Podiatric Medicine

“A podiatrist is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), known also as a podiatric physician or surgeon, qualified by their education and training to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and related structures of the leg.” – The American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine

“When treating patients, this system is also known as the lower extremity. Podiatric physicians are uniquely qualified among medical professionals to treat the lower extremity based on their education, training and expertise. Podiatrists are defined as physicians by the federal government.

A DPM is a specialist in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of lower extremity disorders, diseases and injuries. A podiatric physician works independently, utilizes x-rays and laboratory tests for diagnostic purposes, prescribes medications, orders physical therapy, sets fractures, and performs surgery. As part of a healthcare team, the DPM works closely with other health professionals to treat and control disease.

Within the profession, podiatric physicians can specialize in a variety of areas such as surgery, orthopedics, or public health. Besides these certified specialties, podiatrists may practice a subspecialty such as sports medicine, pediatrics, dermatology, radiology, geriatrics, or diabetic foot care. Podiatric physicians are the only doctors to receive specialized medical and surgical training, and board certification in the care of the lower extremity.” – read the full description on the AACPM website.

Practitioners of podiatric medicine treat a variety of ailments and employ innovative techniques to improve the overall well-being of patients.

The Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) is a vital member of the health-care team. He or she is often the first to detect symptoms of diabetes or cardiovascular disease because of the human foot’s interrelation with the rest of the body.

Where do DPMs work?

DPMs are licensed in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico and practice in a variety of settings including:

  • Private or Group Medical Practice
  • Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)
  • Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)
  • Hospitals and Extended Care Facilities
  • S. Public Health Service
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Armed Forces
  • Municipal Health Departments
  • Health Professions Schools

Learn more on the AACPM website.

AACPM’s Podiatric Medical College Information Book

  • FREE!
  • Updated each year
  • View detailed statistics for US podiatry schools

Centralized Application Services

Personal Statement

  • Podiatric Medicine (maximum length 4,500 characters)
    • Prompt: Write a brief statement expressing your motivation or desire to become a podiatric physician
      • Brainstorming: A well-crafted personal statement takes time. Begin by brainstorming ideas for your statement, thinking about what you would like to share with the admissions committees. Consult with mentors, friends and family on topics.
      • Outline: Look for themes within your list of brainstorm ideas. Choose a few points from your list that seem especially salient, and develop them into an outline of your essay.
      • Working Draft(s): Once you have written a draft, have people read it and give you honest feedback. Incorporate feedback and come back to it in a couple weeks and see if you still feel that it conveys the impression that you meant to give, and make necessary edits. Consider making an appointment with the Writing Center. Make sure that you have a developed draft on MAP, to review during your Application Readiness Meeting.
      • Resources:

General Timeline

  • August – AACPMAS opens for editing and submission
  • Fall/early spring of year of matriculation – Interview invites/interviews
  • Spring – Make final choice of school based on AACPMAS traffic rules
  • Summer – Start podiatry program

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)  is the required entrance exam for Podiatry Programs

  • The MCAT® is offered on set dates from January through September, except February. The MCAT® has four test sections: 1. Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems, 2. Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems, 3. Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior, and 4. Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills.
  • The MCAT should be scheduled only after all prerequisite courses are successfully completed and the applicant has had 4-6 months to study. If the resulting date would be later than August for Pre-Podiatry, then deferral to the next year is highly recommended. Applicants cannot sit for the exam any later than August for Pre-Podiatry and receive a committee letter that cycle.

MCAT® Resources

Committee Letter Processes

The Committee Letter is a composite letter that includes full content of all required evaluator letters plus an evaluation from the PreMed and PreHealth Advising Program. The PreMed and PreHealth evaluation is a competency-based summary of a student’s clinical, community engagement, and research experiences as well as academic performance, professionalism, and additional interpersonal competencies.

We do not restrict our Committee Letter service based on grades or exam scores; however, the basis of our recommendation does take grades, exam scores, experiential preparation, and overall readiness to apply into consideration. While we do not employ a formal ranking system, applicants will receive recommendation based on the aforementioned competencies. Applicants should consult with their individual PreMed/PreHealth Advisor to determine the best time to apply.

Committee Letters are a traditional option for dental programs. To qualify for a Committee Letter, applicants and re-applicants* must meet all deadlines and requirements below. If you do not meet all deadlines and requirements you will no longer be eligible to receive a Committee Letter but may still qualify for a Letter Packet.

If you are an Alumni who graduated three or more years ago, it is recommended that you apply with individual letters of evaluation following the instructions in the common application for your profession, or the directions of the specific schools if they have a different application process.

Applicants who are accepted to a dental school and decline matriculation are not eligible for future Committee Letters. The PreMed and PreHealth Advising Program has a three time limit for Committee Letters. The PreMed and PreHealth Advising Program cannot forward letters to any program other than what was designated on the original request. Thus, we are unable to send letters to medical masters or Post-Baccalaureate programs. Please contact your evaluators directly to request that letters be tailored to the program to which you are applying.

Requirements and Deadlines 

First Time Applicants
  • January 31: Committee Letter Agreement & Completed Self-Assessment due.
  • March 20: Required Internal Letters of Evaluation due in MAP.
  • April 15: Deadline to complete required Application Readiness Meeting with your assigned PreMed/PreHealth Advisor
  • May 1: Required Clinical and Optional letters of evaluation due in MAP.
  • August 31: Deadline to take MCAT (Podiatry ONLY)
  • September 30: Deadline to complete MAP, submit primary application, and request Committee Letter (Podiatry ONLY)
  • May 1: Committee Letter Agreement & Completed Self-Assessment due.
  • May 1: Updated Letters of Evaluation due.
  • May 15: Deadline to complete required Application Readiness Meeting with your assigned PreMed/PreHealth Advisor
  • August 31: Deadline to re-take MCAT (Podiatry ONLY), if applicable
  • September 30: Deadline to update MAP, submit primary application, and request Committee Letter (Podiatry ONLY)

*Re-applicants refers to Northeastern University students and alumni who have already completed the Committee Letter process for a previous cycle, and are again requesting a Committee Letter to re-apply to their programs.

Required letters

The following letters of evaluation are required and must be requested through MAP to be eligible to request a Committee Letter.

3 Internal, Faculty Letters
  • Letters must be from Northeastern faculty (current or retired).
  • Letters must be from a graded course (at least 3-credit lecture or 1-credit lab). Evaluations can be requested from in-progress courses.
  • Two of the three required internal letters must be from Biology, Chemistry, Math, or Physics (BCMP) faculty OR from the approved list of Internal Science Letters.
  • One letter may be from academic faculty in any discipline, though we recommend a non-science letter.
1 External, Clinical Letter
  • This letter must come from a practitioner in the health profession to which you are applying. Applicants applying to MD and DO programs may have a clinical letter from either an MD or DO.
  • The letter must represent a college-level patient-facing experience (strongly recommended in-person) with a U.S. licensed physician or dentist The experience must be within the United States or, if abroad, with a State Department, US university/hospital sponsored, or recognized U.S. organization. Letters from family friends, even if they are physicians, are not encouraged. Letters from family members are prohibited.
2 External, Optional Letters
  • Up to two additional external letters may be requested from supervisors, research PIs, clinicians, coaches, etc.
  • Applicants may NOT use optional letter slots for additional internal academic letters unless there is a relationship with the faculty member outside of your academic coursework (i.e. research supervisor).
  • Applicants applying to MD and DO programs are strongly encouraged to obtain a clinical letter from BOTH an MD and a DO, utilizing one of their optional letter slots.

See below for additional Committee Letter eligibility requirements for Northeastern Post-Baccalaureate Students only.

Additional Committee Letter Eligibility Requirements for Northeastern Post-Baccalaureate Students

In addition to all other Committee Letter requirements and deadlines, students in the Northeastern University Pre-Medical Studies, Post-Baccalaureate Undergraduate Certificate program must also meet the requirements below to be eligible to receive a Northeastern University Committee Letter.

You must take 10 of the courses listed below (with corresponding labs), earning a minimum grade of C, at Northeastern by the conclusion of the Summer 1 semester of the application year to qualify for a Committee Letter. CPS Post-Bacc students who have taken at least 8 courses, but fewer than 10, may still qualify to apply with a Letter Packet.

  • BIO1100/BIO1101 Principles of Biology 1
  • BIO1200/BIO1201 Principles of Biology 2
  • BIO2100 Microbiology
  • BIO2300 Cell Biology
  • BIO2500/2501 Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • BIO3100/BIO3101 Biochemistry
  • CHM1100/CHM1101 General Chemistry 1
  • CHM1200/CHM1201 General Chemistry 2
  • CHM2110/CHM2111 Organic Chemistry 1
  • CHM2200/CHM2201 Organic Chemistry 2
  • CHM2300/CHM2301 Analytical Chemistry
  • PHY1200/PHY1201 Physics 1
  • PHY2200/PHY2201 Physics 2