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Am I crazy to choose Podiatry?

Discussion in 'Pre-Podiatry Students' started by Nashfan, Dec 5, 2012.

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  1. Nashfan

    Nashfan

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    SDNers I need your input. Two broken ankles "helped" me to become interested in podiatry. After shadowing several podiatrists, my interest in podiatry has only grown stronger. However, I have a 3.9 g.p.a and got a 32 on the MCAT. After doing some research into the pod schools it seems that only one person in the country entered podiatry school with a better MCAT than me in 2011. Am I crazy for wanting to do podiatry? Everyone tells me that I should go the MD route. Is anyone else out there in my situation? Am I wasting all of the hard work that went into getting those stats by going into podiatry?

    If I were to do podiatry, I feel like I should at least use my stats to get me some scholarships. Which school offers the best scholarship?
  2. Ankle Breaker

    Ankle Breaker Senior Member

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    Instead of doing what everyone else wants you to do why don't you go after what YOU want?

    If your heart is in podiatry then that is the first step to becoming a great podiatrist. Sure your stats are great. On paper it looks like you would get accepted to medical school. It's not guaranteed you would match into orthopedics or one of the "great lifestyle" ROAD specialties though. Would you be ok with that?

    With podiatry your fate is at least sealed. You will become a surgeon but more importantly you will be able to treat everything and anything that has to do with the lower extremity (diabetic wounds, biomechanical problems, dermatological problems, etc). You will be the jack of all trades, master of none. Or you can specifically choose to work primarily in a sub-specialty of podiatry (based on residency training or fellowship training). Sure other specialties (ortho) or professions (nurses) might be able to do some of the things you do but they can't do ALL the things you could do as trained podiatrist. A podiatrist is an important member of any healthcare team and can be very beneficial to a multi-specialty practice looking for someone to handle all their lower extremity care.
  3. Shinobiz11

    Shinobiz11 A boy has the right to dream

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    I understand where you're coming from. I have potential to go to MD/DO as well (well until I get my MCAT) but I just felt podiatry is a better fit for me. I honestly can't see myself in any MD/DO specialty, the hours, the not the patients, etc. I guess I mostly enjoy the variety of podiatry, as opposed to ortho where you would primarily do surgery. I know its not a popular decision and people look down on the profession, but if you're happy doing it, its great. I personally see them as FM's of the feet who also do surgery. I love how you have that relationship with your patient and you can make them feel better because you see them every month or couple of months. Most surgeons do their job on a person once and they might not ever see them again (except for follow-ups). Its cool though, I'm happy with what I chose; promoting this profession is now a personal goal of mine.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  4. Ankle Breaker

    Ankle Breaker Senior Member

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    Also, don't get into podiatry for the "scholarship money". With your stats you would get a large amount of scholarship money from any school.

    Seriously consider if podiatry is for you and if it is something that you really want for your career. I think it's great you have been shadowing. If you still have any doubts please continue to shadow other podiatrists and continue to get more perspective about the profession.

    Every residency program is 3 years in length now. As a third year student myself, who spent almost 1.5 years researching residency programs all over the USA before participating in the clerkship process, I can confidently tell you that there are great residency programs all over the US. Unfortunately I don't have enough time or enough $$$ to travel to visit them all. This means recent grads of podiatry schools are getting some of the best and most comprehensive medical and surgical training that the profession as ever seen. On top of all of that, there are more and more fellowship programs that offer unique training experiences to further enhance training in specific podiatric sub-specialties (sports med, podopediatrics, research, dermatology, advanced reconstructive surgery, etc).
  5. cpinkows

    cpinkows

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    I'm applying md and pod this cycle with a 30 3.5, so kinda in the same position, just not on the same level lol. Im only a premed/pod but from what i see, the pay per hour is roughly on par for most md specialties, you get a balance between surgeries and clinical, if you maintain your academic momentum you could find yourself in a top residency program and work your way into whatever your interested in (ortho, multi speciality, academia, etc.), malpractice roughly a fifth of that of an orthopedic surgeon, and it seems to truly interest you. The draw backs from my limited exposure seems to be a large amount of prejudice in and out of the medical community of varying degrees (seems to be improving though in a similar manner to what DO's dealt with a few decades back), inconsistent state laws on scope of practice, possible issues with medicare (not 100 sure about this, could be heresay but not sure), and the fact your locked in with it if you change your mind down the road. Would be interested to see what any practicing pods have to say.
  6. feet2017

    feet2017

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    I don't have the exact numbers, but from looking at others who have gotten accepted this cycle the older schools give the most scholarship money. Newer schools such as western, azpod, and dmu do not offer as much as the older schools. Other members who interviewed at the other schools will probably chime in with more knowledge.
  7. Robert De Niro

    Robert De Niro

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    Kent gives half tuition if you have a 4.0 after your first year. From my understanding the highest amount they give out to first year students is $10,000, which is about 1/3 Of tuition. But if there was ever a first year student to get half off, it would be the OP though. Great stats!
  8. SLCpod

    SLCpod

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    CSPM will give you a $20,000 scholarship per year if you maintain a 3.0 in pod school. Wow. That would mean that you would be paying $15,000 each year. Plus you would probably apply for other scholarships and get them. Wow.

    As said in above posts, there will probably be MD/DO schools that will give you a nice scholarship too.
  9. Cascade11

    Cascade11

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    Don't make decisions based on what other people want because 1. those people probably don't know what modern podiatry is and 2. they are not you, don't have your dreams, aspirations, expectations, needs. If you do choose podiatry, educate them about what the field really is about (not being a manicurist in a lab coat)
    Don't feel like your hard work in college and on the MCAT are wasted, many of us have high stats, we just don't create "chance me" threads because we know we are good to go for the cycle. Podiatry is a right fit and that is why we are pursuing it; I can get into other professional schools easy, but I don't have a desire to apply there just because I meet the requirements. And of course the upside of being above average are the scholarships which always help people (given that you maintain great performance in pod school). For NYCPM you will probably get 30K (little over semester's worth of money) Don't kid yourself into thinking that just because the average stats are lower than for med schools it means that the people are dumber and the curriculum is not hard. Stats are just stats.
  10. MaxillofacialMN

    MaxillofacialMN Osteopathic Foot Dentist

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    I thought that too, but I think the podiatry handbook might get rid of some outliers. I PERSONALLY know of 4 people that are going to pod school next year with >30 MCATs. Given that that handbook says that some schools cap out at like 28, doesn't quite jive with my personal experience.

    Anyways, there are at least 4 people (3 of whom are going to DMU next year :cool: ) with a situation similar to yours. I cannot tell you how many of my medical school friends, and some professors at medical schools encouraged me to go for the "name brand." But, podiatry is an awesome field, so don't feel like you are "wasting" your scores by going into a profession that doesn't require what you have earned, because intelligence is never wasted!
  11. CapCrunch

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  12. msion

    msion

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    You are not crazy, the stats is a more of a self-rewarding proof that you worked hard and have what it takes to become a professional. That being said, you keep that attitude and work ethic then you will be successfull in any field. I was initially thinking about going for the MD route after my professors/relatives/friends tried to talk me out of podiatry. But then you know what? It's a small field and it's certainly getting more attention now. My decision to pursue podiatry is backed by the high quality training that the residents are having nowadays, and I am definitely excited for what I will be doing.:rolleyes:

    Plus I'm a fan of the Walking Dead, so I think podiatrists are more useful than any type of doctors during a zombie apocalypse. Think about it, people need to run, and pods also know how to deal with infectious diseases. :cool:
  13. pacpod

    pacpod Who Dey! Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Gold Donor

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    OP, definitely do what you believe you will enjoy the most. If you became the world's greatest neurosurgeon (for example) but hated it, would the "prestige" be worth it if your real passion was something else? This same question could be asked but trade out neurosurgeon for podiatrist as well.

    I interviewed at both MD and DPM schools but had decided podiatry was for me. I shadowed everything under the sun specialty-wise and kept coming back to podiatry. I love the mix between medical management of problems AND surgical correction of them. I felt this provided the mix I desired the best.

    It really does come down to what you think fits best for your interests. You could even continue to apply and interview at both if you desire if you wish to keep your options open. That is what I ended up doing.

    I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck in your applications! :)
  14. rushrhees

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    My parents are strongly against DPM too, i think it might be vestiges from the days when DPMs was a lot less organized, some did no residency some did extensive residencies, pre internet it was pretty much impossible to find this out. Anyway do what you feel is a better fit for you, it is your life no one elses. MD/DO does offer great challenges and to be blunt you do have much more earnings potential going that route. Just weigh the two and if you fell DPM is for you go with it, All of us here are likely going to be working for 35-40 years, that is an awful long time doing something you do not like.
  15. dyk343

    dyk343

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    I was MD/DO vs PA vs DPT vs DPM

    Obviously DPM won, and I didnt apply to any schools but DPM schools. I'm happy with my decision. Many people in my class were also the same. I also do not believe the reported MCAT score. In fact, I have first hand knowledge to believe that number is not correct, at least for the class of 2014.

    Also, A side note. Sure some people get in with lower than ideal scores. But a very high percentage of those students fail out. The attrition rate for podiatry schools is atrocious. I'm curious what the average undergraduate GPA is of graduating students vs admitted students. I would expect it to be much higher.
  16. Ferocity

    Ferocity

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    Bingo. We've lost quite a few people already and we still have a handful of people getting D's on the exams.
  17. dtrack22

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    There are several people on these boards with a better MCAT score than you, so I wouldn't say you are wasting hard work. As far as I know "they" are happy with their decision.

    I don't think you're crazy. But the big drawback to Podiatry is that you have to be sure you want to become a Podiatrist. There is no flexibility. On my IM rotation a few MD students still weren't sure what they wanted to do and there really wasn't any pressure to figure it out anytime real soon. That can be nice, especially if you find multiple specialties/practice types that interest you. Of course, you could tank the USMLE, get stuck in IM and hate your life...

    I'd take Ankle Breaker's advice and make sure you do plenty of shadowing in multiple clinics, covering multiple medical specialties and then decide if you like Podiatry that much more than everything else. If you do, go for it.
  18. CapCrunch

    CapCrunch

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    Out of curiosity, how/did you educate them on the field of podiatry?
  19. dudestheman90

    dudestheman90

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  20. hughesn2

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    I am currently a senior and I am nearly in the same boat. For my first year at college I was researching what I wanted to do, but during that year my advisor was an idiot and told me that DPM school was harder to get into than PA school. So for the next 2.5 yrs I only aimed and researched PA schools. Entering this fall my GPA was a 3.35 but then didn't realize that my biochem and physio classes are harder than med school classes and the class average is a 2.25, so my GPA is gonna be around a 2.28 after this semester.

    So I started to research DPM vs. PA and finally realized that my advisor was a complete idiot and lied his @$$ off to me. I wanted to go into Podiatry throughout all of HS and my advisor told me that you needed at least a 3.5 GPA just to be given an interview, now to find out he must have been on crack.

    Now my issue is that I don't know how to tell my parents that I would have to take 4yrs in school compared to 2.5 yrs for PA school. My issue is more that I don't want my parents to freak out that they now have to pay for more school. Also, I know I can probably get accepted into Kent State, Barry, and Scholls. Yet PA schools don't really explain what their competitive GPA is to get accepted.
    During this Christmas/Semester break I plan on talking with my two neighbors, one who is my podiatrist and the other a PA, to ask if their practice is moving in the right direction. I just feel like it is a burden on my parents to be paying $120K for 4yrs compared to $60-$80K for PA school.
    So my issue is DPM vs. PA school and hoping my parents accept it.
  21. dudestheman90

    dudestheman90

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  22. hughesn2

    hughesn2

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    Which is why I said I was planning on switching over to DPM. PA programs are getting harder to get accepted into b/c many more people are trying to go into PA schools instead of D.O or MD professions.
  23. dtrack22

    dtrack22

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    In theory this is true. The problem in "medicine" is that the foot is largely ignored by our MD/DO friends. I don't really see why this would change anytime soon. Podiatrists have proven to save healthcare $$ and our education and training is finally (for now) uniform.

    My experience is limited but I have had to explain to IM residents and an attending why ortho wasn't going to operate on one of the patients on our IM service...after going through an explanation on how to read the x-ray, primary vs. secondary bone healing, and AO principles of reduction and fixation. We have also had chronic ulcers that PCP's weren't able to get healed simply because they didn't understand what we would consider basic biomechanic principles of the foot and subsequent offloading techniques.

    It's not that many "physicians" can't manage foot/ankle pathology. They absolutely can. My experience is that they have no desire to and really haven't been trained to do so as effectively as we have. Podiatry is no different than any other medical specialty once you get into the patient care aspect. It only exists here, on SDN...and the occasional d*** swinging contest with ortho at a handful of hospitals....
  24. dudestheman90

    dudestheman90

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  25. Textbookversion

    Textbookversion

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    Why are your parents paying for your professional schooling? Student loans exist and you are an adult. Shouldn't you be financially independent?
  26. Ferocity

    Ferocity

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    Are you bitter that his parents are willing to pitch in about $80k for professional school?

    Take the $80k, use federal loans for the remainder.
  27. Ferocity

    Ferocity

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    le Sigh... :rolleyes:
  28. dtrack22

    dtrack22

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    If you are making 70-80k as a DPM, you are doing something very wrong. Very, very wrong. The problem with becoming a RN or PA, speaking purely financially, is that you are going to almost always be capped in terms of income potential. In almost every case you are salaried and will therefore always take home less money than you produced, minus overhead...why would any practice or hospital hire you if they couldn't make $$ off you?

    150k seems to be a very reasonable starting salary as a DPM, when you speak to new practicioners and current residents. I would bet that's near the top of the PA pay scale.

    There are plenty of reasons to choose one profession over the other, but in terms of earning potential it's not even close.
  29. zdlamkin8195

    zdlamkin8195

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    I would agree. I haven't started DPM school yet, but I have plenty of real world experience...
    PA's in surgery can make really good money, but every PA that I have spoken with tells me to go DPM bc they hate not having the privilege of being an independent practitioner. You must remember being a PA is like being a permanent resident, so when you are 50 years old and taking orders from a 30 year old hot headed Doc - just remember that it is what you signed up for! Also there is a push for PA's (and CRNA's) to get a doctorate in the future and you could be in a similar situation to the old school master level PT's.
    I also feel that just because PA school is shorter, doesn't mean that it's a good thing. I know many young PA's that come out and are LOST when they first get to the real world. Many have even state that they wish school was longer and now they even have PA residencies available...
    MD/Do will be very similar as DPM with a possible larger upside as far as money goes, but as stated earlier - what's the point if you hate your career/specially...just investigate each specialty and do what YOU want to do!

    DPM will not make you rich, but it seems that it CAN give you a great career...just my 2¢. Good luck on choosing...
  30. hughesn2

    hughesn2

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    I do see what you mean though, but the only issue with the response is that yeah I would like to be a PA b/c of the shortened schooling, but the problem is the getting accepted part. It was a very well thought out and well written response which I mostly agree with. Becoming a PA is one of the highest growing profession, but which is also why it has risen its acceptance grades compared to Podiatry's lower grade acceptance. Well, I wanted to be a podiatrist for years but when I got to college my advisor was an idiot and lied to tell me that Podiatry school was harder than PA school. Too bad I found out this was complete BS with just 17 credits left in college. Would probably be graduating in the Spring not next Fall if I knew this b/c I have taken at least 8 credits that I NEEDED for all PA schools but not required for my major.
    But yeah. Podiatry wouldn't be a backup plan just b/c it is in the medical field. But it is something I have been interested in for years.
    Sorry for commenting on nearly all post, I just want to put my word in to help others
  31. hughesn2

    hughesn2

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    So yeah I am taking out student loans. So your issue with me is that I have parents that are willing to help out their son because they know he is responsible enough to pay them back. I know that after I graduate from whatever graduate or medical type school I will have a duty to pay back my parents.
    Yeah, Podiatry School isn't gonna be covered in full by student loans.

    Chill out dude! I am not sponging off my parents, I am simply going to pay back them and the loans because I don't want to be in debt for so much longer than normal medical students
  32. cpinkows

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    Just to clarify, you would rather get a BSRN than a DPM? or are you referring to NP and CRNA?
  33. dudestheman90

    dudestheman90

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  34. MaxillofacialMN

    MaxillofacialMN Osteopathic Foot Dentist

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    If my parents wanted to pay for pod school, I'd let them... It'd be stupid not to...
  35. stones187

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    I too am a recent graduate about to choose between DPM and DO. I have basically read every word in the pre-pod and pre-do forums for the last two years. However, I just do not understand all the hesitancy towards podiatry. Why does podiatry have such little interest?! I believe if you have the drive and dedication, either field can bring happiness and money. Is podiatry just that unknown for other undergrad pre-meds? To me, it seems like a career full of diversity and endless opportunity. I am torn because I like so many aspects of podiatry as well osteopathic medicine.
  36. Ankle Breaker

    Ankle Breaker Senior Member

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    Podiatry will always be a back burner choice simply because the total amount of podiatrists in the US is about 14,000-15,000. That's it. Our profession is extremely small but yet has made leaps and bounds in education and training within the last 10-15 years. You talk to any podiatrist right now and they would all agree that the level of current podiatry school education is more demanding and complete then anything they ever had back then.

    I've performed pelvic and rectal exams on standardized patients just like my fellow medical school classmates. I've taken gross anatomy, pathology, essentials of clinical reasoning I & II with my medical school classmates. The 2nd year medical school students shadow me in our Foot and Ankle clinic and I show them how a history and physical exam is conducted. I will be doing rotations in Emergency medicine, general surgery, and internal medicine with other medical students in Chicago area hospitals. These are the experiences CURRENT podiatry students are getting in our education.

    Things that will always hold podiatry back is the general lack of interest in the foot. Humans don't like feet! They would rather try and be a specialist in some other part of the body. Maybe they are grossed out by feet...who knows. I've heard some medical students state that podiatrists don't save lives...which is clearly false. Why?

    Because podiatrists can prevent lower extremity amputations with proper wound care management or have the educational background to at least identify patients who are "at risk" for ulceration and properly medically manage them through conservative care. There have been many studies linking amputations to increased mortality rates. If pods prevent amputations then we save lives...it's that simple.

    Another thing that holds our profession back is inadequate promotion of the profession. It's just not good enough. We don't have the man power to promote the profession on every single college campus in America. There are also no tv shows promoting podiatry but you would find plenty these days (i.e. House, Grey's Anatomy, Scrubs, etc) promoting other specialties of medicine.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  37. dyk343

    dyk343

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    I'm thinking the same thing you are. Pretty familiar writing style. It's sad that I am now labeling every new poster this way, but in reality.... it's probably true.
  38. stones187

    stones187

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    Ferocity and dyk343, do you regret going into podiatry?

    Ankle Breaker, thank you for your response.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  39. dyk343

    dyk343

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    No I love it. Woke up this morning. Drove to the surgery center. Austin procedure then 20 minutes later assisted on a Lapidus on a different patient. Went for a quick lunch. Then off to clinic in the afternoon. Casted orthotics, heel pain, neuropathic ulceration, a few nails, and ordered an MRI for a very perplexing heel pain patient which we will further work up when the MRI comes back.

    This is a private office. First surgery was at 8AM and we were done with our day by 5:30 PM. Not crazy hours. Good variety. Very thankful patients. The "worst" or "boring" part of my day was about 30 minutes of cutting nails. But it's also fun to chat with the patients. They always have good things to listen to while cutting their nails.
  40. Ferocity

    Ferocity

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    Not at all. Here's the problem on SDN and this is relevant to any 'review' of anything. When somebody has a negative review, they'll tell 20 other people. However, when somebody has a positive review, they'll only tell a few people. You'll notice that we have a few trolls on the forum that continuously trash podiatry. We suspect that this person probably failed out of school and is quite bitter these days. Some of these trolls to be weary of go by the name of Cizzen, Duped, or Traum. They make new forum names every now and then after eventually getting banned. Anything he says I would take with a grain of salt.

    Anyways, it's friday night! So I'm gonna go back to studying now... :(

    Carry on for podiatry. :thumbup:
  41. CapCrunch

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    .
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  42. Ferocity

    Ferocity

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    Podiatry Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    Caddypod is just too obvious. Of course of course, there's no confirmation. We need more proof, much more proof.

    I HAS A PODIATRIC!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2012
  43. Ankle Breaker

    Ankle Breaker Senior Member

    Joined:
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    Podiatrist SDN 2+ Year Member
    You must be extremely bored with studying. Unfortunately I'm in the same boat.
  44. Ferocity

    Ferocity

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    Yes, when I has a studying of the podiatric, some boredom certainly can occur. :smuggrin:
  45. billBOB213

    billBOB213

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    Jun 29, 2012
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    Status:
    Pre-Podiatry

    Totally agree:thumbup:
    I think it's absurd when people bring up the 70-80K as a starting salary (maybe some people are, so I shouldn't say absurd, but I don't know of any and all the pods I shadowed don't know any either). I shadowed 2 pods (one private practice, the other in a group of 6 pods)...all made well over 150K but most started out at about that if not more. The average salary gets brought down by part time DPM's (as has been said before on many threads on SDN) and I think if you have good business sense/skills you will be fine.

    I love the fact that podiatry is specialty program right from the start. I want to be the expert on a part of the body, have a skill that no one can take from me and be able to make a good living. I am in sales right now and have been for the past 6 years. With the economy it has been tough, you have to scrap and stay hungry every day, but in 15 years I don't want to be 45 and working in sales with a bunch of kids out of college. I want a skill that is sought after and needed. One that I can help people with each day and see results. Podiatry is such a rewarding field and I am very glad to be going into it.:D
  46. ldsrmdude

    ldsrmdude Pod Mod 'Dude Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Gold Donor

    Joined:
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    I don't know if those figures are that crazy. Seeing some senior residents go through the process, I saw that there are a lot of those offers out there. One graduating resident I know took one of those jobs because it was in a location he wanted to be in and there weren't many options there. Plus, a lot of times when people talk about salary they are talking about base salary without incentives such as production bonuses, malpractice, etc. I think 80k as a base with a good production incentive structure and some paid malpractice, vacation, retirement, etc is very realistic and far from absurd. If you are well trained and willing to move to wherever you can find the best opportunity, more starting salary is not out of the question from what I have seen.
  47. Ferocity

    Ferocity

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    Status:
    Podiatry Student
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    The mod thing didn't work out for you?

    Funny how our posts got deleted regarding Cizzen and Duped being Caddypod's duplicate aliases, yet neither account has been permabanned yet. :rolleyes:
  48. Ankle Breaker

    Ankle Breaker Senior Member

    Joined:
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    Star City
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    Podiatrist SDN 2+ Year Member
    Nope I've been removed from moderating because I accidently broke a non-disculosure clause in the volunteer contract. It's not going to really stop me from posting here so it's not that big of a deal.

    There are bigger tragedies in the world.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  49. Ferocity

    Ferocity

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    SDN 2+ Year Member
    :laugh:

    You get instantly removed from mod status while Caddypod still uses his unbanned duplicate accounts to troll as hard as possible. Shame.
  50. dyk343

    dyk343

    Joined:
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    Resident [Any Field]
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    Lets not turn this thread into a pissing match....

    Edit: and in reality it doesnt matter if Traum/Caddyshack/Cizzen/Duped or whatever name he has that day is banned. He will just sign up under a new name. At least when he posts under these names we already know who he is.

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