Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), or podiatrists for short, are health professionals that work towards improving the overall health of their patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases associated with the foot and ankle. They treat a variety of conditions associated with the lower extremities and employ innovative treatments to improve the overall well-being of their patients. Podiatrists are often the fist health providers to recognize the symptoms of arthritis, diabetes, or heart disease in their patients, thus they play an important role in the team approach to patient care in modern health practice.
Podiatric medicine is one of the fastest growing professions in America today. The U.S. Dept. of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics) projects a 16% increase in positions for doctors of podiatric medicine by 2014. Podiatric physicians specialize in a variety of areas, ranging from primary care to sports medicine. Almost all podiatrists engage in surgery on a regular basis, an opportunity not available to many primary care providers in other health fields. Clinical venues for podiatric physicians range from solo to group practices, hospitals, faculties of schools of medicine and nursing, the Armed Forces, Veterans’ Affairs, and the U.S. Public Health Service. Work schedules are traditionally more flexible than those of some other medical fields, and podiatric medicine is among the better salaried of the medical professions. A podiatric physician has many opportunities to serve those in need both in this country and around the world, while at the same time maintaining a position of leadership in health field.
Biola offers an excellent educational foundation, and individualized advising/preparation, for any student interested in becoming a podiatrist. The two Biola majors most suited for students interested in a future career in the podiatric medicine field are the:
Biological Sciences (BS) major, and the
Health Sciences (BS) major
Either major will provide an excellent foundation for a future career as a podiatrist. Biola’s excellent science curricula and faculty equip each student with the knowledge base necessary for a future medical career, as evidenced by medical school admission test (MCAT) scores significantly above the national average. To further support students as they prepare for admissions testing, Biola has contracted with one of the leading (national) professional test prep companies to offer convenient on-campus review courses for pre-med and pre-health students. All of the graduate podiatry programs (conferring the DPM degree) require MCAT scores for each applicant and a competitive academic record. Biola graduates have gone on to respected podiatry training programs both on the West Coast and around the nation.
Science instruction and teaching at Biola is always implemented in the context of the sovereignty of God, and as a tool to further explore and appreciate His creation. A distinctive of the pre-podiatry program at Biola University is that it offers excellent preparation for podiatry school as an integrated part of the much larger on-campus Christian community.
Every pre-podiatry student has access to personal advising from BOHPA, the Biola Office of Health Professions Advising. Specifically, every pre-podiatry student has the opportunity for multiple advising appointments with the chief advisor (himself an MD degree graduate from UCLA med) who has direct experience with the podiatric medicine field.
Every pre-podiatry student is eligible to enroll in the upper division clinical shadowing program (BIOS460) at Biola University. This semester-long experience for juniors and seniors provides weekly or biweekly opportunities to observe and interact directly with a podiatrist seeing patients in clinical practice. Clinical shadowing allows students to explore the podiatric medicine field, gain valuable clinical experience, provide sources for letters of recommendation, and make decisions about future career paths.
Biola has a wonderful peer-to-peer community for pre-health students in the Health Careers Club (HCC). The HCC provides opportunities for like-minded students to gather, fellowship, learn, and share the pre-health career journey together. Student officers of the HCC plan monthly activities and presentations directly related to the medical field. Speakers from various specialties are brought in to discuss their clinical work and topics in their field. Christian professionals and sponsoring missions organizations are also scheduled for students interested in short-term and long-term missions. Unlike some of the larger state schools, the Health Careers Club at Biola University ensures that no student has to undertake the challenging pre-health career journey alone.
The Biola majors recommended (and ideally suited) for pre-podiatrist students are:
Additional Career Info
To learn more about a career as a dentist, explore the “Podiatric Medicine” tab at www.explorehealthcareers.org