UT_VOL_17

5+ Year Member
Aug 4, 2014
28
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Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
Currently practicing as a physical therapist, and am looking to change careers for multiple reasons (salary, work satisfaction, professional respect, surgery, etc...). I am wondering if anyone that is practicing now has any advice on what they experienced with changing careers into podiatry, and also any suggestions or general advice from podiatrist that are practicing now. I am currently 28, and have some anxiety about starting school again, and am also wondering is it too late. I didn't know much about podiatry out of undergrad, but after working closely with them in my outpatient practice and researching I am highly interested in the profession. Any advice is accepted and appreciated.
 

Scrantonicity

10+ Year Member
Jul 15, 2007
55
33
Status
Attending Physician, Podiatrist
It IS a poor financial decision...sometimes it's worth it though if you truly love it. It's a pretty laid back surgical profession, and it does have many perks compared to other surgical professions. There are many threads on this board about the pros and cons of podiatry...you'll find way more cons on here because the internet is a great place to complain---but it's really not a bad job when I focus on the pros.

However:

300K in debt (give or take), 7 years of your life-- to go into a career where the average person makes $150K or less a year---really sucks financially. Some make a lot more, but you really have to search and/or be creative enough to do so...
 

dtrack22

10+ Year Member
Apr 20, 2008
2,061
1,214
Status
Podiatrist
Probably because he sees so many colleagues who do well in school, get good training, only to be screwed by another podiatrist and spend years making less money than a PA. All while accumulating more debt.

As a PA you would have a much lower income ceiling, but you can still "specialize" to some extent and practice different types of medicine. As a physician (MD/DO) you are going to have more job opportunities in more geographic locations, and you are significantly more likely to be compensated fairly (if not handsomely) right out of residency compared to podiatry. I mean, pediatricians make significantly less money than busy podiatrists in any employment setting. Yet, out of residency they are almost universally paid more money by pediatric groups (for example) than podiatrists are by podiatry groups.

A monkey could make $200k a year as a podiatrist. You just have to have the balls to go out on your own and start your own clinic or you have to find one of those MSG/Hospital/Ortho type jobs where your boss isn't a private practice podiatrist.
 
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Scrantonicity

10+ Year Member
Jul 15, 2007
55
33
Status
Attending Physician, Podiatrist
Probably because he sees so many colleagues who do well in school, get good training, only to be screwed by another podiatrist and spend years making less money than a PA. All while accumulating more debt.

As a PA you would have a much lower income ceiling, but you can still "specialize" to some extent and practice different types of medicine. As a physician (MD/DO) you are going to have more job opportunities in more geographic locations, and you are significantly more likely to be compensated fairly (if not handsomely) right out of residency compared to podiatry. I mean, pediatricians make significantly less money than busy podiatrists in any employment setting. Yet, out of residency they are almost universally paid more money by pediatric groups (for example) than podiatrists are by podiatry groups.

A monkey could make $200k a year as a podiatrist. You just have to have the balls to go out on your own and start your own clinic or you have to find one of those MSG/Hospital/Ortho type jobs where your boss isn't a private practice podiatrist.
In that case, our profession is absolutely filled with (wait, what's less than a monkey?)
 
Jan 7, 2018
40
80
Status
Podiatrist
Job market can be all over the place.
Some of us get great jobs
Some of us get fair jobs
Some of us get terrible jobs
I am a firm believer you make your future in podiatry. I will probably get roasted on here for this but its pretty obvious why some of us got great jobs and some of us got terrible jobs. You get what you put in. Unfortunately the applicant pool is still low for podiatry school. As a result some get in that shouldnt be there.1/2 the class in podiatry school is garbage. The other 1/2 are at least qualified. And then there are a few top notch students in each class. Thats a blanket statment but it is pretty much the truth.
What the provider said above - internet is full of complainers and haters.
Only way to tell is to go out and shadow a few podiatrists in different settings.

With that said I wouldnt mind being a PT. Seems like an intersting side of medicine. But the grass is always greener on the other side.
 

CutsWithFury

I like to cut
Feb 2, 2019
168
158
Podiatry Hell
Status
Podiatrist
I would not do podiatry if I could do it all over again and I make more than most in terms of base salary. The field sucks because older podiatrists just want to screw you over for their own financial gain. The screwing over can come in many forms such as getting a terrible contract out of residency, defamation of character if you leave their practice for a better job, getting screwed over with trying to get privileges at the local hospital where the older DPM makes it very difficult for you to get privileges you deserve because that infringes on their financial gain.

The profession still doesn’t get much respect from MD/DO. We have made zero progress in terms of having comparable medical knowledge to our MD/DO colleagues. APRNs can do H&Ps and do wound care. An APRN H&P has more clout than a DPM doing one. There some hospitals who would not even accept an H&P done by a DPM. There are even APRNs branching out into diabetic routine foot care for hospital groups.

I would have tried to get into MD/DO all over again if I could do it again. Id most likely end up doing IM or general surgery and not getting into ortho due to the competition but I’d be making a lot more than I am now and I’d have job security forever. I could work in any major city I wanted to.

Going from DPT to PA doesn’t make much sense to me in my opinion.
 
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UT_VOL_17

5+ Year Member
Aug 4, 2014
28
2
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
All thanks for your responses you have given good insight on your viewpoint of the profession. I do believe what most said about the internet so I will go out and shadow. I think the major part of this for me will be happiness due to my unhappiness in my current field. Although job market is great salary and professional outlook make it hard to justify.

Do you think it would be best to apply to DO/DPM schools to cast a wider net?
 
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UT_VOL_17

5+ Year Member
Aug 4, 2014
28
2
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
Also I know people hate being repetitive (hence me searching before posting) but I didn’t see much on a career change which is why I asked and the main focus of this post
 

de Ribas

Nobel Prize Recipient
Gold Donor
2+ Year Member
Feb 4, 2017
2,442
1,861
Siberia State
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Podiatry Student
I would not do podiatry if I could do it all over again and I make more than most in terms of base salary. The field sucks because older podiatrists just want to screw you over for their own financial gain. The screwing over can come in many forms such as getting a terrible contract out of residency, defamation of character if you leave their practice for a better job, getting screwed over with trying to get privileges at the local hospital where the older DPM makes it very difficult for you to get privileges you deserve because that infringes on their financial gain.

The profession still doesn’t get much respect from MD/DO. We have made zero progress in terms of having comparable medical knowledge to our MD/DO colleagues. APRNs can do H&Ps and do wound care. An APRN H&P has more clout than a DPM doing one. There some hospitals who would not even accept an H&P done by a DPM. There are even APRNs branching out into diabetic routine foot care for hospital groups.

I would have tried to get into MD/DO all over again if I could do it again. Id most likely end up doing IM or general surgery and not getting into ortho due to the competition but I’d be making a lot more than I am now and I’d have job security forever. I could work in any major city I wanted to.

Going from DPT to PA doesn’t make much sense to me in my opinion.
I would do it again
The profession of podiatry is great.
I am confused.
 
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CutsWithFury

I like to cut
Feb 2, 2019
168
158
Podiatry Hell
Status
Podiatrist
Thanks for quoting different posts. I’ve changed my mind completely over time.

Please graduate podiatry school, pass all your crappy APMLE boards, get through podiatry residency, pass your ABFAS boards and look for podiatry jobs...accept your first crappy podiatry associate job (because you most likely won’t get anything else) and THEN tell me how much you love the podiatry profession
 
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Nov 9, 2017
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If I could do it all over again I would’ve done pharm d straight out of high school or not gone into medicine at all.
 

G0dFather

10+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2008
435
26
New York
Status
Podiatrist
To the OP ... What is it that you dislike your field ? Can you go into details? Is it issues with the field itself? or is it you on blending to well with it ?
 

air bud

10+ Year Member
Nov 11, 2008
1,471
411
Land of the free
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I hate being the voice of reason around these parts...but let's stay on focus. You are 28. That's not terrible. Any loans? Any other responsibilities? Can you apply, keep working until day 1 of school? I started school at 29, but had to take 1.5 years worth of classes first due to to business undergrad then wait 1 year. Again, purely from a financial perspective, this is a terrible choice.

All you prepods and current students don't know crap until you are staring down the barrel of 300k in loans and you are making 125k your first year out.
 
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CutsWithFury

I like to cut
Feb 2, 2019
168
158
Podiatry Hell
Status
Podiatrist
I hate being the voice of reason around these parts...but let's stay on focus. You are 28. That's not terrible. Any loans? Any other responsibilities? Can you apply, keep working until day 1 of school? I started school at 29, but had to take 1.5 years worth of classes first due to to business undergrad then wait 1 year. Again, purely from a financial perspective, this is a terrible choice.

All you prepods and current students don't know crap until you are staring down the barrel of 300k in loans and you are making 125k your first year out.
THIS

If you were a foot and ankle ortho you would be making $550k and would be given a generous bonus structure with the ortho group or hospital group that is employing you
 
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UT_VOL_17

5+ Year Member
Aug 4, 2014
28
2
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
To the OP ... What is it that you dislike your field ? Can you go into details? Is it issues with the field itself? or is it you on blending to well with it ?
My dislike is the lack of potential in the field (hard to advance up with little to no room to or incentives to), salary capacity (not many ways to advance to 6 figures i.e. debt to income ratio) currently have 80k in loans, professional respect (looked at as a trainer vs a doctorate level trained professional). And insurance, insurance, insu

I believe that I have blended well with the profession. I was highly involved as a student on the national board, involved in the professional association now through advocacy, finishing OCS residency without paying for it. I just don't see much improvement in 5 years that would make me happy or want to stay.
 
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UT_VOL_17

5+ Year Member
Aug 4, 2014
28
2
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
I hate being the voice of reason around these parts...but let's stay on focus. You are 28. That's not terrible. Any loans? Any other responsibilities? Can you apply, keep working until day 1 of school? I started school at 29, but had to take 1.5 years worth of classes first due to to business undergrad then wait 1 year. Again, purely from a financial perspective, this is a terrible choice.

All you prepods and current students don't know crap until you are staring down the barrel of 300k in loans and you are making 125k your first year out.
I am gad to have had your perspective. Currently I don't have any kids and am not married. I can keep working up until school, seeing as though I will have a license up until then and will only need to give a 1 to 2 month notice out of courtesy. I only need to take the MCAT and organic II which shouldnt set me back nothing but a year from applying.

I am glad to get your perspective as well on the financial aspect. I have been researching and have looked at salary and work satisfaction (mostly usnews and BLS) and working with podiatrist in practice have pulled me in this direction.
 

CutsWithFury

I like to cut
Feb 2, 2019
168
158
Podiatry Hell
Status
Podiatrist
I am gad to have had your perspective. Currently I don't have any kids and am not married. I can keep working up until school, seeing as though I will have a license up until then and will only need to give a 1 to 2 month notice out of courtesy. I only need to take the MCAT and organic II which shouldnt set me back nothing but a year from applying.

I am glad to get your perspective as well on the financial aspect. I have been researching and have looked at salary and work satisfaction (mostly usnews and BLS) and working with podiatrist in practice have pulled me in this direction.
I think you will be disappointed going into DPM. There are podiatry associate jobs that pay 50-100k out of residency. That’s a lot of work and loans to pay off to make an initial salary that’s potentially less than you are making now
 

DexterMorganSK

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Jul 16, 2016
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Podiatry Student
I am gad to have had your perspective. Currently I don't have any kids and am not married. I can keep working up until school, seeing as though I will have a license up until then and will only need to give a 1 to 2 month notice out of courtesy. I only need to take the MCAT and organic II which shouldnt set me back nothing but a year from applying.

I am glad to get your perspective as well on the financial aspect. I have been researching and have looked at salary and work satisfaction (mostly usnews and BLS) and working with podiatrist in practice have pulled me in this direction.
If you like what you saw while working with DPMs and have an interest in the field then don't let SDN stop you from applying (no disrespect to anyone here).

Go shadow other people in the field. Of course, keep in mind what is being said here and be informative but a lot can change 5-10 years from today. Also, don't worry about the age thing, I'm 32 and just started 3rd year...not a big deal!

GL
 
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dtrack22

10+ Year Member
Apr 20, 2008
2,061
1,214
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Podiatrist
My dislike is the lack of potential in the field (hard to advance up with little to no room to or incentives to), salary capacity (not many ways to advance to 6 figures i.e. debt to income ratio) currently have 80k in loans, professional respect (looked at as a trainer vs a doctorate level trained professional). And insurance, insurance, insu

I believe that I have blended well with the profession. I was highly involved as a student on the national board, involved in the professional association now through advocacy, finishing OCS residency without paying for it. I just don't see much improvement in 5 years that would make me happy or want to stay.
I have a a good friend who is a PT. He really likes what he does and seems to be in a good practice situation but the pay, politics, etc. of the profession certainly make it sound like a frustrating career.

I like what I do as a podiatrist. I think almost universally DPMs who own their own practice, as well as those employed by ortho/MSG groups or hospitals do very well financially. We are probably on the low end of income when compared to other surgical specialties, but will make more than many medical specialties. I mean you hear a lot of us complain but then you have to realize that air bud sees 4 or 5 patients per day and his total compensation (when you include loan repayment, vacation time, retirement and health benefits, his signing bonus) is like $300k per year.

I would hesitate to do podiatry if I had strict geographical limitations. If you are willing to work and live anywhere? Hell, there is an ortho department within a MSG who is willing to hire a podiatrist to do their foot and ankle right now. They are just in an undesirable location. Another hospital can't find foot and ankle ortho (again, not a location anyone is excited about) and is willing to pay $1500 a day for someone to provide locums coverage until they can, and are willing to have a podiatrist do it. You only run into issues when you have to live/work in a few specific areas. Then it becomes total dumb luck as to whether any good jobs exist, or if they will be hiring when you are ready to finish residency.

So yeah, if the desire is to be an employed physician who has job opportunities anywhere in the country, then MD/DO or something like PA would be the way to go.
 
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G0dFather

10+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2008
435
26
New York
Status
Podiatrist
My dislike is the lack of potential in the field (hard to advance up with little to no room to or incentives to), salary capacity (not many ways to advance to 6 figures i.e. debt to income ratio) currently have 80k in loans, professional respect (looked at as a trainer vs a doctorate level trained professional). And insurance, insurance, insu

I believe that I have blended well with the profession. I was highly involved as a student on the national board, involved in the professional association now through advocacy, finishing OCS residency without paying for it. I just don't see much improvement in 5 years that would make me happy or want to stay.

Thank for sharing this since you have real perspective and skin in the game ...... some questions come to my mind based on what you said and my interactions with other PTs if you maybe so kind to answer which will give me more perspective on the move you are contemplating as i can compare and contrast based on your answers

1. Hard to advance in the field ? how so ? couldn't you open your own practice and increase your pay significantly ? ( or is that easier said than done, high over head etc ?

2. I have heard the insurances are even harder on you all . is that true? are there still issues with needing a referral from anyone or can a pt just walk-in to see you with an issue ? ( i can see how the later can be quite limiting) What other issues do you have with insurances/medicare ?

3. I was told that you can crack 100K but you have to work like 60-70 hrs a week by combining multiple jobs..true? Other wise the pay is around 75K for a job with limited salary increase, especially in desirable metro area ?

4. Did the doctoral degree add real value ? aka worth the money for those 3 years?

5. You have residency? Is that a must ? you have to pay for it ? what value does it provide for you ?

6. I was told there are no HIGH ticket items in your field that reimburse well ..true? which will affect private practice in that case

7. You spoke about respect in the field/for the profession ... do PTs call themselves Doctors now or introduce themselves as Dr. ? or that taboo? What is the general consensus in your profession regarding this? What do patients think of this/perceive this?

8. You mentioned 80k in loans... is that the average one would incur in PT school ? or is that you being savvy and keeping your expenses low ? Is the usual debt to income ratio 1:1 coming out ? and how fast does the income advance upwards?
 
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UT_VOL_17

5+ Year Member
Aug 4, 2014
28
2
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
Thank for sharing this since you have real perspective and skin in the game ...... some questions come to my mind based on what you said and my interactions with other PTs if you maybe so kind to answer which will give me more perspective on the move you are contemplating as i can compare and contrast based on your answers

1. Hard to advance in the field ? how so ? couldn't you open your own practice and increase your pay significantly ? ( or is that easier said than done, high over head etc ?

2. I have heard the insurances are even harder on you all . is that true? are there still issues with needing a referral from anyone or can a pt just walk-in to see you with an issue ? ( i can see how the later can be quite limiting) What other issues do you have with insurances/medicare ?

3. I was told that you can crack 100K but you have to work like 60-70 hrs a week by combining multiple jobs..true? Other wise the pay is around 75K for a job with limited salary increase, especially in desirable metro area ?

4. Did the doctoral degree add real value ? aka worth the money for those 3 years?

5. You have residency? Is that a must ? you have to pay for it ? what value does it provide for you ?

6. I was told there are no HIGH ticket items in your field that reimburse well ..true? which will affect private practice in that case

7. You spoke about respect in the field/for the profession ... do PTs call themselves Doctors now or introduce themselves as Dr. ? or that taboo? What is the general consensus in your profession regarding this? What do patients think of this/perceive this?

8. You mentioned 80k in loans... is that the average one would incur in PT school ? or is that you being savvy and keeping your expenses low ? Is the usual debt to income ratio 1:1 coming out ? and how fast does the income advance upwards?
G0dfather,

Thanks for your questions. I will try to answer them best as I can.

1. Outside of advancing into more managerial roles that will limit you in practice (which I enjoy) there are not many opportunities within the clinic. Outside of becoming a clinic director (which doesn't add much to pay increase) there are not many opportunities. In the field private practice is becoming much harder due to large companies acquiring smaller ones in groups and negotiating lower prices with insurance companies. (almost like CVS affect)

2. See last statement above.Also it is depends on the insurance company and the state practice act. Some states are still fighting for total direct access, along with a multitude of other services (dry needling, etc...). Also reimbursement rates keep dwindling.

3. 100% true. Most PTs I know (including myself) have to work PRN, which is not an issue but at this point QoL and income make it hard to enjoy the hard work that is being put in.

4. As of now I see it two sided. On the educational front I do see value. With the addition of radiology, physiology etc.. I am well prepared to practice. But, I don't see the benefit with education becoming increasingly expensive and adding a third year of mostly clinical was not worth it.

5. It is not a must and does not add much value in earning potential. I did not have to pay for mine.

6. I am not 100% sure due to me being affiliated with a large group, but I can assume that is true due to insurance reimbursement. Most companies are transitioning into cash based therapy.

7. Seeing as though its only been mandated for the last ten years there is a lot of push back from PTs c masters and also the taboo affect. Most patients don't even know.

8. Averages are pretty close to or well above 100-150k. Depends on the institution. Private schools are way more, even eclipsing 200K. I was very saavy with scholarships and my living situation.

Thanks for any advice that you can provide based on the information I have provided.
 

G0dFather

10+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2008
435
26
New York
Status
Podiatrist
G0dfather,

Thanks for your questions. I will try to answer them best as I can.

1. Outside of advancing into more managerial roles that will limit you in practice (which I enjoy) there are not many opportunities within the clinic. Outside of becoming a clinic director (which doesn't add much to pay increase) there are not many opportunities. In the field private practice is becoming much harder due to large companies acquiring smaller ones in groups and negotiating lower prices with insurance companies. (almost like CVS affect)

2. See last statement above.Also it is depends on the insurance company and the state practice act. Some states are still fighting for total direct access, along with a multitude of other services (dry needling, etc...). Also reimbursement rates keep dwindling.

3. 100% true. Most PTs I know (including myself) have to work PRN, which is not an issue but at this point QoL and income make it hard to enjoy the hard work that is being put in.

4. As of now I see it two sided. On the educational front I do see value. With the addition of radiology, physiology etc.. I am well prepared to practice. But, I don't see the benefit with education becoming increasingly expensive and adding a third year of mostly clinical was not worth it.

5. It is not a must and does not add much value in earning potential. I did not have to pay for mine.

6. I am not 100% sure due to me being affiliated with a large group, but I can assume that is true due to insurance reimbursement. Most companies are transitioning into cash based therapy.

7. Seeing as though its only been mandated for the last ten years there is a lot of push back from PTs c masters and also the taboo affect. Most patients don't even know.

8. Averages are pretty close to or well above 100-150k. Depends on the institution. Private schools are way more, even eclipsing 200K. I was very saavy with scholarships and my living situation.

Thanks for any advice that you can provide based on the information I have provided.



Hi Thanks for the info


So it seems like your current profession is HIGH risk and not enough reward...there also seems to be a very slim profit margin from what you describe... given your current age if you can figure out how you can make the monetary investment for pod school as cheap as possible then it can make sense for you. Their is growth potential here IF you want to open/buy out/in to private practice.... the average busy solo pod will generate 400k-500k and run a 50% overhead ( probably less that is REAL overhead) and keep the rest (that amount will be pre tax, but of course with creative legal business accounting you can keep a good deal of it) ... there are also other employment types that continue to and will grow in the future that others here are currently involved in if you choose to go that road where you will make six figures devoting 40-50 hrs of your time....

Given the time you lose in school ( and somewhat in residency) and compounded by the fact that you will be paying out for the first 4 years , if you can keep the debt to income ratio 1:1 it will make sense, you are still young. Just keep in the back of your head that you may not make over 200k from this journey until age 38-40 ( factoring in school plus residency and then job hoping for 3-5 until you find what clicks)... but Time is real ( never took that into account before) and also what no one talks about is the value of the salary you will be making when you make it, i.e 120k now was more valuable just 10 years ago.... Also, VERY IMP, if you have geographic limitations and know where you will need to end up ... then do heavy research about that particular geography from NOW in terms of local salary, private practice situations and employment opps to see if it will makes sense. A quick and dirty way to start is to consider yourself done with residency and your looking for a job today by going to indeed, etc. and seeing what pops up, because chances are there will be similar things a decade from now.. this way you CUTOUT the BS and get straight to it from the actual source vs what someone else will tell you ( I WISH someone would have told me that before I started)

Keeping all that in mind .. SHADOW multiple people and see ALL aspects of this field, what is being promoted by the profession and schools the MOST is done the LEAST in a practical everyday podiatry setting i.e. surgery and when it is done its the less glamorous type of surgery that you do the most of i.e amps, etc .... what i just stated is for the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of pods there are certainly exceptions ... but if you can accept that this can be a VERY rewarding profession from so many different aspects and will always keep you interested ..... let me know if you have more questions
 
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UT_VOL_17

5+ Year Member
Aug 4, 2014
28
2
Status
Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
Hi Thanks for the info


So it seems like your current profession is HIGH risk and not enough reward...there also seems to be a very slim profit margin from what you describe... given your current age if you can figure out how you can make the monetary investment for pod school as cheap as possible then it can make sense for you. Their is growth potential here IF you want to open/buy out/in to private practice.... the average busy solo pod will generate 400k-500k and run a 50% overhead ( probably less that is REAL overhead) and keep the rest (that amount will be pre tax, but of course with creative legal business accounting you can keep a good deal of it) ... there are also other employment types that continue to and will grow in the future that others here are currently involved in if you choose to go that road where you will make six figures devoting 40-50 hrs of your time....

Given the time you lose in school ( and somewhat in residency) and compounded by the fact that you will be paying out for the first 4 years , if you can keep the debt to income ratio 1:1 it will make sense, you are still young. Just keep in the back of your head that you may not make over 200k from this journey until age 38-40 ( factoring in school plus residency and then job hoping for 3-5 until you find what clicks)... but Time is real ( never took that into account before) and also what no one talks about is the value of the salary you will be making when you make it, i.e 120k now was more valuable just 10 years ago.... Also, VERY IMP, if you have geographic limitations and know where you will need to end up ... then do heavy research about that particular geography from NOW in terms of local salary, private practice situations and employment opps to see if it will makes sense. A quick and dirty way to start is to consider yourself done with residency and your looking for a job today by going to indeed, etc. and seeing what pops up, because chances are there will be similar things a decade from now.. this way you CUTOUT the BS and get straight to it from the actual source vs what someone else will tell you ( I WISH someone would have told me that before I started)

Keeping all that in mind .. SHADOW multiple people and see ALL aspects of this field, what is being promoted by the profession and schools the MOST is done the LEAST in a practical everyday podiatry setting i.e. surgery and when it is done its the less glamorous type of surgery that you do the most of i.e amps, etc .... what i just stated is for the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of pods there are certainly exceptions ... but if you can accept that this can be a VERY rewarding profession from so many different aspects and will always keep you interested ..... let me know if you have more questions
Thanks. This info was very helpful.
 

air bud

10+ Year Member
Nov 11, 2008
1,471
411
Land of the free
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Attending Physician
You also have to consider that not only are you taking ON debt, you are also no longer receiving income from your current job and then time value of any of that savings. It's one thing when you are a broke college student that doesn't already have a job and Benny's and hopefully savings. But now giving up 100k plus a year for at least 7 years is a BIG deal.

It's a big financial decision.

But you are only 28 and also single, so that's in your favor.

Regardless, go MD/DO and open up a world of opportunities. We all know if you kill the MCAT then that is what you should do. If you bomb it welcome to the world of Podiatry.
 
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G0dFather

10+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2008
435
26
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Status
Podiatrist
Regardless, go MD/DO and open up a world of opportunities. We all know if you kill the MCAT then that is what you should do. If you bomb it welcome to the world of Podiatry.
Yes I agree with this!!.... I didnt bring this up because i figured the OP already siffed through that option .... but if you can go MD/DO then by all means, it opens up many option, when it comes down to it its ALL about the MCAT, master that test and getting into where you want will happen regardless of what the rest of the app looks like ( to a certain degree that is) ... what would make the most sense for you would be to do PM&R and triple/quadruple the earnings from the start, you have many options to do so when you go this route ... to put things into perspective the only real way to make that kind of money from the start in podiatry is to own your own office and it has to be busy seeing at least 20 patients/day
 
Jan 7, 2018
40
80
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Podiatrist
As far as I know I make more income than any of the primary care and pediatric clinicians in my clinic, and thats 2 years out from residency. I started at 60k more income/year than PCPs start at and I have better incentives due to surgery. I do work longer hours than they do though.

50% of MD/DO go primary care. Not guarenteed to have a high paying dermatology or ortho slot.

If you like podiatry do it. It has its up sides and down sides. I have no regrets on my decision and love the profession. My friend's are ALL crushing it too. Shadow and see for yourself.
 
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Jan 7, 2018
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Podiatrist
You also have to consider that not only are you taking ON debt, you are also no longer receiving income from your current job and then time value of any of that savings. It's one thing when you are a broke college student that doesn't already have a job and Benny's and hopefully savings. But now giving up 100k plus is a BIG deal.

It's a big financial decision.
I am in full agreance with this. Podiatry school is not cheap. Podiatry + PT school is a mountain of debt. If you are going to go to DPM school then go where you can get the cheapest tuition/cost of living. The Bay area, Miami, or NYC would be fun to live in... but the cost is not worth it in your situation.
 

air bud

10+ Year Member
Nov 11, 2008
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Let's say you are maxing out your 401k and Roth IRA in current job. Not even taking into account employer match and maybe a stealth IRA via an HSA. 24k a year has a future value of 63k in just 20 years with a 5% return. So NOT doing that and going to school is at least 375k in savings (most deferred wheras Roth is post tax). And that's just 20 years. At your current age, if you put 24k in savings just this year that's 170k at age 68. That's a lot of money. This is a BIG opportunity cost. Obviously only you can justify if it's worth it. My opininion is it's not. Keep working, save at a good rate, find other revenue streams. Passive income like real estate. Start a side business. Don't put your life.on hold and take on a huge debt at a huge opportunity cost. Who knows what this field will be like in 8 years when you are out. Not worth it
 
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CutsWithFury

I like to cut
Feb 2, 2019
168
158
Podiatry Hell
Status
Podiatrist
As far as I know I make more income than any of the primary care and pediatric clinicians in my clinic, and thats 2 years out from residency. I started at 60k more income/year than PCPs start at and I have better incentives due to surgery. I do work longer hours than they do though.

50% of MD/DO go primary care. Not guarenteed to have a high paying dermatology or ortho slot.

If you like podiatry do it. It has its up sides and down sides. I have no regrets on my decision and love the profession. My friend's are ALL crushing it too. Shadow and see for yourself.
90% of the profession doesn't make your starting salary coming out of residency. If you are in an ortho group or hospital you are golden. If you are a private podiatry practice associate life is not that great. Majority of the podiatry profession is in private practice and is somebody's associate making a base salary of 75-100k. Bonus structures are variable and are practice dependent
 
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malleolusman

keeping it real since 1981
10+ Year Member
Mar 5, 2009
88
32
The Wards
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Podiatrist
90% of the profession doesn't make your starting salary coming out of residency. If you are in an ortho group or hospital you are golden. If you are a private podiatry practice associate life is not that great. Majority of the podiatry profession is in private practice and is somebody's associate making a base salary of 75-100k. Bonus structures are variable and are practice dependent

Agree.

Podiatry is a terrible career choice. If you are desperate to be called “doctor”, work with people with big chips on their shoulders and massive insecurity, professional organizations which accomplish nothing meaningful, it’s great. Also, it’s great if you have no personal ethics or moral code, patients will believe anything you say ... “you must get three cortisone injections in 3 weeks if you want to fix this heel pain”

If you have any moral compass, it will get thrown out the window once your 250,000K loans kick in.

The number one question you should ask practicing podiatrists is this: would you want your kid to follow in your kids footsteps?

I can guarantee greater than 75% (if they are being honest) would say no.

The real problem with podiatry is that it’s a crap shoot. Other posters have said as much.
 
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OP
U

UT_VOL_17

5+ Year Member
Aug 4, 2014
28
2
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Pre-Rehab Sci [General]
Wow,

I have received much greater incite than I imagined. Thanks all for the advice, albeit more real than expected. I am looking into shadowing now, and will continue to explore my options. Thanks.
 
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G0dFather

10+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2008
435
26
New York
Status
Podiatrist
Agree.

Podiatry is a terrible career choice. If you are desperate to be called “doctor”, work with people with big chips on their shoulders and massive insecurity, professional organizations which accomplish nothing meaningful, it’s great. Also, it’s great if you have no personal ethics or moral code, patients will believe anything you say ... “you must get three cortisone injections in 3 weeks if you want to fix this heel pain”

If you have any moral compass, it will get thrown out the window once your 250,000K loans kick in.

The number one question you should ask practicing podiatrists is this: would you want your kid to follow in your kids footsteps?

I can guarantee greater than 75% (if they are being honest) would say no.

The real problem with podiatry is that it’s a crap shoot. Other posters have said as much.

LOL Malman is going to scare off the OP ! ....... He does point to many truthful things ... but like airbud has said to be fair many other "doctors" do this unfortunately and im sure you have spotted this kind of behavior when friends and relatives go to other docs that may not know that there is another "doc" in the family
 
Jan 7, 2018
40
80
Status
Podiatrist
There are bitter people in all fields.

Podiatry is not a bad profession. Like I said... All the people I went to school with are doing really well.

I dont think anyone is doing as well as airbud tho. Guy gets paid to barely work! I want his job!

I have seen "crooked" podiatrists but that is true in all professions.
Podiatrists are not the only providers getting convicted of medicare fraud.
I am sure PT is not to spare with providers who do things they should not with sole purpose of income generation.
The argument by malleolusman is not fair to the profession.

I will accept cutswithfury argument that not all of us get good jobs. But like I said... Everyone I am close with during school/residency is doing great. See above post. The private practice docs around me that I have become friends with I know are doing well because we share some income sources. You just have to be smart about where and how you work. I do NOT believe that 90% of graduating podiatrists get terrible jobs.

Maybe I am an eternal optimist. But I love my job. I wouldnt change it for the world. I laugh the majority of the day and have a great rapport with the people I treat. There are days I do not enjoy. But most days I am quite happy.
 

hematosis

Slappin Da Bass
10+ Year Member
Jul 27, 2009
444
159
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Fellow [Any Field]
Podiatry is full of hacks and crooks. in my 3 years of practicing, i've seen some unbelievable things. Pretty embarrassed of my profession to be honest. There are some good ones out there that possess great surgical skills but a good chunk are old, crooks that hire new associates to dump their work on. There's also a bunch of useless so called "fellowships" that hire these new grads and dump work on them. If you're in a fellowship doing 4 days of clinic / rounding and one day of assisting in surgery you are being used like a dirty Reno hooker. 90% of ACFAS fellowships are worthless. our boards the prestigious ABFAS is pretty embarrassing. poorly written, money maker. Many of the residency programs are basically ignorant attending relying on residents to do their ground work. most of these guys couldn't work up a good H/P if their life depended on it. Podiatry is all about dumping the load on the younger residents, fellows, new associates so the lazy incompetent older guys can survive and golf on the weekend. Even the schools are pathetic. kids with 2.0 gpa gets in so the these private schools can stay afloat.
We crawl through any door the hospital opens..department of vascular surgery? sure will take it. Department of endocrinology ? sure well take it. (how does a surgical service in an endocrinology department make any sense?) department of plastic surgery? sure well take it. any department that opens their door, podiatry will take it. We have an identity problem. we are foot and ankle surgeons? or are we Podiatric surgeon? no wait we are Podiatric surgery and medicine doctors? no were just podiatrist. i still don't know what i am . We get pushed around by ortho and we just take it. We are like the little deposit feeders that go in after ortho has killed and ate all the good meat.

From podiatry school to after residency and even fellowship, i've always been pro podiatry. and then real world came .... Sadly this could be an awesome profession. Its ruined by the greedy pods. Im happy with my situation. i make a great income and practice full scope in an ortho department. All this is because the head ortho dept father was a Podiatrist and he's been kind to me. as soon as he retires, i'm probably fired.

cheers.
 

CutsWithFury

I like to cut
Feb 2, 2019
168
158
Podiatry Hell
Status
Podiatrist
Podiatry is full of hacks and crooks. in my 3 years of practicing, i've seen some unbelievable things. Pretty embarrassed of my profession to be honest. There are some good ones out there that possess great surgical skills but a good chunk are old, crooks that hire new associates to dump their work on. There's also a bunch of useless so called "fellowships" that hire these new grads and dump work on them. If you're in a fellowship doing 4 days of clinic / rounding and one day of assisting in surgery you are being used like a dirty Reno hooker. 90% of ACFAS fellowships are worthless. our boards the prestigious ABFAS is pretty embarrassing. poorly written, money maker. Many of the residency programs are basically ignorant attending relying on residents to do their ground work. most of these guys couldn't work up a good H/P if their life depended on it. Podiatry is all about dumping the load on the younger residents, fellows, new associates so the lazy incompetent older guys can survive and golf on the weekend. Even the schools are pathetic. kids with 2.0 gpa gets in so the these private schools can stay afloat.
We crawl through any door the hospital opens..department of vascular surgery? sure will take it. Department of endocrinology ? sure well take it. (how does a surgical service in an endocrinology department make any sense?) department of plastic surgery? sure well take it. any department that opens their door, podiatry will take it. We have an identity problem. we are foot and ankle surgeons? or are we Podiatric surgeon? no wait we are Podiatric surgery and medicine doctors? no were just podiatrist. i still don't know what i am . We get pushed around by ortho and we just take it. We are like the little deposit feeders that go in after ortho has killed and ate all the good meat.

From podiatry school to after residency and even fellowship, i've always been pro podiatry. and then real world came .... Sadly this could be an awesome profession. Its ruined by the greedy pods. Im happy with my situation. i make a great income and practice full scope in an ortho department. All this is because the head ortho dept father was a Podiatrist and he's been kind to me. as soon as he retires, i'm probably fired.

cheers.
Amen brother. You just read my mind. As soon as I started practicing the blind have been removed to reveal what the profession is really about
 

G0dFather

10+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2008
435
26
New York
Status
Podiatrist
Podiatry is full of hacks and crooks. in my 3 years of practicing, i've seen some unbelievable things. Pretty embarrassed of my profession to be honest. There are some good ones out there that possess great surgical skills but a good chunk are old, crooks that hire new associates to dump their work on. There's also a bunch of useless so called "fellowships" that hire these new grads and dump work on them. If you're in a fellowship doing 4 days of clinic / rounding and one day of assisting in surgery you are being used like a dirty Reno hooker. 90% of ACFAS fellowships are worthless. our boards the prestigious ABFAS is pretty embarrassing. poorly written, money maker. Many of the residency programs are basically ignorant attending relying on residents to do their ground work. most of these guys couldn't work up a good H/P if their life depended on it. Podiatry is all about dumping the load on the younger residents, fellows, new associates so the lazy incompetent older guys can survive and golf on the weekend. Even the schools are pathetic. kids with 2.0 gpa gets in so the these private schools can stay afloat.
We crawl through any door the hospital opens..department of vascular surgery? sure will take it. Department of endocrinology ? sure well take it. (how does a surgical service in an endocrinology department make any sense?) department of plastic surgery? sure well take it. any department that opens their door, podiatry will take it. We have an identity problem. we are foot and ankle surgeons? or are we Podiatric surgeon? no wait we are Podiatric surgery and medicine doctors? no were just podiatrist. i still don't know what i am . We get pushed around by ortho and we just take it. We are like the little deposit feeders that go in after ortho has killed and ate all the good meat.

From podiatry school to after residency and even fellowship, i've always been pro podiatry. and then real world came .... Sadly this could be an awesome profession. Its ruined by the greedy pods. Im happy with my situation. i make a great income and practice full scope in an ortho department. All this is because the head ortho dept father was a Podiatrist and he's been kind to me. as soon as he retires, i'm probably fired.

cheers.

Between Mallelous Man and THIS... accurately portrays MANY of the CONS of this profession.
 
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Creflo

time to eat
10+ Year Member
May 16, 2007
414
196
Domino's
It IS a poor financial decision...sometimes it's worth it though if you truly love it. It's a pretty laid back surgical profession, and it does have many perks compared to other surgical professions. There are many threads on this board about the pros and cons of podiatry...you'll find way more cons on here because the internet is a great place to complain---but it's really not a bad job when I focus on the pros.

However:

300K in debt (give or take), 7 years of your life-- to go into a career where the average person makes $150K or less a year---really sucks financially. Some make a lot more, but you really have to search and/or be creative enough to do so...

Well said.
 

wakaflocka88

5+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2013
31
19
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Podiatry is full of hacks and crooks. in my 3 years of practicing, i've seen some unbelievable things. Pretty embarrassed of my profession to be honest. There are some good ones out there that possess great surgical skills but a good chunk are old, crooks that hire new associates to dump their work on. There's also a bunch of useless so called "fellowships" that hire these new grads and dump work on them. If you're in a fellowship doing 4 days of clinic / rounding and one day of assisting in surgery you are being used like a dirty Reno hooker. 90% of ACFAS fellowships are worthless. our boards the prestigious ABFAS is pretty embarrassing. poorly written, money maker. Many of the residency programs are basically ignorant attending relying on residents to do their ground work. most of these guys couldn't work up a good H/P if their life depended on it. Podiatry is all about dumping the load on the younger residents, fellows, new associates so the lazy incompetent older guys can survive and golf on the weekend. Even the schools are pathetic. kids with 2.0 gpa gets in so the these private schools can stay afloat.
We crawl through any door the hospital opens..department of vascular surgery? sure will take it. Department of endocrinology ? sure well take it. (how does a surgical service in an endocrinology department make any sense?) department of plastic surgery? sure well take it. any department that opens their door, podiatry will take it. We have an identity problem. we are foot and ankle surgeons? or are we Podiatric surgeon? no wait we are Podiatric surgery and medicine doctors? no were just podiatrist. i still don't know what i am . We get pushed around by ortho and we just take it. We are like the little deposit feeders that go in after ortho has killed and ate all the good meat.

From podiatry school to after residency and even fellowship, i've always been pro podiatry. and then real world came .... Sadly this could be an awesome profession. Its ruined by the greedy pods. Im happy with my situation. i make a great income and practice full scope in an ortho department. All this is because the head ortho dept father was a Podiatrist and he's been kind to me. as soon as he retires, i'm probably fired.

cheers.

Finishing last year of residency, and I agree with all the above. Already saw enough, heard enough, and witnessed enough. I'm very fortunate to be in a great training program, but its disheartening how clueless students in pod school truly are what the real world entails.
 
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air bud

10+ Year Member
Nov 11, 2008
1,471
411
Land of the free
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Attending Physician
Finishing last year of residency, and I agree with all the above. Already saw enough, heard enough, and witnessed enough. I'm very fortunate to be in a great training program, but its disheartening how clueless students in pod school truly are what the real world entails.
Unfortunately SDN is just an echo chamber for people to rationalize and justify their podiatry decision.
But I guess this and the internet's is just a symptom of our times.
I don't know that means, but I think I have heard something like that before.
 
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air bud

10+ Year Member
Nov 11, 2008
1,471
411
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Attending Physician
I do have to admit that I have a bunch of friends with fantastic jobs. Myself included. But I consider us the outliers. The common thread is top 10-20 percent of class. And most had a few years life experience outside of pod school before starting. Also most do not work in high cost of living large metro areas.
Yeah now that I think about it, if you want the MSG/Hospital jobs it won't be in LA, NY, Miami/Chicago etc. It will be in Des Moines, Omaha, Wichita and smaller.
 
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air bud

10+ Year Member
Nov 11, 2008
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411
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Okay here is how we clean up the residency problem: standardized testing for attendings to qualify to be part of a program boom problem solved.
 

air bud

10+ Year Member
Nov 11, 2008
1,471
411
Land of the free
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Attending Physician
It's the baby boomers, man. They ruined podiatry, the runied the environment, they ruined politics, they ruined....
 

air bud

10+ Year Member
Nov 11, 2008
1,471
411
Land of the free
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Attending Physician
Now I am just ranting....but if you want to pull the Podiatric trifecta you will go school in NY, Cali, Miami, do residency there and then want to stay there and end up as an associate in pp.
 
Jan 7, 2018
40
80
Status
Podiatrist
So... if we all get terrible jobs. And its all horrible. 90% will never get a good job or be happy according to the posters here.

...Yet all (majority) the regular posters have good jobs. Most of them say they are also happy in their job "but others wont be" (paraphrasing)

Again I am super happy and have no qualms with the profession.

Be careful about the internet and opinions. It's kinda like yelp or google reviews. Those who are happy are less likely to log on and post their opinion. Those who are disgruntled on the other hand are more likely to leave a negative review.

If you want misserable people be a hospitalist. They are always so disgruntled. Everywhere i have been they seem so stressed out and unhappy.

OR front desk managers universally also seem to be quite grumpy lol.