A podiatrist is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), known also as a podiatric physician or surgeon, is qualified by their education and training to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg.
What does a Podiatrist do?
- Treats injuries as well as complications from ongoing health issues like diabetes
- Removes calluses and corns
- Provides patients with corrective orthotics
- Provides hygienic and preventative maintenance care not related to an injury or illness
Please note that Idaho State University does not have a podiatry program, however Idaho State University is a great institution to attend for preparing to apply to podiatric medicine schools.
Students looking to be admitted into a podiatric medical school need to complete a bachelor's degree before being admitted to podiatric medicine schools. The following courses are common prerequisites for podiatric medicine schools, however you should check individual programs for their specific requirements. See a Pre-Health Advisor for assistance with course planning.
General Biology I & II and Labs
BIOL 1101, 1101L, 1102, 1102L
General Chemistry I & II and Labs
CHEM 1111, 1111L, 1112, 1112L
Organic Chemistry and Labs
CHEM 3301, 3303, 3302, 3304
General Physics I & II and Labs
PHYS 1111, 1113, 1112, 1114
ENGL 1101, ENGL 1102
We recommend keeping a record of all extracurricular activities. Be sure to track contact information for supervisors and podiatrists you work with or shadow, and write reflections on each activity. The Pre-Health Extracurricular Tracker can help with this and is found under the resources tab.
Patient Care and Health Care Experience
Direct patient interaction and experience in any healthcare setting, paid or unpaid, will make you a more attractive and prepared applicant. It will also help give you an idea of what it is really like to work with patients.
Shadowing podiatrists helps you understand what the profession is actually like. The more podiatric experience you obtain, the more you will understand, which will set you apart from other applicants. For more information, see the Shadowing Guide.
Leadership in any setting will make you stand out from other applicants by showing you are actively preparing for your future in your career and community as well as showing that you are a strong member of a team.
Research makes you a more attractive applicant. May be more important for some schools than others. Consult with your pre-health advisor and research specific programs.
- Medical Knowledge
- Patient Care
- Research and Scholarship
- Interpersonal and Interprofessional Communications
- Interprofessional Collaborative Practice
- Social Awareness/Pain and Addiction
- Cultural Competence
- Structural Competence
- Ethics Competence
A personal statement is a written description of your achievements, interests, and motivations as part of an application to a graduate program. Personal statements should answer the questions “Why did I choose podiatric medicine?” and ”What motivates me?” You should begin writing your personal statement three to six months before your application process. For more information see the Personal Statement Guide.
Letters of recommendation are an essential part of your application. Most schools will require letters of recommendation, check with the individual programs for letter requirements. It is recommended that at least one letter comes from a science professor, and another should come from a doctor of podiatric medicine. A personal reference is also recommended. You should avoid asking family members, clergy/bishops, and lab instructors for a letter of recommendation. Letters will be requested once schools have received your primary application. Submit these letters promptly, as they are an important part of your application. However, letters are a part of the secondary process, so don’t delay submitting your primary application while waiting on your letters. For more information, see the Letters of Recommendation Guide. Consult your pre-health advisor if you have any further questions.
Before applying, ensure that you are researching schools and making sure they fit your needs and wants.
Applying to colleges of Podiatric Medicine can be reduced down to these essential steps:
The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
The MCAT is the test required for admission into schools of podiatric medicine. The test is administered from January through September. Take the MCAT once you have completed the necessary coursework, ideally about a year before attending podiatric medical school. Check with programs to determine what is a competitive score. Average test scores for matriculants into podiatric medical programs.
Primary applications are submitted through a central application service, AACPMAS. The same primary application will be sent to all schools you apply to. AACPMAS is open from August to June. Deadlines range from May to June. Many schools opt for rolling admissions so it is a good idea to submit early, however don’t rush and make a mistake! Take your time, and submit as early as you can. Most students take a few weeks to complete an application. Your application should include your MCAT score, transcripts, extracurriculars, and personal statement.
Most schools will require supplemental applications. These will vary from school to school so it is important to check with individual schools and follow all instructions you are given.
Programs may invite you to interview with them. This often indicates you are an applicant of interest, and they want to get to know you better. Many schools of podiatric medicine hold interview days, where they bring in a group of applicants for the whole day to participate in a variety of activities related to the program and your application. For more information, see the Interview Guide.