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Podiatrist

Podiatrists diagnose and treat ailments, diseases, deformities and injuries of the human foot and help patients prevent foot-related disorders.

  • Avg. Salary $84,358.00
  • Avg. Wage $43.63
  • Minimum Education 8+ years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
Also Known As

Complementary Medicine Practitioner, Foot Doctor, Doctor

NOC & Interest Codes
The Podiatrist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Doctors of Podiatric Medicine
NOC code: 3123.1
INNOVATIVE

Interest in mentoring patients by providing treatment of disorders and proper foot care using braces, casts, shields, splints, physical therapy and medications, and by performing surgery on the bones of the forefoot and subcutaneous soft tissues of the foot

METHODICAL

Interest in co-ordinating information obtained through tests and X-ray examinations to diagnose conditions including tumours, ulcers, fractures, skin and nail diseases and deformities of the foot

OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working with surgical tools and mechanical and electrical techniques to treat conditions such as corns, calluses, ingrown nails, foot imbalance and flat feet

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Podiatrists are health care professionals who are primarily concerned with patients' feet, just as dentists are primarily concerned with patients' mouths and optometrists are primarily concerned with patients' eyes. Podiatrists deal with all types of foot disorders including:

  • ingrown toenails
  • tumours and cysts
  • bunions and bone growths
  • warts, corns and calluses
  • deformities from birth or neglect
  • sprains and fractures
  • abnormalities of gait and posture
  • skin disorders.

In general, podiatrists:

  • assess and diagnose foot problems by observing symptoms, reading x-rays and interpreting medical test results (for example, from blood tests, urinalysis, micro-organism cultures)
  • treat foot problems by performing surgery on soft tissue and bone, prescribing orthotic devices, providing palliative care or, in some cases, prescribing medication.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Most podiatrists are self-employed and are therefore free to set their own hours. They generally work regular office hours but, for the convenience of their patients, may work some evenings and weekends.

Podiatrists spend part of their working hours standing, conducting examinations and treating patients, and the rest of their working hours sitting at a desk, consulting with patients and doing the required paperwork.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Podiatrists need the following characteristics:

  • an interest in assisting people
  • an interest in science
  • the academic ability and ambition required to complete advanced studies successfully
  • manual dexterity
  • average physical strength
  • good eyesight.

They should enjoy working with people, following a routine, and using instruments and equipment to perform tasks requiring precision.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 08, 2016

No post-secondary school in Canada offers a podiatry degree program. In the United States, nine post-secondary schools offer a four-year program leading to a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree:

The minimum admission requirement for these programs is three pre-professional years at a recognized college or university with course work in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and English. In general, applicants must have a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree and successfully complete the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) to be considered for admission.

The first two years in podiatry college consist of classroom instruction and laboratory work in sciences such as anatomy, microbiology, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology and pathology. In the final two years, the emphasis is on clinical practice and practical experience in all departments including surgery.

Graduates of four-year podiatry programs generally complete two to three years of residency after graduation. Therefore, it usually takes students a total of eight to eleven years to complete their studies.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Podiatrist

Podiatrists diagnose and treat ailments, diseases, deformities and injuries of the human foot (including the articulation of the tibia and fibula and those muscles and tendons directly affecting foot function, and including the employment of preventive measures and the use of medical, physical or surgical methods but not including treatment of systemic disease, except the local manifestations in the foot) and engage in research, education and administration with respect to health.

Legislation

Under Alberta's Health Professions Act and Podiatrists Profession Regulation, registration with the College of Podiatric Physicians of Alberta (CPPA) is mandatory if you meet identified competency requirements and provide professional services directly to the public, teach the practice of the profession to members or students of the profession, or supervise registered members who provide services to the public. Registered members, who are authorized by the College, provide restricted activities specified in the Regulation. Only registered members of the CPPA may use the protected titles and designations of Podiatrist, Podiatric Surgeon, Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, Podiatric Physician, and D.P.M.

What You Need

To obtain a certificate of approval for registration, an applicant must have: (1) graduated from a college of podiatric medicine approved by the Board of Examiners in Podiatry, (2) successfully completed Parts 1 and 2 of the National Board of Podiatric Medical Examination, (3) successfully completed the PM Lexis licensing examination, and (4) completed a two year post-graduate residency program approved by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education of the American Podiatric Medical Association. For more information, contact the APA or visit their website.

Working in Alberta

Podiatrists who are registered by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered podiatrists in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

To find more information on the certification process for internationally educated podiatrists, see Podiatrist Registration Process on the AlbertaCanada.com website.

Contact Details

College of Podiatric Physicians of Alberta
Suite 2020, 61 Broadway Boulevard
Sherwood Park, Alberta
Canada  T8H 2C1
Phone numbers: 780-922-7609 or 1-888-220-3338
Website: www.albertapodiatry.com

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Most podiatrists work in general practice, either alone or in a group situation.

Advancement generally takes the form of becoming a recognized expert in specific types of foot problems or treatments.

Podiatrists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 3125: Other Professional Occupations in Health Diagnosing and Treating. In Alberta, 96% of people employed in this classification work in the Health Care and Social Assistance (PDF) industry.

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Podiatrists' earnings vary depending on:

  • personal ability and reputation
  • efficiency of practice management
  • years of experience
  • size and location of the practice
  • government limits on expenditures for podiatric services.

Podiatrists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 3125: Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating. 

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating occupational group earned on average from $36.08 to $47.98 an hour. The overall average wage was $43.63 an hour. For more information, see the Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Health Care Services
    • Human and Social Services
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 08, 2016

College of Podiatric Physicians of Alberta website: www.albertapodiatry.com

Canadian Podiatric Medical Association (CPMA) website: www.podiatrycanada.org

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Apr 11, 2014. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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