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!