Academic Preparation for Admission into Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.) Programs
A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.) specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, through both medical and surgical means, of diseases and disorders affecting the human foot. A D.P.M. makes independent judgments, administers treatment, prescribes medication, and when necessary, performs surgery. Currently, there are no colleges of podiatric medicine in Texas.
To prepare for admission to a college of podiatric medicine a student must have a minimum of 90 semester hours. However, over 95% of students who matriculate at podiatric medical schools have a baccalaureate degree, with a natural science major and minor. The Council on Podiatry Education of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) is the accrediting agency. The APMA website, www.aacpm.org, identifies seven accredited colleges of podiatric medicine and one college that has achieved candidate status.
Applicants are evaluated based on their overall GPA and their science GPA, performance on the MCAT (or in some cases the GRE or DAT), extracurricular and community activities, and a personal interview. An overall GPA and a science GPA of 3.25 is considered minimum, however the admission criterion does vary between the various colleges. Applicants should obtain the D.P.M. college catalog for specific requirements of each of the eight programs they are interested in.
All eight of the colleges of podiatric medicine participate in a centralized application service through the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine Application Service (AACPMAS). Students may apply to one, some, or all eight by submitting only one application. The AACPMAS collects and collates application data, computes GPA, and forwards standardized applications to all of the colleges. The AACPMAS begins processing applications approximately September 1st. The deadline for priority consideration is April 1, and the final application deadline is July 31st of each year for Fall admission of the same year. Application packets can be downloaded at www.e-aacpmas.org.
The minimum course requirements for colleges of podiatric medicine are essentially the same as for most doctoral medical programs. This curriculum includes science–major laboratory coursework in biology (12 hours), general or inorganic chemistry (8 hours), organic chemistry (8 hours), biochemistry (4 hours), physics (8 hours) and English (6-12 hours). Additional coursework in comparative vertebrate anatomy, genetics, cell and molecular biology, physiology, microbiology, embryology, advanced mathematics, and psychology are highly recommended.
In addition to the majors in the Physical and Biological Sciences, other disciplines, such as anthropology, community studies, sociology, and psychology may offer a variety of interesting courses appropriate for students interested in podiatry school. However, if you choose a major outside of the Physical and Biological Science area you must include the basic science requirements for medical school along with satisfying requirements appropriate for your major. A widespread misconception suggesting it is necessary to major in a science, especially biology, or that podiatry schools prefer science majors is not accurate. The truth is that a majority of podiatry school applicants are natural science majors, but any academic major is suitable and acceptable for medical school as long as the prerequisite coursework is complete.
Serious students seeking career opportunities in the field of Podiatric Medicine should seek advisement from the Office of Medical & Allied Health Programs. The specialized sequence of coursework meets basic prerequisite needs of the D.P.M. programs within the scope of a generalized natural science major and minor. This approach provides the greatest flexibility for alternative strategies should they be necessary.
The pre-medical curriculum listed here serves to as a guide for the biology major / chemistry minor. Other academic majors and minors can be used, but may require more coursework than the usual 120-hour baccalaureate.
Accredited Colleges of Podiatric Medicine in the United States:
Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind
Franklin University of Medicine & Science
3333 Green Bay Rd
North Chicago, IL 60064-3095