Education: Long, Arduous, and Continuing

A doctor of podiatric medicine is to the foot what a dentist is to the mouth or an ophthalmologist is to the eye -- a specialist who has undergone lengthy, thorough study to become uniquely well-qualified to treat a specific part of the human body.

A doctor of podiatric medicine successfully navigates a rigorous course of study, training and licensing comparable to -- and in some cases exceeding -- that of other medical specialties.

After premedical college studies, he or she must complete more than 4,000 hours of studies at a fully accredited college of podiatric medicine. In addition, the podiatrist must complete at least two year of residency training in a general acute care facility.

Minimum education MD DPM
Premedical education minimum - 3 years Yes Yes
Medical school - minimum 4 years Yes Yes
Minimum professional school course hours 4,000 4,000
Postgraduate training of at least one year Yes Yes

To begin the quest, a budding DPM must achieve the required results in the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) designed for medical doctors, and compete for a place in an accredited college of podiatric medicine-of which there are only seven in the nation. These are stern requirements.

Annual continuing education in approved programs is required to maintain state licensing.

Yes, treating the disorders and diseases of the foot requires years of specialized education and training.