Candidates for admission to Podiatric Medical Schools are expected to complete baccalaureate degrees before admission. As with institutions granting MD (medical doctor) and DO (doctor of osteopathy) degrees, the colleges will consider candidates who show unusual promise and have completed a minimum of 90 semester hours at accredited undergraduate colleges or universities. About 95 percent of all first-year students entering the colleges of podiatric medicine possess baccalaureate degrees, and about 10 percent have master’s degrees.
Applicants for admission are required to complete the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) as a prerequisite. The course of instruction leading to the DPM degree is four years in length. The first two years are devoted largely to classroom instruction and laboratory work in the basic medical sciences, such as anatomy, physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, and pathology. During the third and fourth years, students concentrate on courses in the clinical sciences, gaining experience in the college clinics, community clinics, and accredited hospitals. Clinical courses include general diagnosis (history taking, physical examination, clinical laboratory procedures, gait analysis, biomechanics, and diagnostic radiology), therapeutics (pharmacology, physical medicine, orthotics, shoes, and prosthetics, surgery, anesthesia, and operative podiatric medicine.
After completing the four-year course and receiving the DPM degree, the graduate is required to complete postdoctoral work before state licensure.