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Podiatric medicine is a branch of the medical sciences devoted to the study of human movement with medical care of the foot and ankle as its primary focus.

A doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of foot disorders resulting from injury or disease. A DPM makes independent judgments, prescribes medications and when necessary, performs surgery.

After completing four years of podiatric medical training, the podiatrist is required by most states to complete at least one year of postgraduate residency training. Podiatric medical students may select either a nonsurgical or a surgical-based residency program. Nonsurgical programs are generally one year in length. Surgically-based residencies vary in length from one to three years depending on the degree of expertise one wishes to develop.

State licensing requirements generally include graduation from an accredited college of podiatric medicine, passage of the National Board exams, postgraduate training and passage of state written and oral examinations.

Application Guide

Learn more about the admission criteria for most medical schools. 

Podiatric Medical Schools

View the full list of 9 accredited U.S. podiatric medical schools.

Additional Resources

Explore this profession further by accessing links to national associations, career profiles, and student resources.