I just finished my first year of med school, but I had looked into pod school because I liked my DPM who did some procedures on me as a kid. I didn't apply because of all the negativity when I looked into it and it just wasn't for me. Anyways, I was back home to a very small town (5000 people) and went back to my pod to get some ingrown toenails removed. He had moved from a crappy office with only one receptionist (he was brand new to practice and opened his own), to a nice place in a professional building. He has his own RN to do all H&P's. He spends 2-3 days/wk exclusively in the OR. It should be mentioned that he is the only DPM in town. I just wanted to give y'all some encouragement. I know that the whole DPM thing is shrouded in negativity, but I think that this proves that in a small rural area, a DPM can lead a very satisfying career. In this area there are no orthopods within 30 miles, and even then there are none that specialize in foot and ankle. Where is someone with foot problems going to go? The same thing holds true for all areas of medicine. MD's are frustrated with decreasing salaries as well. I have heard of primary care docs getting offers in the 80's. Sure, if you want to live in NY, LA, or Chicago. These areas simply don't NEED any more doctors. I'm sure the same is true of DPM's. In any branch of medicine people will pay you more if they need you. This isn't to say that money is everything, but it is a necessary evil in life. I don't know if pod schools or the governing organization has started down the road of "providing cost effective care where it is needed most" yet, but they really should. Why not, MD/DO schools have been using it to hype their wonderful primary care curriculums. I'm sure if DPM's marketed themselves in this way, more people would be happy. How many ortho MD's are certified in foot and ankle? I don't know, but I am guessing not too many outside of academic med centers. And how many orthopods want to do operations in this area if they are not familiar with it? How many patients want to wait 6 months and travel to see the MD when a DPM could be made available in their area? Good luck to you all, and consider practicing in a health care shortage area! ps. I'll refer everything footy your way (even the ingrown toenails) when I am in practice.