatric Medicine determines its preference for the type or number of letters of recommendation. Specific program information can be found in the Podiatric College Information Book.

The Admissions Cycle

  • There is a Centralized Application Process (AACPMAS) that all podiatric medicine schools (9) participate in.
  • Application opens and can be submitted: first Wednesday in August
  • Priority Deadline: April 1
  • Fees: The initial application to AACPMAS is $180. There is an additional $60 fee for each additional submission. The AACPM does not offer any fee waivers.
  • AACPM has created a thorough instruction manual and FAQ which is helpful for students in the application process.