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

  • January of year prior to matriculation – Begin Letter Packet process/Application Readiness Program (see below)
  • 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

Podiatry applicants can begin to prepare for their application cycle by participating in the PreMed and PreHealth Advising Application Readiness Program. This includes completing a Qualtrics Self-Assessment survey in MAP, which encourages applicants to reflect on academic and experiential preparation for their designated health profession program.

After applicants complete their self-assessment, they will be invited to set up an Application Readiness Meeting (ARM). This 45-minute meeting will allow the applicant to meet with their advisor to discuss their self-assessment and plan for the upcoming application cycle. This will also be a great time to ask questions about the AACPMAS application, the MCAT, and other elements of the application process.  

Enrolling in the Application Readiness Program also grants access to optional supplementary application support services geared towards enhancing your application readiness. These include ongoing application review with your individual advisor, Application Strategy Sessions with esteemed alumni, and specialized Mock Interview Services.   


January 31:  Self-Assessment survey due (accessible via MAP). (First Time Applicants ONLY)

May 1: Self-Assessment survey due (accessible via MAP). (Re-Applicants ONLY)

May 15: Deadline to complete required Application Readiness Meeting with your individual PreMed/PreHealth Advisor

*To be completed in your application year

Note: The Application Readiness Program is an included and required part of the Letter Packet process. Please refer to the PreMed/PreHealth Letter Process information below for additional Letter Packet deadlines and requirements.


A Letter Packet is a composite letter that includes full content of all required evaluator letters (requested via your Medical Applicant Portal) plus an institutional cover sheet from the PreMed and PreHealth Advising Program.

While do not restrict our Letter Packet service based on grades or exam scores, applicants and re-applicants* must meet all the deadlines and requirements below in order to be eligible to request a Letter Packet.

Students and alumni of the Northeastern University Pre-Medical Studies, Post-Baccalaureate Undergraduate Certificate program must complete the program, earning a minimum grade of C in all courses, by the conclusion of the Summer 1 semester of the application year to qualify for a Letter Packet.

If you graduated/completed your post-bacc pre-podiatry studies 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. If you choose to send individual Letters of Evaluation, please do not request them through MAP.

The PreMed and PreHealth Advising Program offers a Letter Packet service exclusively for applications to medical, dental, and podiatry schools. Letter Packets are only valid for one application cycle/year. Applicants who are accepted and decline matriculation are not eligible for future Letter Packets. The PreMed and PreHealth Advising Program has a three-time limit for Letter Packets. 

Letter Packets are restricted to use within the designated health professional program for which they were originally intended. Thus, we are unable to send letters to medical masters or post-baccalaureate programs. Additionally, we do not facilitate the forwarding of letters to external storage platforms like Interfolio. 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: Self-Assessment survey due (accessible via MAP).
  • May 1: All required and optional letters of evaluation due in MAP.
  • May 15: Deadline to complete required Application Readiness Meeting (ARM) with your individual PreMed/PreHealth Advisor
  • August 31: Deadline to take MCAT.
  • September 30: Deadline to complete MAP & submit primary application.
  • September 30: Deadline to request Letter Packet (only after all above requirements are met).
  • May 1: Self-Assessment survey due (accessible via MAP).
  • May 1: All updated letters of evaluation due in MAP.
  • May 15: Deadline to complete required Application Readiness Meeting (ARM) with your individual PreMed/PreHealth Advisor
  • August 31: Deadline to retake MCAT.
  • September 30: Deadline to update MAP & submit primary application.
  • September 30: Deadline to request Letter Packet (only after all above requirements are met).

*Re-applicants refers to Northeastern University students and alumni who have already completed the PreMed/PreHealth Letter Process for a previous cycle and are requesting a Letter Packet to re-apply to their programs.

**To be completed in your application year. Requirements and deadlines are subject to change. 

Required letters

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

3 Internal, Faculty Letters
  • Internal letters must be from a graded course (at least 3-credit lecture or 1-credit lab). Evaluations can be requested from in-progress courses.
  • Internal letters must be from Northeastern University faculty (current, former, or retired) at any of Northeastern’s global campuses.
  • Two of the three required internal letters must be from Biology, Chemistry, Math, or Physics (BCMP) faculty (current, former, or retired) OR from faculty instructors on the approved list of Internal Science Letters.
  • One letter may be from any academic discipline, though we recommend a non-science letter.
  • The Letter Packet has a THREE internal letter MAXIMUM. Do not request more than the required number of internal letters.
1 External, Clinical Letter
  • This letter must come from a practitioner in the health profession to which you are applying (i.e., DPM)
  • The letter must represent a college-level patient-facing experience (strongly recommended in-person) with a U.S. licensed podiatrist. 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 podiatrists, 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).

**It is the applicant’s responsibility to review individual school’s requirements, as requirements for letters of recommendation vary from school to school. 

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