Studying podiatric medicine in the US is a popular choice for Canadian students. It allows students to complete a three-year surgical residency in the US after obtaining their Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree. The following document provides information on the process of studying in the US and returning to Canada as a licensed Podiatric Physician and Surgeon.
1) The Application Process
1.1) Where to apply
Of the nine Podiatric Medical Schools in the US the majority accept Canadian students.
|School||Accepts international students?||Link to admission information|
|Arizona School of Podiatric Medicine at Midwestern University||Yes||International Students|
|Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine||Yes||Technical Standards : Admissions : School of Podiatric Medicine|
|California School of Podiatric Medicine at Samuel Merritt University||Yes||Doctor of Podiatric Medicine
|College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery at Des Moines University||Must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent U.S. resident||N/A|
|Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine (KSUCPM)||Yes||Does KSUCPM Accept International Students?|
|New York College of Podiatric Medicine||Yes||New York College of Podiatric Medicine|
|Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science||Yes||Admission Aid: International Students|
|Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine||Yes||Podiatry Temple: International Applicants|
|Western University of Health Sciences, College of Podiatric Medicine||Yes||Welcome | International Students|
1.2) How to apply
The application process is outlined on the Admissions website of the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine (AACPM):
Admissions – The American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine
A note on Prerequisite Courses
On the AACPM website the prerequisite courses are listed in semester hours. In general, a Canadian science course with three (3) hours of weekly lectures and a lab may be considered equivalent to a four (4) semester hour class in the US. Make sure to obtain the course descriptions of your pre-requisite classes as you may be asked to provide these for credit verification. Some schools may also require the use of an approved transcript credit equivalency service for courses completed outside of the US or Canada. Check with the admission office or school website for specific school requirements.
2) Visa Process for Studying in the US
Once you are officially accepted by a school you will be able to begin applying for a student visa. Note that most of the schools have earlier deadlines for international students as the Visa process can take several months.
The Visa process for Canadians:
- First notify your school when you are ready to start your Visa documents.
- Your school will then have you fill out part of a form for an I-20, and they will complete the form before mailing it out to you.
- This is where you will need to provide proof of a bank account/loan that has a sufficient amount of money to pay for tuition. The form will provide more information on what proof you need to provide.
- Once you receive your official I-20 you need to pay your I-901 SEVIS fee. This can be done on this website: https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/index.html
- Once this is complete you will need to print proof of payment.
- When you cross the border to the US for school, you will need to give the immigration officer your passport, I-20 and proof of payment of your SEVIS.
- Border officials will then issue you an F1 Visa in your passport which allows you to study in the US for 4 years.
- The following links have more information on the above outlined steps:
3) Obtaining Financial Aid
3.1) Canadian Government Student Loans
Canadian government student loans and grants are available to Canadians who study at designated institutions in the US. If your school is not currently listed as designated, you can apply to have your school designated.
3.2) US Government Student Loans
These are available to US citizens and US permanent residents only. If a student has dual US/Canadian citizenship they can receive both US and Canadian student loans.
3.3) Private Loans
In order to obtain a loan through a US bank one must have either a credit history or a co-signer in the US. Canadian credit histories are generally not accepted by US banks. If one does not have a US credit history you will most likely need to obtain your private student loans through a bank in Canada.
Some schools offer entrance scholarships to international students. Confirm with each individual school what is offered for both entrance and yearly scholarship options.
3.5) Work Study
Some schools offer part-time work study programs Canadian student F1 Visa holders. You will need to confirm with each individual school whether they offer this option.
4) Visa Process for Surgical Residencies
The F1 Visa expires after four years; therefore, a US Work Visa must be obtained before starting a residency. Currently Canadian students can apply to US residencies that are not restricted by Federal guidelines such as the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) or programs that are restricted by their Federal Graduate Medical Education funding sources. Residency programs that are not restricted by these guidelines can vary from year to year. Information regarding specific programs may be identified through the Central Application Service for Podiatric Residencies (CASPR) https://aacpm.org/caspr-crip/ or by directly contacting the residency program.
Canadians who hold dual US/Canadian citizenship can apply to all US residencies.
5) Obtaining a Provincial License
Each province differs on educational and residency requirements to obtain a license.
|Province||Link to Detailed Information|
|British Columbia||Registration as a BC Podiatrist|
|Manitoba||Steps to Registration|
|Ontario||Podiatry in Ontario|
|Nova Scotia||Nova Scotia Podiatry Association|
6) Practicing in Canada
The scope of practice varies widely between the provinces and territories. Some provinces are similar to the US in scope of practice, while others are much more limited. Generally, the provinces that require a surgical residency have a larger scope of practice than those who do not. For more information on each province visit: FAQs – Canadian Podiatric Medical Association
***Information current as of March 2021