October 30, 2016


Podiatrist Job Description

A podiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in treating conditions that affect the lower legs and feet. Conditions treated include infections, deformities, diseases affecting these areas as well as ankle and foot injuries. Treatment approaches used vary depending on the condition though the most common treatments involve prescribing medications, physical therapy and surgery. People suffering from arch problems or deformities may require custom-made shoes or orthotics. Podiatrists prescribe corrective shoe inserts and also the plaster casts used in the making of custom-made shoes. As diseases like diabetes and osteomyelitis can damage muscle, tissues, bone and nerve endings in the foot, podiatrists play an active role in disease management and treatment of the affected areas. Oftentimes this may require administering injections to relieve pain or providing specialized wound care.

Podiatrist Salary Statistics as of 2015

Average annual salary for a Podiatrist is $121672 based on statistics in the U.S. as of 2015. The highest salary recorded was $201689. The lowest salary reported was $73353. These figures will vary on a state to state basis as these are averages across all 50 states.

Median hourly wage for a Podiatrist is $60.5 based on statistics in the U.S. as of 2015. The highest hourly rate recorded was $100.29. The lowest hourly rate recorded was $36.48. These figures will vary on a state to state basis as these are averages across all 50 states.

Bonuses for a Podiatrist are based on the years of experience using statistics from the U.S. as of 2015. The average bonus recorded was $25 from people with 15+ years of experience. The average bonus recorded was $10050 from people with under 1 year of experience.

These are the highest paying states for a Podiatrist. These numbers are based of the median annual salary as of 2015.
California – $111,910 – $221,093
Florida – $57,826 – $167,675
Illinois – $87,500 – $140,000
Indiana – $90,000 – $136,034
New Jersey – $108,090 – $156,368
New York – $100,558 – $137,569
Texas – $75,243 – $120,000

These are the highest paying cities for a Podiatrist. These numbers are based of the median annual salary as of 2015.
Chicago, Illinois –
New York, New York –
Los Angeles, California –
Indianapolis, Indiana –
Denver, Colorado –
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania –
Seattle, Washington –

This chart outlines the average annual salary of a Podiatrist from the past 5 years. In 2015 the average annual salary was $121672 while in 2007 it was just $112836.48

Specialized Fields

While podiatry is a specialty area unto itself, the foot alone consists of 26 bones, muscles, ligaments, nerves and blood vessels. The sheer complexity of the human foot opens up a range of sub-specialty areas within the podiatry field. Some of the sub-specialties available include –
• Orthopedics – the treatment of foot and leg deformities, the fitting and design of special footwear and prosthetic devices, physical therapy
• Sports Medicine – diagnosing, treating and preventing conditions involving the lower extremities in athletes
• Surgery – surgical treatments to repair and correct problems involving the foot and ankle
• Primary care – works alongside family health care practitioners in the treatment of foot disorders
• Wound Treatment – treating wounds, injuries and ulcers caused by chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disorders
• Podopediatrics – specializes in treating foot and leg problems in children

Work Environment

Podiatrists have the option of working on their own in private practice, in clinics, in hospitals or in connection with a hospital. Those who work in hospitals may perform surgical procedures that require anesthesia or may fulfill a consulting role. Surgical procedures can include foot or lower leg reconstruction, arthritic deformity correction, and bunion removal. Podiatrists can also perform in-office procedures that don’t require anesthesia, such as removing calluses, ingrown toenails and corns. Many podiatrists also work with insurance companies, the armed forces and as teaching professionals. Some podiatrists may take on a more mobile role by visiting and treating people in nursing homes, clinics or ambulatory surgical centers. On average, podiatrists work up to 60 hours a week depending on the type of work they do.

How to Become a Podiatrist

As with any other doctorate in medicine, podiatry training requires –
• Four years in undergraduate studies
• Four years in medical school
• Two to three years of internship and residency training

Undergraduate studies must include coursework in biology, mathematics, chemistry, physics and English. Coursework in the humanities and social sciences can also be helpful. Licensing and certification requirements include a three-part board certification exam as well as a state licensing exam before a podiatrist can practice medicine.

Job Outlook

The range of different capacities a podiatrist can fill makes for a better than average job outlook in terms of need and demand for podiatrists. The need for podiatrists is expected to increase by 20 percent between the years 2010 and 2020. With the baby-boomer generation entering their 60’s and 70’s, the need for foot specialists will continue to rise. An aging population is also in need of specialists who can treat foot conditions that result from chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Older-aged people are also more active than prior generations, which also increase the demand for podiatrists. Areas where podiatrists are in high demand include rural settings and underserved inner city areas.

Gender Statistics

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Based on our stats gathered across the U.S. 68% of Podiatrists were males while 32% were females. These numbers are based on averages across all states combined. Some individual states may have a much different ratio however.

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