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Is podiatry likely to become more competitive in the future?

El-Rami

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The question is exactly what the title asks. I was wondering what thoughts that podiatry students and podiatrists had regarding whether or not their field will get more attention and interest among pre-meds in the future and become more competitive to gain entry into. Currently, roughly 1000 people apply every year for about 600 seats spread across 9 schools of podiatric medicine across the country, giving an overall acceptance rate of about 60%, which is high considering that it's a high-paying field in medicine. For comparison, pharmacy has an 80-90% overall acceptance rate, less than half the average podiatrist net income, and an extremely poor job market; yet there are a lot more people interested in pharmacy than podiatry. MD schools, by comparison, have acceptance rates of 1-10%.

My personal feeling that it will become more competitive, just as DO schools have become more competitive, when more pre-meds learn about podiatry. I literally did not learn about podiatry as a pre-med. It seems that podiatry has a good future and will get more recognition from society at large as attitudes toward podiatrists change for the better.
 
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PTPuser

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I can see it increase in competition, due to the fact that you are a physician that can practice medicine and surgery. For those who want that (me) it's a solid option rather than end up practicing FM /IM which I don't want. What will keep it from sky rocketing is the fact that it's feet and average american seems to have this fear and disdain for feet...I don't get it but whatever.

Plus, with increase representation like the show my feet is killing me, that's gonna drive up the interest in the field also.
 
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Dochopeful13

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I can see it increase in competition, due to the fact that you are a physician that can practice medicine and surgery. For those who want that (me) it's a solid option rather than end up practicing FM /IM which I don't want. What will keep it from sky rocketing is the fact that it's feet and average american seems to have this fear and disdain for feet...I don't get it but whatever.

Plus, with increase representation like the show my feet is killing me, that's gonna drive up the interest in the field also.
Don’t you think the low salaries will keep people from flocking to podiatry?
 
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PTPuser

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Don’t you think the low salaries will keep people from flocking to podiatry?

The thing with salary is that it varies widely based on the type of practice one is in. You're not gonna pulling ortho F/A money but it's compatible to peds and FM etc. 2015 MGMA shows north of 220K for a medical pod and 290K for surgical pod. But again, it can vary widely.
 
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Dochopeful13

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The thing with salary is that it varies widely based on the type of practice one is in. You're not gonna pulling ortho F/A money but it's compatible to peds and FM etc. 2015 MGMA shows north of 220K for a medical pod and 290K for surgical pod. But again, it can vary widely.
I keep hearing on here that most people get pp jobs and make like $120k~. Who knows how accurate that is though.
 
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PTPuser

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I keep hearing on here that most people get pp jobs and make like $120k~. Who knows how accurate that is though.

Alot of pod attending are saying that $120 is the based pay with incentives for productivity and bonus etc but i guess varies based on MSG or PP. I'm not too sure how it truly all works.

I'm going into this as if worst case scenario I'll have to take out a SBL, bit the bullet and open my own shop.
 
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Dochopeful13

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The question is exactly what the title asks. I was wondering what thoughts that podiatry students and podiatrists had regarding whether or not their field will get more attention and interest among pre-meds in the future and become more competitive to gain entry into. Currently, roughly 1000 people apply every year for about 600 seats spread across 9 schools of podiatric medicine across the country, giving an overall acceptance rate of about 60%, which is high considering that it's a high-paying field in medicine. For comparison, pharmacy has an 80-90% overall acceptance rate, less than half the average podiatrist net income, and an extremely poor job market; yet there are a lot more people interested in pharmacy than podiatry. MD schools, by comparison, have acceptance rates of 1-10%.

My personal feeling that it will become more competitive, just as DO schools have become more competitive, when more pre-meds learn about podiatry. I literally did not learn about podiatry as a pre-med. It seems that podiatry has a good future and will get more recognition from society at large as attitudes toward podiatrists change for the better.
What salary figures have you heard for podiatry?
 
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DexterMorganSK

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It 'can' become competitive if more pre-meds know about the field; exposure to the public is still an issue.
Not many students want to specialize in one area from day 1.
For many people, medical school/doctors are just the 'MDs,' so another area that needs help, this will take time though as more Pods work in hospitals and are in the public views more.
 
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Reverdin green

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I didn’t know DO existed until my Junior year in college. I didn’t know Podiatry existed until my masters. This means a lot of people don’t know about podiatry and those that know think it is a specialty after MD or DO school. When people become aware of it, competition will skyrocket as there are only 9 schools
 
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Dochopeful13

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I didn’t know DO existed until my Junior year in college. I didn’t know Podiatry existed until my masters. This means a lot of people don’t know about podiatry and those that know think it is a specialty after MD or DO school. When people become aware of it, competition will skyrocket as there are only 9 schools
Idk I really think podiatry is an awesome field. However, all the negativity on here regarding salaries and jobs I think really scares people away. Go look at the attending forum it’s depressing.
 
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PTPuser

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Idk I really think podiatry is an awesome field. However, all the negativity on here regarding salaries and jobs I think really scares people away. Go look at the attending forum it’s depressing.

The posts on here are depressing. You're not wrong about that. But I think the biggest take away from this process is being completely honest with yourself and what you want out of life.

For example, for me, It offers another chance to becoming a doctor and being able to practice to my full scope without the ceiling affect like NP / PA which arguably can potentially make more and have some freedom to move around with more job prospect.

That wider scope of practice and the gamut of tools in my box that I can used to treat F/A and being able to be a specialist in my own right is more important to me then say making over 500K a year. Don't get me wrong, I love money and would love to make a sh8T ton so I can spoil my loved ones and live that luxury style but I know that it's very difficult to do as a pod and I am hoping I will make enough where I can live comfortably and pay off my loans without struggling.

And being a career changer with previous experience in healthcare, I can wholeheartdly say that I rather go this route than be an NP/PA/CRNA even if it means I might struggle a little bit more after residency to establish myself.
 
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Dochopeful13

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The posts on here are depressing. You're not wrong about that. But I think the biggest take away from this process is being completely honest with yourself and what you want out of life.

For example, for me, It offers another chance to becoming a doctor and being able to practice to my full scope without the ceiling affect like NP / PA which arguably can potentially make more and have some freedom to move around with more job prospect.

That wider scope of practice and the gamut of tools in my box that I can used to treat F/A and being able to be a specialist in my own right is more important to me then say making over 500K a year. Don't get me wrong, I love money and would love to make a sh8T ton so I can spoil my loved ones and live that luxury style but I know that it's very difficult to do as a pod and I am hoping I will make enough where I can live comfortably and pay off my loans without struggling.

And being a career changer with previous experience in healthcare, I can wholeheartdly say that I rather go this route than be an NP/PA/CRNA even if it means I might struggle a little bit more after residency to establish myself.
Awesome post! I’m a career changer as well in my mid thirties. I have a wife and kids so I’m really limited to what DO schools I could apply to. Crna is a great gig. Def can make 200k plus and they can practice independently depending on the state. The only thing that stinks if you have to do floor nursing for a few years which I totally don’t want to do.
 
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owl1999

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Idk I really think podiatry is an awesome field. However, all the negativity on here regarding salaries and jobs I think really scares people away. Go look at the attending forum it’s depressing.

Yeah if I didn't know a pod irl and just looked here I'd be scared away too. You have to realize it's a very small sample, there's literally like 5 people that make every post on the attending forum and even then the forum is basically dead 95% of the time. You're better off talking to pods irl or looking at other sources, SDN really isn't that useful for anyone that isn't a pre-pod.
 
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El-Rami

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What salary figures have you heard for podiatry?

Depends on the source. I've heard 100-120k/year for pods barely out of their training if they work for another podiatrist. I've also heard 200-300k/yr depending on if you work in a hospital/outpatient multiple-specialty/F&A surgical clinic, with the higher income being if you do more surgical than general stuff. I've also heard of podiatrists making partner at a surgical clinic and bringing in about 400k/yr, although those people likely are paying on a small business loan that they took out in order to purchase a stake in the surgical center.

That's much better considering that pharmacists are currently barely making $50/hr for 32 days/week and have a nightmare of a job market to contend with (0% BLS growth until 2028).

Actually, even the 120k/year isn't a bad starting salary. It should be pointed out that base salary isn't the same thing as total income.
 
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msion

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I would say in general any procedure based specialty will make more.
It's true that a lot of PP podiatry jobs are not offering a fair package to new associates.
More and more people are going with hospital groups, or in group practices. This trend will continue. Solo practices are just not common anymore.

For pre-pods who want some motivation, here is the figure for Kaiser Permanente if you want to be in California.
Northern California: Close to 290k start for surgical position, full benefits, also a low interest loan that may help with purchase of a home. Partner in 3 years.
Southern California: Around 240k start. Benefit package is not as good as that of NorCal and partner is not an option. But overall not a bad deal.
Non-surgical positions: around 200-230k. Call duties can range from none to moderate depending on which location you work at.

VAs: Looking at 150k start with benefits. First three years are probably when your salary is gonna jump the most. Can expect 200k after 3-5 years, tops at 240k.

Community Health Centers: anywhere from 130 - 180k. Usually non-surgical. You may do some in-clinic procedures though.

Get good grades, study hard, be a good doctor and surgeon, and things will take care of itself.

Overall I am cautiously optimistic about the future of this profession.
 
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Dochopeful13

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I would say in general any procedure based specialty will make more.
It's true that a lot of PP podiatry jobs are not offering a fair package to new associates.
More and more people are going with hospital groups, or in group practices. This trend will continue. Solo practices are just not common anymore.

For pre-pods who want some motivation, here is the figure for Kaiser Permanente if you want to be in California.
Northern California: Close to 290k start for surgical position, full benefits, also a low interest loan that may help with purchase of a home. Partner in 3 years.
Southern California: Around 240k start. Benefit package is not as good as that of NorCal and partner is not an option. But overall not a bad deal.
Non-surgical positions: around 200-230k. Call duties can range from none to moderate depending on which location you work at.

VAs: Looking at 150k start with benefits. First three years are probably when your salary is gonna jump the most. Can expect 200k after 3-5 years, tops at 240k.

Community Health Centers: anywhere from 130 - 180k. Usually non-surgical. You may do some in-clinic procedures though.

Get good grades, study hard, be a good doctor and surgeon, and things will take care of itself.

Overall I am cautiously optimistic about the future of this profession.
Wow that’s not too shabby. How difficult is it to get a gig at kaiser? Someone told me that you need to do a residency there.
 
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El-Rami

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Where did you get that number? I thought it is about 40%.
50k apply and about 20k get in.

You could be right about that. I will just state for reference my previous alma mater has an acceptance rate of 7%, and it was a state school. Acceptance rates for the MD schools in the US and Canada are insanely low. I have regularly seen single-digit acceptance rates because everyone and their mother wants to apply. Thousands of applicants for 150 or so seats is pretty common. The crazy part? They get even more competitive over time. My state school used to have a GPA average of like 26 several years ago when I was still in college, but it has creeped up to 509 currently. All of the genius kids from CA and TX are willing to move across the country just to apply to MD schools in the middle of nowhere.
 
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DexterMorganSK

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Wow that’s not too shabby. How difficult is it to get a gig at kaiser? Someone told me that you need to do a residency there.

Not sure about the gig, but they usually take residents from the pod programs in Cali.
 
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Dochopeful13

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I would say in general any procedure based specialty will make more.
It's true that a lot of PP podiatry jobs are not offering a fair package to new associates.
More and more people are going with hospital groups, or in group practices. This trend will continue. Solo practices are just not common anymore.

For pre-pods who want some motivation, here is the figure for Kaiser Permanente if you want to be in California.
Northern California: Close to 290k start for surgical position, full benefits, also a low interest loan that may help with purchase of a home. Partner in 3 years.
Southern California: Around 240k start. Benefit package is not as good as that of NorCal and partner is not an option. But overall not a bad deal.
Non-surgical positions: around 200-230k. Call duties can range from none to moderate depending on which location you work at.

VAs: Looking at 150k start with benefits. First three years are probably when your salary is gonna jump the most. Can expect 200k after 3-5 years, tops at 240k.

Community Health Centers: anywhere from 130 - 180k. Usually non-surgical. You may do some in-clinic procedures though.

Get good grades, study hard, be a good doctor and surgeon, and things will take care of itself.

Overall I am cautiously optimistic about the future of this profession.
Do you think the amount of hospital based pod jobs will continue to significantly increase over the decade? If so then now would be a great time to get into school.
 
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Sartorius P.O.D.

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Numbers are down across the board and the bigger schools are having trouble filling a class with a 100-120 kids that meet the very low minimum standards. This is not unique to podiatry. MD and DO school applications are down. Being a doctor sucks more and more every year. You think the attending forum is negative? Well, hate to break it to you but there is a lot to complain about.

Check this out:

Want to make money in healthcare? Get your MBA or better yet, a MA in hospital administration. That is where the dollars are going and those guys are experiencing exponential growth in salary. We are trending the wrong way and, spoiler alert, this profession is the bottom of the food chain and we are getting screwed more than anyone. If you step back and analyze the situation it gets depressing

Still like my job though.
 
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DexterMorganSK

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There were 1194 podiatry applications in 2015. There were 883 in 2018. And 964 in 2019.

Edited to add 2019 data.

Might surprise people to know this question has been asked a lot the 9 years I've been reading this forum.

That's true, it been a slow rise since last year. But so far, what I'm seeing from the last cycle, and this upcoming cycle, is a considerable boost in the number of applicants. Most of the programs have already filled their spots (even with COVID) and interviewing for the waitlist. The class of 23 at both Scholl and NYCPM has around 100+ students, while DMU is increasing their class size to 60 students from this year.
And, if that program in TX gets accredited, then there will be a boost.

So, while I hope the number of applicants continues to rise (so that the adcoms can choose the best from the pool), I also don't want a residency shortage like that of the past.
 
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de Ribas

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There were 1194 podiatry applications in 2015. There were 883 in 2018. And 964 in 2019.

Edited to add 2019 data.

Might surprise people to know this question has been asked a lot the 9 years I've been reading this forum.
Wasn't that 2015 year an outlier anyways. If you look at the previous years, it appears as if 800-1000 applicants was the norm. So, I wouldn't go off that 2015 peak to say that it went down. Rather that peak was somewhat out of norm.

You could be right about that. I will just state for reference my previous alma mater has an acceptance rate of 7%, and it was a state school. Acceptance rates for the MD schools in the US and Canada are insanely low. I have regularly seen single-digit acceptance rates because everyone and their mother wants to apply. Thousands of applicants for 150 or so seats is pretty common. The crazy part? They get even more competitive over time. My state school used to have a GPA average of like 26 several years ago when I was still in college, but it has creeped up to 509 currently. All of the genius kids from CA and TX are willing to move across the country just to apply to MD schools in the middle of nowhere.
Oh, got it. But acceptance rate is not rated based of individual schools. You have total 50k applicants and 20k filled spots. Why you have 4k applicants per 150 spots, you are talking about, is just because most people apply to like 15-30 school at the same time. Out of those 4k or so applicants that applied to your state school, ~40% got accepted anyways, just at a different school.
 
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heybrother

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Wasn't that 2015 year an outlier anyways. If you look at the previous years, it appears as if 800-1000 applicants was the norm. So, I wouldn't go off that 2015 peak to say that it went down. Rather that peak was somewhat out of norm.


Oh, got it. But acceptance rate is not rated based of individual schools. You have total 50k applicants and 20k filled spots. Why you have 4k applicants per 150 spots, you are talking about, is just because most people apply to like 15-30 school at the same time. Out of those 4k or so applicants that applied to your state school, ~40% got accepted anyways, just at a different school.

The funny part is this is what I get for "looking it up". I wrote a couple of draft replies to this thread with the intention to say - look, the classic applicant to spot rate supposedly has been like ~1.3:1 for like forever. Then I looked it up and went down the rabbit hole.

The salary discussion here is the kind of thing that will just drive people crazy in the attending forum / set people up for disappointment down the road. I don't know if anyone has seen the law school salary distribution tables that show essentially variations of I suppose a bimodal distribution. That's probably a fair description of what things are down the road for people/new grades. Nice peaks over in the 200s for people who start out hospital employed and a painful broad blip that could get people into the mid-100s, but extends way down below 100K. People talk about - oh well, you have your base but you'll also have your bonus. Your bonus only applies if you actually have collections and there's all sorts of practices that will mistakenly take on an associate not knowing that they don't have anywhere near the patient draw to keep the associate busy.

You all just don't understand how bad private practice associate jobs are and do not delude yourself - they represent an enormous amount of what is out there. A friend of mine started a job in a busy area and instantly became busy. Like so busy that she should be killing it. Her practice wouldn't tell her what her collections were and when they ultimately did the number was so low it didn't make sense.

You can write off the handful of attendings who post in this forum, but almost every single person who posts her as an attending now started as a pre-pod posting in this very forum. We are your future. We've all sat through the same thing - there was a different cohort of attendings and posters when I was here, but the vibe was the same. Bright eyed and bushy tailed pre-pods saying the attendings didn't get it. We had more insane posters at the time and the forum had this mentally ill guy making 100 screen names and posting ridiculous stuff all the time, but there was truth back then too.

I'm personally of the opinion there is adequate money to be made in this field, but you have to fight to get it. You need to be working on mastering every stuff of the process. You need to have a plan to own your own business

What is a fee schedule, how are they set
How does commercial medical insurance work vs Medicare
How is commercial real estate purchased
What is NNN real estate, what's a commercial term
How does one get credentialed
What is CAQH
What is liability insurance. How does it impact a podiatry practice
What corporation types are appropriate for a podiatry practice ie. LLC, professional corporation
What are the different types of malpractice insurance
What is capitation
What is Medicare advantage
What is ICD-10
What is MIPS, MACRA, ACO, HCC, DRG etc
What is 1997 vs 1995
What is professional component vs facility component etc
What is disability insurance, what does it cost etc,

This is a smattering of a bunch of weird things related to business and practice and what not and your school will teach you nothing about them. Its entirely possible your residency will teach you nothing about them.
 
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PTPuser

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The funny part is this is what I get for "looking it up". I wrote a couple of draft replies to this thread with the intention to say - look, the classic applicant to spot rate supposedly has been like ~1.3:1 for like forever. Then I looked it up and went down the rabbit hole.

The salary discussion here is the kind of thing that will just drive people crazy in the attending forum / set people up for disappointment down the road. I don't know if anyone has seen the law school salary distribution tables that show essentially variations of I suppose a bimodal distribution. That's probably a fair description of what things are down the road for people/new grades. Nice peaks over in the 200s for people who start out hospital employed and a painful broad blip that could get people into the mid-100s, but extends way down below 100K. People talk about - oh well, you have your base but you'll also have your bonus. Your bonus only applies if you actually have collections and there's all sorts of practices that will mistakenly take on an associate not knowing that they don't have anywhere near the patient draw to keep the associate busy.

You all just don't understand how bad private practice associate jobs are and do not delude yourself - they represent an enormous amount of what is out there. A friend of mine started a job in a busy area and instantly became busy. Like so busy that she should be killing it. Her practice wouldn't tell her what her collections were and when they ultimately did the number was so low it didn't make sense.

You can write off the handful of attendings who post in this forum, but almost every single person who posts her as an attending now started as a pre-pod posting in this very forum. We are your future. We've all sat through the same thing - there was a different cohort of attendings and posters when I was here, but the vibe was the same. Bright eyed and bushy tailed pre-pods saying the attendings didn't get it. We had more insane posters at the time and the forum had this mentally ill guy making 100 screen names and posting ridiculous stuff all the time, but there was truth back then too.

I'm personally of the opinion there is adequate money to be made in this field, but you have to fight to get it. You need to be working on mastering every stuff of the process. You need to have a plan to own your own business

What is a fee schedule, how are they set
How does commercial medical insurance work vs Medicare
How is commercial real estate purchased
What is NNN real estate, what's a commercial term
How does one get credentialed
What is CAQH
What is liability insurance. How does it impact a podiatry practice
What corporation types are appropriate for a podiatry practice ie. LLC, professional corporation
What are the different types of malpractice insurance
What is capitation
What is Medicare advantage
What is ICD-10
What is MIPS, MACRA, ACO, HCC, DRG etc
What is 1997 vs 1995
What is professional component vs facility component etc
What is disability insurance, what does it cost etc,

This is a smattering of a bunch of weird things related to business and practice and what not and your school will teach you nothing about them. Its entirely possible your residency will teach you nothing about them.

Are there any good sources you can suggest on understanding these things and the ground work that is is needed to build a strong practice? Thanks.
 
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heybrother

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Its all over the place. You really have to start with a question like - how do I start a medical practice and then you just keep looking things up from there. Find things that are connected and put them together.

Its similar to l earning about coding. You start looking up the terms. And then you expand out - you look for the specific codes, you look up the things that are connected and you keep expanding your search to find out what's connected, similar, different, outdated, expired etc. You read other people's opinions, see what's kosher and then you challenge what you've read.

Other good things to learn about - investments, mutual funds, expense ratios, term life vs whole life etc. These are just life related things and whitecoat investors is a good place to start for them. It has good resources on many things.
 
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El-Rami

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To be fair, MD schools don't even teach you about fee scheduling and the like either. However, getting a job as an MD is pretty easy, so there's no real need for students to understand the ins and outs of renumeration. I do believe some education about it would be good, though, because it's important to understand how patient procedures are billed and how physicians get paid when learning about Medicare and Medicaid and the possible rise of single-payer in the future.
 
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From a patient/consumer’s point of view, why would I want to see a podiatrist when I can see an orthopedic surgeon?

It depends on the ailment you have. If it's related to the foot/ankle/lower extremity, then we are doing this stuff from day 1 of school (esp if the issue relates to diabetic wound care).
 
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From a patient/consumer’s point of view, why would I want to see a podiatrist when I can see an orthopedic surgeon?

Many reasons. Some for the fact that not every F/A ailments need an orthopod. Corn, calluses, warts, PF etc can be done by podiatrist without having to wait long to be seen by orthopod.

The F/A orthopod I spoke to when I was shadowing podiatry in MSG don't want to see those things. They want to operate.
 
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