What is podiatry?

Podiatry is a field of medicine that focuses on preventing, diagnosing, and treating conditions associated with the foot and ankle by medical, surgical or other means.

The skills of podiatrists are in increasing demand because disorders of the foot and ankle are among the most widespread and neglected health problems.

What education and training are required to become a podiatrist?

Depending on where the training was received, podiatrists can take up to eight years of university level education before beginning to practice as a podiatrist. Students who receive the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree first complete a four year undergraduate program in the sciences at an accredited university, followed by an additional four years at an accredited College of Podiatric Medicine in the U.S. Students study courses in all basic medical sciences. In the final two years, emphasis is placed on disorders affecting the foot and ankle and their various types of treatment. These courses are coordinated with clinical training in various university teaching hospitals. Upon completion, graduates obtain their Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree. Comprehensive Board exams as well as provincial licensing exams must then be passed before being licensed to practice. Students must also complete hospital-based residency programs of 1-3 years duration.

UK Podiatrists graduate from a 3 or 4 year degree course with either a BSc (Hons) Podiatry or a BSc (Hons) Podiatric Medicine from an accredited University. Further post graduate training is avaliable for those wishing to become Podiatric Surgeons.

In addition, continuing education courses keep podiatrists up-to-date regarding new developments in podiatric medicine and foot surgery.

Where can I receive training to become a podiatrist?

Students have the option of applying to one podiatric medical school in Canada or several schools in the United States. Students can also apply to schools in the United Kingdom, if they wish to pursue a BSc (Honours) Podiatry or BSc (Hons) Podiatric Medicine instead of a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree.


In Canada, the Universite de Quebec a Trois-Rivieres (UQTR) in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec provides a four year program that is patterned substantially on the U.S., podiatric medicine programs and on the standards of accreditation of the Council on Podiatric Medical Education. For more information about the program, visit http://www.uqtr.ca/

United States

In the United States there are several schools to choose from. Provided below is contact information for each of the schools.

Arizona Podiatric Medicine Program (AZPod) at Midwestern University
Admissions Department Midwestern University
19555 North 59th Avenue, Glendale AZ 85308
(623) 572-3275
1 (888) 247-9277
e-mail: admissaz@midwestern.edu

Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine
Division of Enrollment Services
11300 NE Second Avenue, Miami Shores, FL 33161
(305) 899-3130
1 (800) 695-2279 (outside Florida)
Fax (305) 899-3253
E-mail: admissions@mail.barry.edu

California School of Podiatric Medicine at Samuel Merritt College
370 Hawthorne Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609
(510) 869-6727
1 (800) 607-6377
Fax (510) 869-6525
E-mail: admission@samuelmerritt.edu

College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery at Des Moines University
Admissions Coordinator
3200 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312
(515) 271-7497
Fax (515) 271-7075
Email: cpmsadmit@dmu.edu

New York College of Podiatric Medicine
Office of Admissions and Enrollment Mgmt.
1800 Park AvenueNew York, NY 10035
(212) 410-8053
(800) 526-6966
Fax (212) 722-4918
E-mail : admissions@nycpm.edu

Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine
Office of Admissions
10515 Carnegie Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-9990
(216) 231-3300
1 (800) 238-7903 (outside Ohio)
1 (800) 821-6562 (inside Ohio)
Fax (216) 231-6537

Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science
Office of Student Services
3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago, IL 60064-3095
(847) 578-8400
(800) 843-3059 (outside Illinois)
Fax (847) 775-6523
E-mail: scholl.admission@rosalindfranklin.edu

Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine
Office of Admissions
Eighth at Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 625-5448
1 (800) 220-FEET
Fax (215) 627-2815

Western University of Health Sciences
Office of University Recruitment and Strategic Enrollment Management
309 E. Second Street, Pomona, CA 91766
Phone: (909) 469-8416
Fax: (909) 469-5570

Great Britain

Matthew Boulton College of Further and Higher Education

New College Durham

University of Brighton

The University of Huddersfield

University of East London

University of Salford

University of Northampton

University of Plymouth

University of Southampton


Queen Margaret University College

Glasgow Caledonian University

Northern Ireland

Co. Antrim
University of Ulster


University of Wales Institute Cardiff
Wales Centre for Podiatric studies

What is the difference between a podiatrist and a chiropodist?

There are differences in the educational requirements as well as the scope of practice for podiatrists and chiropodists, with podiatrists having received more education and having a broader scope of practice than what chiropodists are able to perform.

Each province determines its own health standards, and chiropodists are not entitled to practice in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec.

How can I find a podiatrist near where I live?

An up-to-date listing of podiatrists is provided by provincial podiatry associations. To find a podiatrists near you, click on the appropriate province below.

Alberta www.albertapodiatry.com

British Columbia www.foothealth.ca

Manitoba www.mbpodiatry.org www.mts.net/~copom/

New Brunswick (Not available)

Ontario www.opma.ca

Quebec www.ordredespodiatres.qc.ca

Nova Scotia (Not available)

Prince Edward Island (Not available)

Can you recommend a podiatrist for me?

The CPMA does not provide recommendations. If you are looking for a podiatrist, please refer to the contact information provided above.

When should I see a podiatrist?

Any time you experience sore feet or pain, you should consider seeing a podiatrist.

Do I need a doctor’s referral to see a podiatrist?

You do not need a doctor’s referral to see a podiatrist.

Why is an office fee charged to the patient?

Podiatric medicine is not included in the Canada Health Act; however, some provincial health plans (public medical insurance) provide partial coverage in select instances. Therefore, most podiatrists charge a fee to cover part or all of their services and treatment. Note: extended health plans (private medical insurance) often provide coverage for podiatric services — please verify with your individual plan.

Are visits covered by insurance?

Many private insurance companies include podiatric services in their coverage. Please check with your individual insurance company to find out if you are covered.

What are orthotics?

A biomechanical foot orthotic is a highly specialized piece of medical equipment that enables the joints and bones of the foot to be in a more stable position for standing and while in motion. Orthotics control each phase of the walking cycle, from the moment your heel contacts the ground to when your toes push off the surface.

CPMA Biomechanical Form

How often should orthotics be replaced?

Orthotics should be replaced a minimum of every two years.

Where can I obtain more information about podiatry?

There are several good Internet sites that provide information about podiatrists. Check out our “Links” page. Also, to find out the requirements for foot care in your province, contact the appropriate provincial association:

Alberta www.albertapodiatry.com

British Columbia www.foothealth.ca

Manitoba www.mbpodiatry.org www.mts.net/~copom/

New Brunswick (Not available)

Ontario www.opma.ca

Quebec www.ordredespodiatres.qc.ca

Saskatchewan (Not Available)

What is the CPMA Seal of Approval and Acceptance?

The CPMA Seal of Acceptance/Approval is a program that recognizes products deemed beneficial to foot health. The Seal of Approval program evaluates the use of therapeutic products. The Seal is awarded to a product after it has been recognized by the CPMA Seal of Acceptance/Approval Committee determines whether the product promotes quality foot health. The Seal of Acceptance evaluates footwear and other external products such as equipment, hosiery and materials.

Click here for more information or to apply for the Seal.