Salary for Podiatrists

mpp

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    From the Department of Labor's <a href="http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos075.htm" target="_blank">Occupational Outlook Handbook</a>:
    Median annual earnings of salaried podiatrists were $107,560 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $77,440 and $134,900 a year. According to a survey by Podiatry Management magazine, median net income of podiatrists in solo practice, including the self-employed, was $89,681 in 2000. Those in group practices or partnerships earned median net income of $96,200 in 2000. Self-employed podiatrists must provide for their own health insurance and retirement. ••
     
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    efs

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      Numbers and averages can be decieving. I have heard anything from $20,000 to &gt;$100,000 for those in their first years out of residency. For one thing, the type of residency makes a big difference. Would also see a difference between someone joining an orthopedic group and someone opening thier own practice.
      In fact with practice loans and school loans, etc. I think the person opening their own practice could expect to not have any earnings (on paper) for several years after starting. Some creative financing could make this even neater. Essentially take enough out of the business to pay the bills. Everything else goes back intot he business, which can deduct quite a few of the expenses. You could even have a car owned by the business, which you use.

      My point would be to not put to much stock in the numbers. They mean different things for someone with a solo practice and the CRNA who is being paid a straight salary.
       

      sandj9397

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        But that option can apply to any physician who is considering practice options. The only way averages can be deceiving is dependent on how much cash income that the podiatrist can make outside of HMOs. Podiatrists just make less plain and simple than MD/DOs . You better obtain a top notch residency, join a great group practice or it will be a long wait to get that 100k+. Who can open a new practice with 100K+ on loans, rent, and all additional expenses from scratch. Only a lucky few I am sure. I am sure all averages are not completely accurate. But no matter how you try sugarcoat it , a pods avg salary is not too appealing considering length and expense of the training. Whats the average for a physician(MD/DO) by the way?
         

        efs

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          I think the numbers can be even more variable than mentioned above.

          A podiatrist with 1 year of a general residency; who is not motivated; who is expecting to work 30 hours a week; who for some reason decides to limit their search to one specific geographic location; who signs on as someone's associate without reading the contract carefully might find themselves with a salary of around $30,000-$40,000. I think this would be an extreme, but you can certainly find stories out there.
          On the other hand you can find someone who did their homework, put together a proposal, had all the numbers figured out and went to talk to hopsital administrators and explain to them why they need podiatry. With all the facts and figures in hand, and able to show the hopspital how much money they could expect to bring in with a podiatry service - pretty well able to make what he wanted. Figures over $100,000 in the first year out are not unheard of either.

          Setting up a solo practice is definately an option. It may be hard to take out another $100,000 loan, but it is done. For these people the autonomy of running their own business is something that they want.

          For more physician salaries look at <a href="http://www.allied-physicians.com/salary_surveys/physician-salaries.htm" target="_blank">http://www.allied-physicians.com/salary_surveys/physician-salaries.htm</a>. It doesn't make any distinctions between MD and DO, just specialties. They also include Podiatry.
           

          simpleton

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            I think the numbers I poseted early are accurate. If not then I don't know what kind of website they're running. I know a podiatrist that sees a patient every 15 minutes for nine hours a day 4 days a week and does surgeries on fridays. He said he makes $275K a year. Pretty darn good but he'll be the first to admit that he doesn't see his 4 children or wife as much as he would like. Take it for it's worth.
             

            ItsGavinC

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              Keep in mind, that numbers at <a href="http://www.salary.com" target="_blank">www.salary.com</a> can be posted by anybody (at least they could last year). For example, I could claim to a podiatrist and enter any figure I wanted to.

              Secondly, the numbers in the Occupational Outlook Handbook are largely skewed -- they've had the same figures for the past 6 years.

              In terms of podiatry, usually only podiatrists who have been out of school for 10-15 years report their numbers. More than likely this is because they are the only ones who feel even remotely confident in reporting their income.

              As has already been mentioned, the field of podiatry is such a crapshoot (literally), that it is not at all inconcievable for salaries to range from 20k - 100k for those who are one year out of residency. Be forewarned, the 100k number is nearly impossible to come by. Perhaps for every podiatrist who reaches the 100k mark, there are 10 or 15 who default on their loans.

              I researched podiatry for nearly a year, before deciding on another career choice. However, I still browse message boards and am interested in news relating to the field of podiatry. In the end, some of the $$ figures were too scary for me. I with everybody luck with their decisions/interviews/classes, etc.
               

              efs

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                You all make some good points. The numbers do vary, but it is still questionable how much they really mean anyway.

                If you are interested in podiatry, do your homework. It's not all bad, though some people out there would have you think so.

                Ultimately you are responsible for all of your own decisions. If the hours your friend is working are keeping him away from his family too much, maybe he should look into options that might let him cut back a bit. I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to make a bit less than $275K. His decisions.

                A bit more on this personal responsibility stuff. This goes for everyone. Getting into school does not mean you will be successful. There is hard work in school. Then in residency. Then in practice. Sure, you can slide by at times. A great deal of your education depends on what you do. Take the extra time to stick around for that next case. Come in early for journal club meetings. Take a couple weeks from your break to spend some time in an additional rotation. I see a lot of people who just do what they have to in order to get by. A number of people expect to be spoon fed. "I got into school, now it's up to them to teach me everything I need to know." Incredible to believe that some people actually think this way. If they are having a hard time making ends meet, I can see why.

                It's your career. How much effort do you want to put into it? You'll get back what you do put in.

                Enjoy.
                 

                drmoon

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                  As a practicing podiatrist for almost 3 years, I think I can give you some useful information.

                  First, I would recommend stopping by the Podiatry Forum (look under google.com for "podiatry forum") There are a lot of posts related to income, etc.

                  No matter what residency you do, you're unlikely to make much more than 50k in your first few years. Jobs for MD's and DO's are more plentiful and organized. There are very few attractive associate positions open to someone who just finished their residency. Most of them will come from a podiatrist who is looking for someone to work a nursing home cutting nails or doing some other unglamorous duty. In other words, don't be expected to be "hired" by some hospital or medical group when you're finished with your residency. I finished mine in 1999 and I'm still at the same clinic slogging away at nails and calluses. My cohorts, who had more surgical training than me, are doing the same thing.

                  Podiatrists also get reimbursed less than MD's and DO's for their services. Oftentimes, they get even less than other health practitioners such as nurses, PA's and PT's. It's embarassing.

                  As far as starting your own practice, you're going to need to take out yet another loan (if a bank will allow it taking into consideration your likely $175,000 school loan debt and the outlook on your future earnings) in the range of something like $50-100,000. And then there is the additional constraint of getting on health plans to actually see patients. It is required by the majority of insurance carriers that you be board certified in podiatric surgery before they'll let you see their patients. When I was a student, that kind of training went to less than half of the graduating class leaving the rest of us a one year, non-surgically based "residency", which left many with few options. These days, there is practically NO competition to get into podiatry school, thus, whatever surgical residencies that do exist will have a smaller applicant pool to pick from. Your chances of being surgically trained are greater, but....you should really check out the podiatry forum.

                  You need to keep in mind that unless you've socked away $175,000 or so to fund your education, you're going to be required to begin paying those loans off when you finish residency. I don't know where you're planning to live or practice, but just by doing some simple math, it should be evident that $50,000 doesn't really go a long way. Especially if you're considering taking out even more loans to start your own practice.

                  Give it some serious thought.
                   

                  ussdfiant

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                    I'm glad to have a practicing podiatrist provide some real life numbers. I have to agree that the Podiatry Forum is an excellent place to gain some perspective on podiatry. After spending a summer reading that board, I withdrew my acceptance from Temple Pod and applied to (and was accepted at) the osteopathic school of my choice. I realized that podiatry was not the right choice for me.
                     

                    efs

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                      Thank you for adding a negative tone.

                      Please, check out Posdiatry Student Forum. It's much the same. Enough negativity (notice the number of posts by the same person, often with different "names" in the tagline). It sure is a place to gain some perspective, but DO NOT judge the whole profession by what is on an minority based site.

                      Please take a look at Podiatry Online too. And Podaitry Management. Take a look at all the sources youcan find, not just Podiatry Student Forum.

                      Recently there have been some posts by CCPM alumni bemoaning their clinical experiences in their third and fourth years. My experience so far has been absolutely nothing like that. In fact, it has been quite strong. I would feel comfortable side by side with any DO or MD students anywhere. (And I am not one of the top students in my class.)

                      Maybe there are some serious differences in the schools? I know there can be significant differences in individuals experiences in school. Here, we arragne most of our fourth year rotations ourselves (aside from our "core"). SOme people spend a month rotating with IM&gt; Others with vascular or plastics. Some spend most of their time with office based practices, others more with surgical. Some focus more on diabetics and wound care. To some extent it depends on the individuals preferences. On the other hand, if you wnated to you could set up your rotations to be close to home, or in practices where there isn't much to do. Your choice (to some extent). Maybe there have been changes in the past few years (since some of these people have graduated)?

                      I don't have all the answers, but I do know enough to ask some of the right questions.
                       

                      drmoon

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                        Sorry you view it as a "negative" tone and not for what it is: A constructive, real-life, experienced opinion from someone who is much further along than you are.

                        I've noticed that the vast majority of "positive" posts are from students and not practicing podiatrists. In fact, all of the current sites that offer podiatry forums are the same. They're predominantly negative. What does this tell you? Heck, if I knew about any of these forums while I was a student I would have had more positive things to say, too. As a student, the last thing I would want to focus on would be to think about the negative aspects of podiatry. It's difficult enough to live on student loans, take your classes and make the requisite good grades on your exams. Truth is, I DID think about all of the crap I was hearing on a near daily basis. But I, like many of my cohorts, felt as if we had made our beds and we were destined to sleep in them.

                        Just a correction: My opinions are only my opinions, but they are also based on pure fact. I'm not a "negative" person by nature and I DO NOT consider my posts negative (I mentioned in a post at the podiatry forum on Network 54 that I did my undergraduate work at UCLA and have NOT ONE complaint about that education).

                        And, ask yourself this: Why is it that the podiatry forum on Network 54 is the only one of all of the medical forums that feels it necessary to put a disclaimer at the bottom regarding the high percentage of "negative" posts?? I don't see anything like that on the MD or DO posts. That either means that the majority of posts are true or that there is some overarching conspiracing to besmirch the name of podiatry. You pick which is the most likely.

                        And, if you end up with any sort of worthwhile residency, let's see how comfortable you are with your MD and DO counterparts when it comes to treating a hospital patient with end stage lung cancer or advanced AID's. Do you think that your podiatry clinical rotations are going to adequately prepare you for handling these seriously ill patients or, for that matter, on how to admit or discharge any hospital patient? Are you going to be comfortable doing an arterial gas or to adjust the respirator for your dying patient. I hope so. You might feel that your book knowlegdge is comparable, but that only goes so far.

                        And, as far as Podiatry On-line and Podiatry Management go, how balanced to you think there opinions are? Don't you think that they have a vested interest in seeing podiatry thrive and prosper? Better to ask the people who are in the real world of podiatry like those who take the time to post on the various sites.

                        I'm not here to tell anyone not to be a podiatrist. I'm here to tell my side of the story and let others do their own research and, hopefully, prove me wrong.

                        And, I certainly do not have all the answers, but I think that you may not be asking all of the right questions.

                        Good Luck
                         

                        CVPA

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                          I gotta say, I am blown away at the income for Podiatrists. Hell, you guys have 4-years of school plus 3 in residency and the high end salary is what I am making as a PA. I don't get it. I realize that money isn't everything, its just that becoming a podiatric physician is a lot of years of schooling (with huge loans afterwards)with a compensation that does not equal the effort to get there and the responsibility afterwards.
                           

                          efs

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                            You do have a good point, in a way. But I don't think you have all the information. Or, I don't think you are looking at it from the same perspective.

                            First of all 3 years of residecny is the far side. Residencies may be from 1 year to 3 years and may cover a wide spectrum or experiences.

                            I also don't think you are looking at the salaries correctly. I am not sure what numbers you are looking at so it is difficult to get more specific. The earning POTENTIAL of a podiatrist is far above most PAs. There are DPMs out there taking home way over $200,000+. I would not offer that everyone witha DPM degree has this opportunity, but it can be done. I think this would be an extreme anomoly for a PA.

                            PAs are not autonomous, DPMs are. A PA cannot open their own practice, so in a sense any PA position will be as an employee. Many DPM positons are employee type positons, but this is not the only option.

                            Large student loans are a HUGE issue, but then again, money isn't everything.

                            I took a long hard look at the pros and cons and decided that this is what would work best for me. I would hope that anyone considering this (or any) field of medicine take the time to do some good research. I have seen too many unhappy people out there. There are MDs and DOs who are unhappy with what they are doing as well. Most do not have a realistic knowledge of what they will be doing ona day to day basis after they finish their schooling.

                            I hope this has been helpful.
                             
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