What is Podiatry?
A podiatrist is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), known also as a podiatric physician or surgeon, qualified by their education and training to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg.
Practitioners of podiatric medicine treat a variety of ailments and employ innovative techniques to improve the overall well-being of patients. In an average day a DPM may:
- Provide individual consultations to patients concerning continued treatment of disorders and preventive foot care.
- Diagnose foot ailments such as tumors, ulcers, fractures, skin or nail diseases, and congenital or acquired deformity such as weak feet and foot imbalance.
- Use innovative methods to treat conditions such as corns, calluses, bunions, heel spurs, ingrown toenails, arch problems, shortened tendons, cysts, bone disorders, and abscesses.
- Design corrective orthotics, plaster casts, and strappings to correct deformities.
- Design flexible casting for immobilization of foot and ankle fractures, sprains, or other injuries.
- Correct walking patterns and balance, and promote the overall ability to move about more efficiently and comfortably.
- Refer patients to other physicians when symptoms observed in the feet indicate disorders, such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, or kidney disease.
Where do DPMs work?
DPMs are licensed in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico and practice in a variety of settings including:
- Private or Group Medical Practice
- Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)
- Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)
- Hospitals and Extended Care Facilities
- S. Public Health Service
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Armed Forces
- Municipal Health Departments
- Health Professions Schools
DIY Pre-Podiatry Student Planning Guide (Coming Soon)
Our Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Pre-Podiatry Planning Guide & Self Assessment document provides important resources for UT Austin students planning on applying to Podiatric medical schools.
How to get started...
- Subscribe to the HPOinfo emails.
- Meet with a pre-health professions coach in the Health Professions Office to explore health professions and to discuss your goals and preparation, especially how to make the most out of your first two years.
- Take an average to heavy course load: 14–16 hours is considered a normal health professions course load. It is okay to take 12–13 hours your first semester at UT Austin.
- Get to know your professors. You will need faculty evaluations when you apply.
- Declare a major by your second year on campus.
- Non-College of Natural Sciences students are highly encouraged to add the Pre-Health Professions Certificate. Learn more about the certificate here.
- Get involved in extracurricular activities (e.g., student organizations, volunteering and shadowing in medical settings; community service).
- Attend the Health Professions Fair each year, generally held in February or March, to visit with representatives from health professions programs.
- Keep viable career alternatives open.