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Podiatric Medicine - D.P.M. PDFDownload to print

College of Podiatric Medicine

College of Podiatric Medicine

Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine
6000 Rockside Woods Blvd.
Independence, OH 44131
800-238-7903 Toll Free


Podiatric medicine is the branch of medicine which medically and surgically manages care of the lower extremity. The podiatric physician is a health professional who is involved with examination, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of foot disorders by physical, medical and surgical means. A doctor of podiatric medicine is trained to detect the signs of general bodily disorders which may appear first in the lower extremity, such as diabetes or circulatory disorders. When such diagnoses are made, the podiatrist consults with the patient's family doctor concerning continuing treatment. A career in podiatric medicine can include the areas of primary care, surgery, orthopedics, sports medicine, geriatrics and pediatrics.

Career Opportunities

Employment of podiatrists is expected to increase 20 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. As the U.S. population both ages and increases, the number of people expected to have mobility and foot-related problems will rise. More podiatrists will be needed to provide this care. In addition, podiatrists are increasingly working in group practices along with other healthcare professionals. Continued growth in the use of outpatient surgery also will create new opportunities for podiatrists, as all podiatrists complete three years of standardized hospital-based residency training.

Job prospects for trained podiatrists should be good, given that there are a limited number of colleges of podiatry. In addition, the retirement of currently practicing podiatrists in the coming years is expected to increase the number of job openings for podiatrists.

(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Admission Requirements

The College of Podiatric Medicine requires that candidates for admission complete a minimum 90 semester credit hours (or minimum 135 quarter hours), including the following prerequisites:

  • 6 semester (or 9 quarter hours) of English
  • 8 semester (or 12 quarter hours) of biology*
  • 8 semester (or 12 quarter hours) of general/inorganic chemistry*
  • 8 semester (or 12 quarter hours)of organic chemistry*
  • 8 semester (or 12 quarter hours) of physics*

* All science coursework must include labs, when applicable.

Nearly all of entering podiatric medicine students will have earned a bachelor’s or advanced degree prior to matriculation; however, students may be granted admission with the required undergraduate coursework (90 semester hours or 135 quarter hours) and prerequisites completed. In addition to required coursework, the following classes are recommended: biochemistry, histology, anatomy and physiology, neurobiology and microbiology.

A traditional candidate for the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree will have the following academic credentials:

  • Overall GPA: 3.30
  • Science GPA: 3.15
  • Non-science GPA: 3.50
  • Organic chemistry GPA: 2.96
  • MCAT score: 22

The College of Podiatric Medicine requires candidates to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) prior to matriculation. Scores must be within three years of the application date.  Candidates may apply before taking the MCAT; however, the college will not be able to take final admissions action until official MCAT scores are received by the application service (AACPMAS). Candidates should plan on taking the MCAT no later than May of the year they plan to matriculate.

Applicants should furnish at least one academic letter of recommendation or a composite letter from a pre-medical advisory committee, and one letter from a practicing doctor of podiatric medicine.

Essential Requirements

The College of Podiatric Medicine is committed to the admission and advancement of all qualified students. College policy prohibits discrimination against anyone solely based on race, gender, Veteran’s status, color, national origin, religion, age, handicap or disability.

The college has adopted the following essential requirements to be met by all students for advancement and graduation. The essential requirements for obtaining the degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine reflect the college’s highest commitment to the safety of its students and patients and recognition of the essential functions of the profession of podiatric medicine.

The following are requirements or functions that are essential to the program of instruction, or directly related to the licensing requirements, and directly related to those physical abilities, mental abilities, skills, attitudes and behaviors that students must demonstrate or perform at each stage of education.

  • Visual observation and integration: Candidates and students must have  sufficient vision to observe demonstrations, video materials, slides through a microscope and computer screens. They must acquire information from written documents, radiographs, photographs, charts and diagrams. They must be able to observe a patient accurately close at hand and at a distance to assess asymmetry, range of motion and tissue/texture changes.
  • Communication: Candidates and students must be able to communicate, using the English language, in oral and written settings and in settings where time span is limited. This includes communication with patients, their families and other members of the health care team. Candidates and students must be able to accurately elicit information and describe a patient’s condition to the patient and to others in the diagnosis and treatment process.
  • Other sensory capacities: Students must have sufficient auditory sense to take an oral history, do stethoscopy and communicate while wearing a surgical mask. Students must also have sufficient somatosensory capacity to palpate pulses, use a tuning fork and assess skin temperature.
  • Motor functions: Candidates and students must have sufficient motor function reasonably required to undertake classes, laboratories and demonstrations, to provide general patient care as well as emergency treatment to patients. This includes cadaver dissection, microscopy, aseptic technique and safe handling of microbiological specimens. Also included is the motor capacity for chart and prescription writing, palpation, percussion, auscultation and other diagnostic maneuvers. Examples of common daily treatments include, but are not limited to, palliative care of foot and ankle problems, injections, orthotic impressions, taking and processing of pedal radiographs, and performance of soft tissue and osseous tissue surgical procedures. Examples of emergency treatments include CPR, administration of intravenous medications, the opening of obstructed airways, and hemostasis techniques. It is imperative that emergency care be given promptly. Both general care and emergency care require the combination of gross as well as fine muscular movements, and sufficient upper body strength and mobility.
  • Intellectual, conceptual, quantitative and integrative abilities: Students must assimilate a large number of biomedical facts and principles and use them in diagnosing and treating patients. These abilities include quantitative and qualitative measurement, calculation, inductive and deductive reasoning, analysis of patient data, and synthetic problem-solving skills for the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Students must be able to perform the above in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Behavioral and social attributes: Candidates and students must possess the emotional health, stability and maturity required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, timely and appropriate completion of all responsibilities associated with the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Students must demonstrate mature, sensitive and effective relations with patients and other health care professionals. In addition, students must tolerate taxing workloads, adapt to changing conditions and environments and be flexible in dealing with varying personalities and the uncertainties inherent in patients’ problems. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills and motivation are all necessary qualities for the study and practice of podiatric medicine, as well as adherence to the ethical standards of the profession.
  • Involvement in invasive and exposure-prone procedures: Candidates and students must be qualified to be personally and actively involved in invasive and exposure-prone procedures without being a danger to patients, other health care professionals or fellow students. They must demonstrate adherence to the universal precautions as defined by the Center for Disease Control. As part of the essential requirements to matriculate at the college, the following statement shall apply: If the student is HIV seropositive, the student may be restricted by the State Medical Board of Ohio from performing procedures required for graduation. If the student is HBV positive and does not demonstrate non-infectivity, the student may be restricted by the State Medical Board of Ohio from performing procedures required for graduation. Any questions regarding these requirements should be directed to the college assistant dean.
Graduation Requirements

A candidate for the degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine must have:

  • Satisfactorily completed all required courses.
  • Maintained satisfactory academic performance (2.000 GPA or higher).
  • Demonstrated clinical competence through completion of the performance objectives.
  • Been in good disciplinary standing.
  • Satisfactorily completed all clinical rotations and externship/clerkship program requirements.
  • Fulfilled all responsibilities and financial obligations to the college and university.
  • Demonstrated moral and mental competency to practice podiatric medicine.
  • Taken and passed the American Podiatric Medical Licensing Examination (APMLE) Part I, and have taken both sections of Part II (written portion and CSPE) and released the score reports to the college.
  •  Passed Senior Competency Examination

In order to be eligible for graduation in May, candidates must have met all of the above requirements prior to June 30th immediately following the May graduation. Completion of program requirements after June 30th, but before the conclusion of the calendar year, will result in a December graduation. After December, candidates will not be eligible for graduation until the following May.

Attendance at the graduation ceremony is required.

All students must successfully complete the graduation requirements within six years of their initial matriculation. The six year limitation includes any leaves of absence, withdrawals or any other interruptions of the student’s program.

There is no contract stated or implied, between the college and the students that a degree will be conferred at any stated time, or at all.

Program Learning Outcomes

The following educational outcomes will be attained as a result of the cumulative effect of both didactic instruction in the basic medical sciences and clinical courses, as well as, clinical experiences afforded through clinical rotations and clerkship experiences. The goal is to prepare the graduate for successful entry into postdoctoral training program.

  1. To have an appreciation of the ethical responsibilities of the physician to his or her patient.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of medical statistics, epidemiology and research methods.
  3. Diagnose common foot and ankle pathology utilizing signs, symptoms, differential diagnosis, laboratory and X-ray evaluations; and discuss treatment alternatives available in each diagnosis, including the following:
    a. Hallux valgus k. Verruca
    b. Hallux limits l. Stress fracture
    c. Contracted and deformed lesser digits m. Ulcers
    d. Hyperpronation on hindfoot n. Bacterial infections
    e. Hypersupination of hindfoot o. Fungal infections
    f. Morton's Neuroma p. Ankle sprains
    g. Capsulities of forefoot q. Plantar calluses
    h. Tendonitis/bursitis r. Degenerative joint disease
    i. Heel Spur syndrome s. Gouty arthritis
    j. Nail deformities (Onychomycosis) t. Rigid flatfoot
  4. To have an understanding of the medical, social, economic, ethnic and cultural issues and concerns of the geriatric population.
  5. To have an appreciation of civil, criminal and administrative laws that impact podiatric practice.
  6. To have knowledge of podiatric practice administration.
  7. To have an understanding of the public health issues that impact podiatric practice.
  8. To be able to provide podiatric primary care in a clinical setting.
  9. Is proficient in the ability to perform a history and basic physical examination, including the lower extremity.
  10. Recognize the common major dermatologic conditions, and manage pedal dermatological problems.
  11. Be knowledgeable of the major systemic diseases, their pedal manifestations and implication in the management of the podiatric patient.
  12. Demonstrate knowledge of the pathology, clinical presentation and treatment of general neurological disease, and understand the pedal manifestations of neurological diseases.
  13. Understand common emergent medical problems and their management.
  14. Ability to perform a complete podiatric biomechanical arthrometric examination, and interpret the results.
  15. Prescribe and institute orthotic or other mechanical therapy (physical therapy, activity modification, exercise therapy, shoe therapy, etc.), based upon findings of a podiatric biomechanical arthrometric examination.
  16. Evaluate, diagnose, prescribe and institute treatment for commonly encountered and mechanically induced injuries or conditions occurring in the lower extremity.
  17. Perform a complete lower extremity examination on pediatric aged patient, comparing developmental milestones to the norm, and identifying common lower extremity injuries and conditions.
  18. Be able to evaluate medical status of a pre-op patient, and recognize and prepare treatment plan for common post-op complications.
  19. Understand concepts of wound healing (both soft tissue and bone), and utilize those concepts to evaluate and manage surgical wounds.
  20. Understand and perform basic surgical skills, including administration of local anesthetics, aseptic techniques, instrumentation, homeostasis techniques suture materials and needle selection, suturing, hand ties, tourniquets application and gowning and gloving.
  21. Understand concepts necessary to determine the indications for forefoot and rearfoot surgical reconstruction procedure, including:
    • a. Pre-operative evaluation and procedure selection.
    • b. Description of the procedure.
    • c. Reasonable postoperative follow-up plan.
  22. Recognize various types of foot and ankle trauma, including fractures, dislocations, sprains, tendon ruptures, and formulates a treatment plan.
  23. Recognize and implement treatment plan for soft tissue or bone infection, including surgical procedure and selection of antibiotic agents.

Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine is an institution organized in conformity with the laws, rules and regulations of the State of Ohio with the authority to confer the degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. The college is accredited by the podiatric accrediting body of the Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME) of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).

Council on Podiatric Medical Education
9312 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20814-1621

Student Organizations

Ohio Podiatric Medical Student Association (OPMSA); American Society of Podiatric Surgeons (ASPS); American Association of Podiatric Practice Management (AAPPM); American Association of Women in Podiatry (AAWP); American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS); Jewish Podiatric Medical Student Association (JPMSA); Podiatric Association for Diabetes (PAD); American Association of Podiatric Sports Medicine (AAPSM); Student National Podiatric Medical Association (SNPMA); Alpha Gamma Kappa (AGK); Kappa Tau Epsilon (KTE); Pi Delta National Podiatric Honor Society; American Society of Podiatric Dermatology (ASPD); Occopodian (yearbook); Basketball; Soccer.

Culminating Requirements

Senior Competency