Why Choose a Career in Podiatric Medicine
Podiatric medicine is both a health care profession and a medical specialty. Podiatric physicians specialize in the medical and surgical management of disorders of the foot/ankle that may be associated with other aspects of the lower extremity or general medical conditions.
As the U.S. population continues to increase and the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and addresses chronic diseases, such as diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, obesity and hypertension, individuals are encouraged to maintain an active lifestyle. This will increase the demand for podiatric services. The spectrum of medical conditions treated by podiatric physicians includes, but is not limited to, skin and nail disorders, developmental foot/ankle deformities, trauma and sports related injuries, wounds associated with diabetes and the loss of sensation, arthritic conditions, infection management, and common foot/ankle conditions affecting adults and children.
The education of a podiatric physician includes four years of podiatric medical school followed by a three-year residency program. Fellowships in specialized areas are available for individuals who choose to further their knowledge and expertise.
Although the practice of podiatric medicine is focused on the foot/ankle, the education and training of a podiatric physician does not limit their ability to diagnose general medical conditions and assist patients access medical care. In this manner, not only are podiatric physicians able to promote the overall health and well-being by addressing foot/ankle conditions, but they are also able to do so while working with other health care professionals for the benefit of the patient.
There are approximately 15,000 podiatric physicians practicing in the U.S. The profession is supported by the American Podiatric Medical Association and complementary state professional organizations. The American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and the American Board of Podiatric Medicine oversee certification of podiatric physicians. Podiatric physicians also participate in a variety of practice settings, such as multi-specialty groups, podiatric group practices, orthopedic groups, institutional practices, academic affiliations, and individual private practice. In 2022, US News and World Report ranked podiatric physicians in the top 20 paying jobs in the United States.
A Career in Podiatric Medicine
I’m Dr. Jason Lee, a Podiatric Physician and Dean of the LECOM School of Podiatric Medicine. I am passionate about patient care and educating the next generation of podiatric physicians. Population demographics continue to change and the prevalence of diseases such as diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and obesity continue to affect the lives of many individuals. We know that collaboration between healthcare providers is essential for improved patient outcomes. These factors combined with the need for people to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout the aging process continues to increase the demand for foot and ankle services.
Podiatric medicine is both a health care profession and a medical specialty. Podiatrists are integral members of the health care team. Podiatrists work in a multidisciplinary field with other physicians, nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, and other health care providers. The curriculum at the LECOM School of Podiatric Medicine was designed to give students interprofessional experiences throughout their four years of education. This is done in part through a collaborative learning environment with the LECOM College of Osteopathic Medicine. There are also purposeful interprofessional experiences in both the didactic and clinical environments.
Not Just the Foot and Ankle
Although the practice of podiatric medicine is focused on the foot and ankle, the education and training of a podiatric physician does not limit their ability to diagnose general medical conditions. This assists patients in accessing medical care. Not only are podiatric physicians able to promote overall health and well-being by addressing foot and ankle conditions, but they do so while working with other health care professionals for the benefit of the patient.
Similar to the education of other physicians, the education of a podiatric physician includes four years of podiatric medical school followed by a three-year residency program. Fellowships in specialized areas are available for individuals who choose to further their knowledge and expertise.
To learn more about taking the first step on your journey toward becoming a podiatric physician I invite to read more about the LECOM School of Podiatric Medicine and contact us with any questions.