Podiatrists provide medical care for people with foot, ankle, and lower leg problems. They diagnose illnesses, treat injuries, and perform surgery involving the lower extremities.
Most podiatrists work in offices of podiatry, either on their own or with other podiatrists. Some work in group practices with other physicians or specialists. Others work in private and public hospitals and outpatient care centers.
How to Become a Podiatrist
Podiatrists must earn a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree and complete a 3-year residency program. Every state requires podiatrists to be licensed.
Employment of podiatrists is projected to grow 14 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Continued growth in the demand for medical and surgical care of the foot and ankle will stem from the aging population. Podiatrists will also be needed to treat patients with foot and ankle conditions caused by chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity.
This occupation supported 10,700 jobs in 2012 and 9,600 jobs in 2014, reflecting a decline of 10.3%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 22.4% in 2022 to 13,100 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 11,100, compared with an observed value of 9,600, 13.5% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 13.1% in 2024 to 11,000 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 13,500 jobs for 2024, 22.7% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.