What They Do:

A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of foot disorders, diseases and injuries. Podiatrists can work in areas such as surgery, pediatrics, sports medicine, biomechanics, and trauma. A DPM might:

  • Perform or order necessary diagnostic tests.

  • Perform surgery.

  • Administer medications.

  • Prescribe physical therapy regimens.

DPMs are educated in techniques involving surgery, orthopedics, dermatology, physical medicine and rehabilitation. DPMs often detect various health problems that may have otherwise gone unnoticed because of the many diseases that show themselves first through symptoms involving the lower extremities, such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and kidney disease.


  • Bachelor’s degree (4 years)

  • Attend a four-year podiatry-specific medical school to earn a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM)

  • Complete a hospital-based residency program (3 years)

What They Make:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2019 median income was $126,290 per year.                                        

Where They Work:

  • Private practices, either solo or as part of a group

  • Hospitals

  • Long-term care facilities

  • Academic institutions

  • U.S. Public Health Service

  • Armed forces

  • Foot clinics

Podiatrists can work anywhere from 30-60 hours per week. Those in private practice can set their own hours. The practice of this area of medicine does allow for more flexible hours compared to other medical specialties.

Career Outlook:

Employment of podiatrists is projected to grow 0% from 2019 to 2029, there is little to no change. 


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Podiatrists,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/podiatrists.htm (visited February 2021).

Updated February 2021