What Does A Podiatrist Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

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Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Podiatrists

Podiatrists diagnose and treat diseases and deformities of the human foot.

Salary
$151110
Becoming One
Very Hard
Education
Doctoral degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Podiatrists diagnose and treat diseases and deformities of the human foot.

  • Surgically treat conditions such as corns, calluses, ingrown nails, tumors, shortened tendons, bunions, cysts, or abscesses.
  • Diagnose diseases and deformities of the foot using medical histories, physical examinations, x-rays, and laboratory test results.
  • Prescribe medications, corrective devices, physical therapy, or surgery.
  • Advise patients about treatments and foot care techniques necessary for the prevention of future problems.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Podiatrists advise patients about treatments and foot care techniques necessary for the prevention of future problems. They treat bone, muscle, and joint disorders affecting the feet and ankles.

A typical day for a Podiatrist will also include:

  • Diagnose diseases and deformities of the foot using medical histories, physical examinations, x-rays, and laboratory test results.
  • Prescribe medications, corrective devices, physical therapy, or surgery.
  • Surgically treat conditions such as corns, calluses, ingrown nails, tumors, shortened tendons, bunions, cysts, or abscesses.
  • Treat deformities using mechanical methods, such as whirlpool or paraffin baths, and electrical methods, such as short wave and low voltage currents.
  • Correct deformities by means of plaster casts and strapping.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Podiatrists also make and fit prosthetic appliances. They may also refer patients to physicians when symptoms indicative of systemic disorders, such as arthritis or diabetes, are observed in feet and legs.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Podiatrists perform administrative duties, such as hiring employees, ordering supplies, or keeping records. They might also correct deformities by means of plaster casts and strapping.

In addition, they educate the public about the benefits of foot care through techniques such as speaking engagements, advertising, and other forums.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them surgically treat conditions such as corns, calluses, ingrown nails, tumors, shortened tendons, bunions, cysts, or abscesses.

To some Podiatrists, it is also their responsibility to treat deformities using mechanical methods, such as whirlpool or paraffin baths, and electrical methods, such as short wave and low voltage currents.

Freedom to make decisions

How much decision making freedom does this job offer?

No freedom
0%

Very little freedom
2%

Limited freedom
0%

Some freedom
18%

A lot of freedom
80%

Structured vs unstructured work

To what extent is this job structured for you versus allowing you to determine your own tasks, priorities, and goals?

No freedom
0%

Very little freedom
0%

Limited freedom
14%

Some freedom
35%

A lot of freedom
51%


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What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Average

Is this job meaningful

Very High

66% said they were satisfied with their job and 83% said they found their job meaningful.


Dr. Bruce Pinker
Progressive Foot Care

I have been in private practice for many years. Some podiatrists are employed by a hospital or medical group. While I interact with the hospital occasionally, I usually spend most of my time in my offices (we have two). I perform foot surgery in the local hospital operating room or nearby surgery center. Periodically, I receive calls from the local hospital where I have privileges to see patients for consultations. The conditions I treat for consultations range from diabetic foot infections to fractures (broken bones) to elongated or ingrown toenails.

Some podiatrists perform complicated foot and ankle reconstructions, and some handle severe trauma conditions that require surgery. Others treat patients for conservative conditions in the office on a daily basis and may never interact in a hospital setting. There are some podiatrists who specialize in treating childrens’ disorders (which are usually biomechanical in nature). Some focus primarily on toenail conditions, such as toenail fungus, which affects millions of individuals. Others are primarily sports medicine based and treat mostly athletes. My practice is rather well-balanced between all these areas, with an emphasis on treating toenail disorders.

My typical week runs from 9am to 6pm, and I choose to see patients on Saturdays from 9am – 12pm. Rarely do I receive emergency calls. Being the owner of a private practice has many benefits, as I set my own schedule and manage the practice and all of our employees. Having the freedom to choose when I see patients is a major benefit. Managing the practice is a skill I developed over time which I enjoy. For me, I am a business owner, as well as a doctor. I enjoy the lifestyle and the balance. Other podiatrists, however, may prefer to be employed by a hospital or group practice, which limits their responsibility (and their freedom).

Dr. Bruce Pinker
A board certified podiatrist and foot surgeon who has been practicing over 20 years
Progressive Foot Care


Pros

Suitable for people who like to solve problems mentally.

Suitable for people who value achievements and are results-oriented.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

One of the fastest-growing careers.

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to follow routines.

It is very hard to get into this career. Extensive skills, knowledge, and experience are required for this career.

Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week).

How much do they make

Average salary

$151110 per year

Average hourly wage

$73 per hour

Entry-level Podiatrists with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $55,230 to $82,750 per year or $27 to $40 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $208,000+ $100+
Senior (Top 25%) $196,030 $94
Median $134,300 $65
Junior (Bottom 25%) $82,750 $40
No experience (Bottom 10%) $55,230 $27

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Podiatrists based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Outpatient Care Centers $181470 $87.24
Offices of Physicians $164300 $78.99
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $147530 $70.93
Offices of Other Health Practitioners $147490 $70.91
Federal Executive Branch $143850 $69.16

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Podiatrists work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Podiatrists including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Offices of Other Health Practitioners 6060 $147490 $70.91
Offices of Physicians 1760 $164300 $78.99
Federal Executive Branch 880 $143850 $69.16
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 710 $147530 $70.93
Outpatient Care Centers 180 $181470 $87.24

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
15%

40 hours
6%

More than 40 hours
80%

Working schedule

100%

0%

0%

Work with group or team

How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

Not important at all
0%

Fairly important
0%

Important
0%

Very important
56%

Extremely important
44%

Deal with external customers

How important is it to work with customers in this job?

Not important at all
3%

Fairly important
5%

Important
23%

Very important
2%

Extremely important
67%

Manage or lead others

How important is it to coordinate or lead others in completing work activities in this job?

Not important at all
0%

Fairly important
5%

Important
11%

Very important
51%

Extremely important
33%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
18%

Every day
65%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
12%

Every day
88%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
20%

Every day
77%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
28%

Once a year
50%

Once a month
18%

Once a week
5%

Every day
0%

Frequency of conflict situations

How often are there conflict situations in this job?

Never
0%

Once a year
28%

Once a month
29%

Once a week
22%

Every day
21%

Dealing with angry people

How often do you have to deal with angry, unpleasant, or discourteous individuals in this job?

Never
0%

Once a year
2%

Once a month
55%

Once a week
37%

Every day
6%

Dealing with physically aggressive people

How often do you have to deal with physically aggressive people in this job?

Never
43%

Once a year
32%

Once a month
8%

Once a week
18%

Every day
0%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
2%

Slightly competitive
2%

Moderately competitive
47%

Highly competitive
48%

Extremely competitive
0%

Repetition in this job

How important is repeating the same type of task over and over in this job?

Not important at all
27%

Fairly important
2%

Important
25%

Very Important
45%

Extremely Important
0%

Impact of decisions on co-workers or company results

What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the reputation or financial resources of your employer?

No impact
0%

Minor impact
0%

Moderate impact
2%

Important impact
64%

Very important impact
34%

Frequency of decision making

How frequently do you have to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the reputation of the company?

Never
0%

Once a year
0%

Once a month
14%

Once a week
3%

Every day
83%

Responsibility for others’ health and safety

How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?

No responsibility
0%

Limited responsibility
5%

Moderate responsibility
12%

High responsibility
36%

Very high responsibility
48%

Responsibility for outcomes and results

How much responsibility is there for the work outcomes and results of other workers?

No responsibility
0%

Limited responsibility
14%

Moderate responsibility
0%

High responsibility
24%

Very high responsibility
62%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
14%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
18%

Every day
69%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
82%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
18%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
82%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
18%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
82%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
18%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Very Hard
You will need an extensive amount of skill, knowledge, and experience. Careers in this difficulty category usually require graduate school and more than five years of experience. These careers usually involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Similar careers include Pharmacists, Lawyers, Astronomers, Neurologists, and Veterinarians.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
0%

High School Diploma or equivalent
8%

Post-Secondary Certificate
8%

Some College Courses
0%

Associate’s Degree or similar
0%

Bachelor’s Degree
0%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
12%

Doctoral Degree
26%

Post-Doctoral Training
47%

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
25%

1 month
2%

1 to 3 months
8%

3 to 6 months
0%

6 months to 1 year
12%

1 to 2 years
11%

2 to 4 years
19%

4 to 6 years
6%

6 to 8 years
0%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
17%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
17%

1 month
21%

1 to 3 months
10%

3 to 6 months
19%

6 months to 1 year
9%

1 to 2 years
8%

2 to 4 years
10%

4 to 10 years
6%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Thinker

People with this personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.

The Builder
62%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
100%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
29%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
86%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
38%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
29%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like working with ideas and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

They also like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
86%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
79%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
81%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
86%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
67%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
86%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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