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Podiatrists are professionally trained to provide medical care for people who have problems with their toes, feet, sometimes also ankles and occasionally knees (this last depends on the specialty training of an individual practitioner and the laws of the state where she/he practices). Podiatrist learn general medicine as well, because part of their role is as primary care practitioners. As an example, a podiatrist may be the first health professionals to diagnose a patient with diabetes because he/she sees blood vessel breakdown - a characteristic which often shows itself first in the feet of a diabetic.


The University of Iowa provides the preparatory course work needed to apply to one of the eight graduate-level Podiatric Educational Programs (programs take 4 years), but has neither an undergraduate degree in pre-podiatric studies nor a Graduate Podiatric Medical Education Program. The University does have a system for identifying students with this goal so that we can match them with an advisors who know about Podiatric Medicine and, maybe, with other students who have the same goals (designated as “pre-podiatric medicine” students). Please note, most schools have a standard set of pre-requisites. However, there is some variation and it is the student’s responsibility to investigate the entry requirements for each program in which they are interested and plan accordingly. The easiest place to do so is the web site of the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine . Call the Advising Center at (319) 353-5700 to make an appointment with one of our pre-podiatric medicine advisors.


The minimum set of science courses for pre-Podiatric study, all requiring a laboratory component, are one year each of: principles of chemistry (4:11-12/ 8 s.h.), organic chemistry (4:121-122 & 141 or 4:123 - 124 & 142/ either group 9 s.h.), college physics (29:11 - 12/ 8 s.h., pre-requisite: trigonometry, but the majority in the first physics class have also completed a semester of calculus as well), and principles of biology (2:10 - 11/ 8 s.h.). Two programs require one more 4 s.h. of biology coursework ( Scholl College at Rosalind Franklin University and the Arizona Podiatric Medicine Program in Glendale near Phoenix) and others strongly recommend added specific ones. In addition, one year of English is required (10:1 – 10:2 or 10:3 and Lit 8G:1 often do nicely).


For each of the eight podiatric education programs (more will be established in the near future), a set of scores from the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) or other national test will be needed. The American Podiatric Medical Association provides general information about the careers available as a podiatrist, including potential salaries, and contact with potential mentors for undergraduates to shadow. Furthermore, this organization is responsible for assessing accreditation for graduate education in podiatric medicine and communication among the nation's podiatrists.


All eight belong to the American Podiatric Medicine Association and linkage to their information is available through their web site (just above). Application begins with the podiatric medicine centralized application service, AAPCAS site for all except those planning to attend the New York College of Podiatric Medicine; these start with the adjacent link.


Look carefully at the above requirements; they are much the same as those of allopathic and osteopathic medicine and a number of other health professions including dentistry. Be sure that you have experienced the differences before applying.



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