songl4a

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Why isn't DPM more popular? I am just now aware of the DPM degree and what it entails. 4 years schooling, 3 years residency, and salaries can start around 200-300k. Why don't more people into sports medicine/ortho go this route? Is DPM significantly less autonomous compared to ortho? Wouldn't that be a trade off many would be willing to take to get to do surgery? Average stats are like low-mid 20's ACT and low/mid 3.x GPA.
 

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I don't know much about podiatry but here are two possible reasons:

1. Feet =/= ortho

2. There's supposedly a residency crunch
 
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songl4a

songl4a

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That's true, but many orthopedics are interested in sports medicine and you still get to due sports injury as a podiatrist (limited to lower limbs). I guess that interested group isn't significant though - although DPMs graduate as many ortho residents a year I believe.
 

WedgeDawg

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Yeah, I'm just giving you two reasons I have heard in the past. I'm not personally interested in orthopedics (or podiatry) so I can't give you anything more solid than that, sorry.
 
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giantswing

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Meh. From what I understand the DPM residencies vary highly in quality. Some produce really good surgeons, some... don't. Hello diabetic toes. Also if you don't match into residency, you have no other options. The pods people I've worked with have been stellar, tho.
 
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songl4a

songl4a

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Meh. From what I understand the DPM residencies vary highly in quality. Some produce really good surgeons, some... don't. Hello diabetic toes. Also if you don't match into residency, you have no other options. The pods people I've worked with have been stellar, tho.
Right, but if you could gain admission to med school, you'll most likely be top of your DPM class, hopefully leading to better residencies.
 

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I think DPMs that start at 200k+ are few and far between.
 

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A DPM wanting to go to med school is going to face the question of "Why leave DPM?" "I want to do ortho." will not be a good answer,
 
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songl4a

songl4a

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Right, but if you could gain admission to med school, you'll most likely be top of your DPM class, hopefully leading to better residencies.
Average MCAT for medical school matriculants: 31. Average for DPM, 22-23, with the top DPM school around a 24. What I'm saying is, why wouldn't someone looking to get into ortho as an average medical student simply not just go DPM instead where they will likely be at the top of their class?
 

Rekt

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Average MCAT for medical school matriculants: 31. Average for DPM, 22-23, with the top DPM school around a 24. What I'm saying is, why wouldn't someone looking to get into ortho as an average medical student simply not just go DPM instead where they will likely be at the top of their class?
Because DPM has nothing to do with ortho?
And as Wedge said, I believe they are currently graduating more students than available residency slots.
 
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zeppelinpage4

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I read in another thread that a big downside to podiatry is the length of training. It requires as many years of training as some medical specialties, but it's not as flexible in terms of things you can do with that degree. You can choose between many specialties in med school if you have a change of heart, podiatry school you've committed to one specialty on day one.

Dentistry seems like a better alternative being just 4 years.
 
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bobtheweazel

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Why isn't DPM more popular? 4 years schooling, 3 years residency, and salaries can start around 200-300k.
$200-300 is a bit high for starting pod salaries. That's more along the lines of overall average pod salaries. MGMA 2010 report had average general podiatrist salary at $216,611 and average surgical podiatrist salary at $287,449.

You should check out this thread. It's not too lengthy.
http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/podiatry.1215729/#post-18024614

I don't know much about podiatry but here are two possible reasons:

1. Feet =/= ortho

2. There's supposedly a residency crunch
Because DPM has nothing to do with ortho?
And as Wedge said, I believe they are currently graduating more students than available residency slots.
1. Feet and ankles have bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and lots of them. In most states podiatrists can perform surgeries at the distal tibia/fibula (like 47 states) and in some states up to the tibial tuberosity. Foot and ankle orthopedics may not equal full body orthopedics but it is still orthopedics. The thing is though that there are relatively few podiatrists who fill their time with nothing but foot and ankle orthopedic surgical cases, so it would certainly be a bad idea to go into podiatry hoping for that outcome.

2. There was a residency crunch maybe 10 years ago, but not anymore. Unlike many professions, podiatry self regulates quite well. They put a moratorium on opening new schools, capped class sizes, and initiated a residency genesis program. In this past match, 97.8% of graduating podiatrists got residencies. There is currently about a 4% surplus in active residency spots (compared to graduating class size) with the residency genesis goal of getting to 10% surplus. The thing is that there was a residency shortage not too many years ago and so some of these surplus spots have been going towards working those people who got screwed before through the system. As of this year, there are 36 graduates that do not have residencies. They will be worked through within the next couple of cycles and then the residency system will be at a surplus of spots, plain and simple.

In comparison, the residency match rate for MDs is historically 92-95% and this year it was 93.8% for new MD grads and 80.3% for DOs. So, really, if landing a residency is a concern, then that's an argument for DPM, not against it.

http://www.casprcrip.org/html/casprcrip/pdf/PlacementUpdate.pdf
http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Main-Match-Results-and-Data-2016.pdf

Right, but if you could gain admission to med school, you'll most likely be top of your DPM class, hopefully leading to better residencies.
Perhaps, but not necessarily. I got a 32 MCAT and while I think I'm near the top of my pod class, I don't think I'm at THE TOP. Keep in mind that most of the pod schools are directly affiliated with MD or DO schools. Some pod schools are integrated, with DPM students taking most or all of the basic sciences with DO or MD students and being graded on the same curve. Most of the other schools at least have the same PhD and MD professors for basic sciences as the affiliated MD/DO schools and it is rigorous. In just biochem we're going through 350 slides (9-10 chapters) per week easy (our other current classes aren't as slide/book based and are harder to quantify). General anatomy we still have to learn and dissect full body anatomy, including cross sections from the head down to the toes. A walk in the park it is not.

I think DPMs that start at 200k+ are few and far between.
You are correct, but $200,000 not too far off. The APMA 2015 young physician's survey reports an average salary for podiatrists with 1-5 years of experience was $172,577 including bonuses.

I read in another thread that a big downside to podiatry is the length of training. It requires as many years of training as some medical specialties, but it's not as flexible in terms of things you can do with that degree.
It requires as many years of training as some medical specialties because it is a medical specialty and likewise it is as broad in scope as any other medical specialty. I suppose what you meant is that from the start you know where you'll end up, but that's not necessarily a bad thing either. At least every podiatrist knows that they'll get into a surgical residency and be able to perform at least some amount of surgeries once they're in practice. In MD/DO school, you get some degree of choice but in the end you match where you match, for better or for worse. MDs and especially DOs have to work their butts off for USMLE because how they perform will directly determine which specialties they might get into. For DPMs, as long as you pass everything, you know from the start exactly what kind of residency you'll get into. That coupled with the fact that there are proportionally more residencies to go around for podiatrists takes a lot of stress out of the first four years.

DPMs practice as independent foot and ankle surgeons, with full prescription rights, admitting privileges, etc. To say that a podiatrist wouldn't need the extra time to rotate through family medicine, infectious disease, general surgery, orthopedics, etc. would be to say that no medical specialty needs the extra time to rotate outside of their specialty.

I certainly wouldn't want a doctor or a surgeon working on me unsupervised who went through fewer than four years of medical school or fewer than three years of residency or that completely isolated themself from the rest of medicine during their training.

Education and training like that is nearly priceless and I would say it's a pro of modern podiatry, not a con.
 
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I am now pro-podiatry after reading a very nice podiatry note that appreciated me for the consultation request in their note. I of course appreciated their recs.

Nevertheless, they are not equals.
 
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songl4a

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It requires as many years of training as some medical specialties because it is a medical specialty and likewise it is as broad in scope as any other medical specialty. I suppose what you meant is that from the start you know where you'll end up, but that's not necessarily a bad thing either. At least every podiatrist knows that they'll get into a surgical residency and be able to perform at least some amount of surgeries once they're in practice. In MD/DO school, you get some degree of choice but in the end you match where you match, for better or for worse. MDs and especially DOs have to work their butts off for USMLE because how they perform will directly determine which specialties they might get into. For DPMs, as long as you pass everything, you know from the start exactly what kind of residency you'll get into. That coupled with the fact that there are proportionally more residencies to go around for podiatrists takes a lot of stress out of the first four years.

DPMs practice as independent foot and ankle surgeons, with full prescription rights, admitting privileges, etc. To say that a podiatrist wouldn't need the extra time to rotate through family medicine, infectious disease, general surgery, orthopedics, etc. would be to say that no medical specialty needs the extra time to rotate outside of their specialty.

I certainly wouldn't want a doctor or a surgeon working on me unsupervised who went through fewer than four years of medical school or fewer than three years of residency or that completely isolated themself from the rest of medicine during their training.

Education and training like that is nearly priceless and I would say it's a pro of modern podiatry, not a con.
Why do you think podiatry isn't just a specialty of MD/DO?
 

bobtheweazel

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Why do you think podiatry isn't just a specialty of MD/DO?
Historically, foot specialists were already around in some form or another before there were formalized medical schools as we know them today—so we're talking pre-Flexner report here. Training for foot specialists and general physicians have kinda taken the route of convergent evolution. Today, they're very similar paths, so it's easy to look at them and ask why are they separate, but that wasn't always the case.

So then you may wonder about all these other specialties that ARE under the umbrella of the MD degree. Well, quite simply, many of these weren't very formal specialties 100 years ago. It's all historical. You can look at the American Board of Medical Specialties that was founded in the early 1930s with only dermatology, ObGyn, Ophthalmology, and Otolaryngology. Every other MD specialty wasn't formalized until after that point. Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Radiology, Internal Medicine in the 1930s. Anesthesiology, Plastic Surgery, PM&R in the 1940s. Et cetera. Sure, they could've gone and tried to make separate schools for these different specialties, but logistically it probably made more sense to just keep them under the umbrella of the MD.

And in case you're wondering, the case of dentistry is similar to that of podiatry. It had been around in some form or another prior to the rise of modern medical schools.
 
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JAJE

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I don't know much about podiatry but here are two possible reasons:

1. Feet =/= ortho

I personally know orthopedists who specialize in the foot and ankle. These orthopods completed their MD or DO degree, completed the 5 years of orthopedic residency, then did a fellowship in foot and ankle surgery. Interestingly enough, I also know plenty of podiatrists who completed there DPM degree, completed three years of podiatry residency and also did a fellowship in foot and ankle surgery. Both the orthopods and the podiatrists work in orthopedic groups. They both specialized in the foot and ankle and thus receive the referrals for all the orthopedic pathology related to the foot and ankle. The difference is that the orthopod has privileges to do surgery above the tibial tuberosity. They both do total ankle replacements, they both do ankle fractures, they both do ankle arthroscopy, they both to pantalar fusions, they both to tendon repairs, they both do bunions, they both do hammertoes, they both get paid in RVU's.

I know of a few orthopedic practices who hire DPMs exclusively for their groups foot and ankle pathology. Its a win/win. The orthopedists win because they don't have to do the foot and ankle surgery, they can keep the higher paying knees and hips for themselves. The podiatrists win because they get all the groups referrals for foot and ankle. The group as a whole wins because they are expanding their patient base.