A podiatrist is a medical professional specializing in the diagnosis, care and treatment of the feet and lower legs. Common conditions treated by podiatrists include corns, in-grown toenails, bunions, heel bone spurs, arch-related issues, ankle and foot injuries or deformities and other conditions. While some podiatrists work for hospitals or clinics, most work in group or individual practices.
Education and Training of a Podiatrist
A podiatrist must have a bachelor's degree (usually in biology or chemistry or premed), and also attend a four-year program at an accredited college of podiatric medicine to to earn a Doctorate in Podiatric Medicine (DPM). Podiatric medicine programs have a curriculum very similar to those of traditional medical schools. After schooling, podiatrists must pursue a two-year internship working with experienced podiatrists. Podiatrists also have to pass both national and state licensing exams to practice in the U.S.
Annual Median Salary of a Podiatrist
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median salary of a podiatrist in the U.S. was $113,560 as of May 2008. Note that a podiatrist in a private practice might have a significantly higher gross income, but you have to deduct the cost of running the business to determine her net income.
Average Annual Salary Range of Podiatrist by State
The range of podiatrist salaries varies by state. PayScale lists the average annual salary range of a podiatrist in California in 2010 as $61,042 to $145,816, in Florida as $71,972 to $159,421, in New York as $50,000 to $113,909 and in Ohio as $89,420 to $132,257.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that podiatrist employment will grow by 9 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is about average over that period. This growth will largely be driven by the demographics of an older population with more ankle, foot, and circulatory-related medical problems.