Podiatry

Podiatric medicine is devoted to the study of human movement with the foot and ankle as its primary focus. Podiatric physicians, or podiatrists, specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of foot disorders, diseases, and injuries. They perform surgery, administer medications, and prescribe physical therapy regimens. Podiatrists often detect serious medical conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease, because they are usually first expressed in the lower extremities.

General Information

There are only nine accredited podiatric medical colleges in the United States. The degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.) is awarded after completing four years of study. The first two years concentrate on classroom instruction and laboratory work in the basic medical sciences and the fundamentals of specialized medicine. The third and fourth years of study focus on the clinical sciences and patient care. However, clinical exposure begins as early as the first year.

After receiving their degree, graduates enter a residency of twenty-four to thirty-six months in duration. At least two years of post-graduate residency training in an approved healthcare institution is required for board certification.

Application Process

The American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine, or AACPM, administers the centralized application service, E-AACPMAS, by which applicants apply to any one of the eight member colleges in the United States. Applicants submit a single application to E-AACPMAS, which then sends a standard applicant packet to each of the schools to which you are applying. The cost is $160 for the first application packet and $35 each additional packet which is sent.

Podiatric schools often require a letter of evaluation from a pre-health advisory committee, rather than several individual letters. Each applicant who seeks a committee letter of evaluation will be interviewed by several members of the Stonehill Pre-Health Professions Advisory Committee, who will then condense the comments of science faculty, non-science faculty, and employers, which you will have previously gathered, into a single letter of evaluation to be submitted to optometry schools.

If a podiatric school is seriously considering you for admission, they will most likely request a personal interview.

Entrance Exam

The MCAT is generally required for admission to podiatry school. However, New York College of Podiatric Medicine (NYCPM) and Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine (TUSPM) will also accept the DAT. The test scores that you submit must have been administered within the past three years

The MCAT is a multiple choice examination that is approximately 4.5 hours long and consists of the following four examinations in order:

  • Physical sciences. This section consists of 52 physics/general chemistry questions to be completed in 70 minutes.
  • Approximately 80% of the questions are in passage format, while the rest are stand-alone questions.
  • Verbal Reasoning. This sections consists of 40 verbal reasoning questions to be completed in 60 minutes.
  • Writing Sample. In this section, you must complete two 30-minute essays. 
  • Biological sciences. This section consists of 52 biology/organic chemistry questions to be completed in 70 minutes. Again, approximately 80% of the questions are in passage format.

Only an introductory-level knowledge of physics, general chemistry, biology, and organic chemistry is required for the MCAT. However, the test determines how well you can apply this introductory material to problem-solving questions, not simply if you have it memorized. Each section is scored on a scale of 1 to 15. You need a combined score of about 30 to be a competitive medical school applicant. According to Princeton Review, the most important area of the MCAT in which to excel is the Verbal Reasoning section.

If a podiatric school is seriously considering you for admission, they will most likely request a personal interview.

MCAT 2014

Subjects CoveredType of ExamExam LengthWhen GivenWhere TakenContact Info to Register
Physical Sciences Verbal Reasoning Writing Sample Biological Sciences (biology and organic chemistry) Computer Multiple Choice Essays 4 hr 30 min AM and PM Sessions Available multiple times late January through September Test centers throughout the US and globally www.amc.org/mcat
Test PrepCost of ExamObtaining ScoresReporting ScoresScore RecordNotes
www.aamc.org/mcat $275.00 Financial aid available (discounted to $100.00) Scores released 30-35 days later via MCAT Testing History (THx) system Scores automatically uploaded to AAMCAS Schools may determine how far back they want the score record to go New test in January 2015: deleting the writing section and adding psychology and sociology questions

DAT

Subjects CoveredType of ExamExam LengthWhen GivenWhere TakenContact Info to Register
Natural Sciences Perceptual Ability Reading Comprehension Quantitative Reasoning Computer Multiple Choice 4 hr 30 min Varies by appointment Prometric Test Centers throughout the US Apply to take the DAT after obtaining a DENTPIN; email instruction will follow application approval
Test PrepCost of ExamObtaining ScoresReporting ScoresScore RecordNotes
www.ada.org & Prometric Test Drive at www.prometric.com & www.kaptest.com $385.00 Financial assistance available for 50% discount Unofficial report given upon completion; official scores available 3-4 weeks later Registration fee includes reports to all schools listed on your DAT application; $33.00 per additional report later The four most recent attempts are reported as well as the total number of attempts Obtain a DENTPIN at www.ada.org

Suggested Coursework

The following is a list of undergraduate courses that typically satisfy the prerequisites for podiatric programs:

  • Chemistry with lab (1 year)
  • Organic Chemistry with lab (1 semester)
  • Biology with lab (1 year)
  • Physics with lab (1 year)
  • English (1 year)

Resources

American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA)

9312 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 581-9200
www.apma.org

American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine (AACPM)

15850 Crabbs Branch Way, Suite 320
Rockville, MD 20855
(800) 922-9266
www.aacpm.org

Khan Academy MCAT 2015 Test Content Videos

https://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/mcat

Official Guide to the MCAT Exam (MCAT2015), Fourth Edition*

www.aamc.org/officialmcatguide2015
*A free copy of this guide is available in the Office of Career Services in the Kruse Center, Cushing-Martin Hall.  You may visit the office to check out the guide to determine if you would like to purchase your own copy or not.