When are you a doc?

March 21, 2011 —

My best friend just told me he thought I was in residency…I wish! But that was my own fault for not clarifying what the path to podiatry really is. He’s in a different field and I forget how confusing medicine can really be for others, even my closest friends. Here’s a quick break down of the D.P.M. timeline:

1. You are born.

2. You decide to go into medicine. (roughly, age 0 to 100)

3. You complete undergrad degree/ pre-med prerequisite. (4 years)

4. You complete podiatry school & graduate with a doctor of podiatric medicine, or D.P.M., degree. (year 1 & 2: Classwork, sitting in lecture halls. Year 3 & 4: Clinical rotations, working in the clinic/hospital which is what I’m currently doing.)

5. You attend residency (at this point you are a doctor managing patients) and have 2 or 3 years of hands–on training (soon all podiatry residencies will be 3 years).

6. Get board certified and register with your state to practice medicine.

7. Then you are on your own making much needed income to pay back school loans and you’re ready to live an eternally fulfilling life!

So after undergrad, you’re looking at 7 years of training to be a podiatrist. I admit, that seems like a really long time. Even longer when friends tell me about their job opportunities after undergrad! But once you find something you love doing, it doesn’t feel much like work anymore and its just doing what you like to do.

That’s all it takes to become a podiatric physician. If you like lifelong learning, you’ll like medicine.

Let me know if you have any questions!


Tea Nguyen is a dual degree D.P.M./M.P.H. student at DMU. She was born in Utah but raised in California and left the great state to be at one of the best podiatry school in the country.

She has aspirations in international medical service trips and hopes to hit several continents during this lifetime. Traveling is also on the top of her to-do list and she often reminisces about her prior travels to Italy, France and Greece. She also enjoys eating adventures with her boyfriend Paul and is a major food-snacker. It is not uncommon to find her lapsed in a food coma in the middle of her studies.
  • http://www.ibclever.com Regie

    Hi Tea,

    We know how hard it is to be a “doc” that’s why we-who are not in the medical field always look up to all of you. We really salute your patience, manyyyy years of study to help us.

    A number of IB students whom we know plan to take medicine, we’ll redirect them to your post for their queries.

  • http://www.ibclever.com Regie

    Hi Tea,

    We know how hard it is to be a “doc” that’s why we-who are not in the medical field always look up to all of you. We really salute your patience, manyyyy years of study to help us.

    A number of IB students whom we know plan to take medicine, we’ll redirect them to your post for their queries.

  • http://www.quality-web-programming.com/ web development services

    Good post tea; enjoyed reading it and knowing that how difficult it is to be a “doc”.Anyways doing good job in treating your patients and giving relief from their problems.
    Agree with you on the point “once you find something you love doing, it doesn’t feel much like work anymore and its just doing what you like to do”.

  • http://www.quality-web-programming.com/ web development services

    Good post tea; enjoyed reading it and knowing that how difficult it is to be a “doc”.Anyways doing good job in treating your patients and giving relief from their problems.
    Agree with you on the point “once you find something you love doing, it doesn’t feel much like work anymore and its just doing what you like to do”.

  • http://www.identitydental.com Dental Marketing

    Tea, I’m glad there is schooling! It takes a lot of preparation to be as knowledgeable as necessary when handling someone’s health. I’m forever grateful for the ethical and caring health care professionals! GREAT post!

  • http://www.identitydental.com Dental Marketing

    Tea, I’m glad there is schooling! It takes a lot of preparation to be as knowledgeable as necessary when handling someone’s health. I’m forever grateful for the ethical and caring health care professionals! GREAT post!

  • http://www.healthtips202.com John

    Yes we salute all the “doc”.. Their dedication and patience is really admirable. Being helpful really shows in their dedication…great post!!!

  • http://www.healthtips202.com John

    Yes we salute all the “doc”.. Their dedication and patience is really admirable. Being helpful really shows in their dedication…great post!!!

  • Web Design Effect

    Hello Tea Nguyen,

    Yea, I love doctor very much. Actually I wanna be a doctor from my childhood. Now I am a Engineer , But my girlfriend is a Doctor.

    I like your post very much.

  • Web Design Effect

    Hello Tea Nguyen,

    Yea, I love doctor very much. Actually I wanna be a doctor from my childhood. Now I am a Engineer , But my girlfriend is a Doctor.

    I like your post very much.

  • Dentist in Evanston

    When you pick what you love, it doesn’t matter how long or how much it takes to get there.