As a medical student, one of the toughest choices that you may have to make is to choose the profession which suits you. There are several branches of medical science including internal medicine, radiology, cardiology, etc. One such uncommon branch that you may not have heard about is Podiatric. Pediatrics is that branch that deals with the treatment and diagnosis of problems related to the foot, ankle, and related structure of the foot. If you are unaware of this branch, you may love to know about it and how you can become one of it.
To become a pediatrics you need to complete your undergraduate degree, give the MCAT exam and get into a pediatric school. After completing it you have to complete a residency program. Though we will be discussing how to become pediatric, let us see what do we mean by pediatric.
Who is a Podiatrist?
Podiatric is a branch of medical science that is only retained for foot disorders. This means that a doctor who treats the problem of the lower leg and feet is known as a Podiatrist. As a podiatrist, you will be treating problems of the Ankle, foot, and related structures. Not only this, but you can also treat some complex issues like Diabetes. These doctors are commonly known as Podiatric physicians and doctors of Podiatric medicine. If you are interested in becoming a doctor who could deal with brain problems, you can think of becoming Physiatrist.
Do podiatrists go to medical school?
Unlike radiologists, podiatrists do not go to medical school. To become a podiatrist you will need to get to different schools which are known as Podiatry schools. A podiatry school is a place where you will learn about the problems related to the foot and how to treat them. Most Podiatry schools give you a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M) degree.
Is it hard to become a Podiatrist?
Honestly, it might not be harder to get into Podiatry schools than medical school. As discussed earlier, to become a Podiatrist, you will need to attend Podiatry schools. But if you are thinking that the subjects that you may study will be easy, then you may be wrong. Medical study is not that easy. You need to know each and every prospect of the treatment and may need to spend 12 years on them. To conclude we can say that the difficulty level of becoming a Podiatrist, is similar to getting into any other medical field.
How to be a podiatrist?
To become a Podiatric you will need to go through the following steps-
1. Undergraduate degree
To become a Podiatric, the basic need is to have 4 years of a graduate degree. Make sure that the undergraduate degree that you take is in the medical field. Try to have subjects like biology, chemistry, physics, etc.
2. MCAT exam
When you complete your undergraduate program, you must take an MCAT exam. MCAT is the base of getting into any medical and podiatric school. It is a common entrance test with 230 multiple questions which you will need to complete within 7.5 hours. You can retake it if you think that the scores you get are less than what you should get.
3. Attending Podiatric school
The next step is to select a Podiatric school of your choice. Do not get confused between Medical and Pediatric school. They both are different from each other. This is an important step in your podiatric career. Though to get into the best Podiatric school, you must have a good MCAT score along with maintaining a good GPA.
4. Apply for the residency program
After completing Pediatric School, you must get ready for your residency program. Take part in the residency program and complete your working experience. You will get work experience by working in the hospital. In it, you will be working closely with the patients and learning new skills on how to treat the patients in the hospitals.
5. Get certification
The last step is getting the American Podiatric Medical Licensing Exam (APMLE) certification. For this, you will again need to clear the exam taken by APMLE. Having this certification will help you to start practicing on your own. Also in some states, you may need to take up state exams to start your practice.
Conditions treated by the Podiatrist
Following are some of the conditions that are treated by Podiatrists-
- Fractures and sprains in the ankle and foot are conditions that are treated by podiatrists.
- Bunions and Hammertoes are problems related to the bones of your feet. A bunion develops when the big toe joint at the base enlarges or becomes misaligned. The toe flexes in the direction of the others. Any toe that doesn’t bend properly is said to have a hammertoe.
- Nail disorders are one of the other problems that you will be dealing with. It occurs due to a fungal infection. Another problem related to nails is that the corner of it may get into your toe.
- Another thing that a podiatrist does is treat diabetes. When your body is unable to produce insulin which is important to digest sugar, then the situation is known as Diabetic.
- Arthritis is a situation in which you will be treating the problems that occur due to the inflammation or wear or tear in your joints.
- If a child’s feet are not aligned right or are flat then it may be treated by you.
- The tissue of the nerve in your foot which gets thickened is also treated by you.
What is the average income of a podiatrist?
According to the BLS, the national average annual salary for podiatrists is $148,220, which is about three times the average yearly salary for all occupations, $51,960. Podiatrist salaries are far greater than the compensation for most jobs, no matter where you live. Even in the state with the lowest compensation for podiatrists, the average income is close to $94,000.
Podiatry is a field of medicine that only deals with problems related to the feet. This indicates that a person is referred to as a podiatrist if they deal with issues with the lower leg and foot. You will be treating issues with the foot, ankle, and related structures as a podiatrist. Additionally, you are capable of treating some challenging conditions like Diabetes.