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  • Writer's pictureJimmie Lewis III

My Journey to Podiatric Medicine

Updated: May 15, 2020

Podiatry prides itself on being the “hidden gem” of medical careers: we are doctors who perform surgery and live a pretty flexible lifestyle.

So, how did I find this hidden gem?

Entering my senior year of college, I received an email from Kent State School of Podiatric Medicine. When I received this email, I started to do more intensive research within the field. I learned from my research that Podiatry is a medical specialty that deals with the study, diagnosis, and surgical treatment of the lower extremities. Podiatrists are qualified to treat diseases of the foot and ankle. Whether it’s sports medicine, dermatology, pediatrics, wound care, diabetic care, surgery, or biomechanics related, podiatrists can treat the many diverse aspects of foot care. Podiatrists can also be one of the first doctors to see systemic symptoms of a patient, such as vascular disease and diabetes. Podiatrists are valued members of a community health care team and can help patients get back on their feet and living their best lives. Podiatrists receive their medical education and Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) from one of the nine podiatric medical colleges around the country. They also receive three years of hospital-based surgical residency training while undergoing board certification. After shadowing different podiatric physicians, I fell in love with the field as the doctors were very down to earth. With my father being an allopathic physician, I only knew about MD and DO routes growing up. Nevertheless, through my intensive research, podiatric medicine became my main interest.

What is the difference between podiatry school and other programs like allopathic and osteopathic schools?

There are a couple key differences, but I’d say the main one is the fact that podiatrists go into medical school knowing what specialty they want to train in. This is unlike other medical schools because there you get a choice of many specialties like OB/GYN, orthopedic surgery, pediatrics, or psychiatry, and have a couple of years to choose what specialty interests you the most.

The great thing about podiatric medical school is that we still learn all of the material that an MD or DO physician learns during the first two years of our schooling. We are trained as doctors in the medical field, so we have to know everything about the body so when we’re thrown into situations during our rotations or residency, we know how to react.

Graduation, GAP Year, & Post Grad Life 

I graduated in the spring of 2019 at Prairie View A&M University and took the MCAT at the end of my junior year and the beginning of my senior year. I applied to allopathic, osteopathic, and podiatric medical schools before I graduated from college. I began the waiting for a response process starting in May of 2019 after graduation. I was dreading the idea of doing a master's program; nevertheless, my parents persuaded me to apply; furthermore, I got accepted and went to a bridge program at West Liberty University in West Virginia. The bridge program had no diversity what so ever; therefore, it was challenging to succeed in that type of environment. I thought this program was apart of God's plan. However, I came back to Houston, Texas, in January of 2020 and started to study for my MCAT again while working a part-time job. A few weeks later, I received an interview from Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine, Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, and Kent State School of Podiatric Medicine entering the new year. During the beginning process of the coronavirus, I had just returned from Miami Spring Break with some of my friends. I received calls from all the podiatric medical schools that I had gotten accepted into the upcoming class of 2024. I couldn't be happier with my decision. As I continue to learn about podiatric medicine, the more I love it! The podiatric medical community is positive and supportive, and Miami is a magnificent city to practice medicine. I am very grateful to continue my path to becoming a podiatric physician this upcoming fall.

Never Give Up!!!!

​Graduating from college and not going into medical school, the traditional route can be very frustrating, especially with concerned parents who want you to be great. DO NOT GIVE UP! I’ve been in your shoes.I’ve felt the frustration of watching some of my friends enter medical school before me when I have not even received an email. But imagine if I had given up. Imagine if I had said that’s enough, I don’t want to try anymore. I would’ve never known that my blessing was right around the corner. I’m here to tell you that your blessing is right around the corner. That phone call, that email is coming, and you WILL become a doctor if you continue to grind and work hard. Study hard for your MCAT, and God will write your next chapter in your journey to becoming a future physician. Maybe not this application cycle, but very very soon. So pull yourself up and motivate yourself to keep going, revamp your application, and apply again! Explore all possibilities. Conquer your dreams, and discover the world that lies ahead of you. Let God write your story and you will live a life worth telling!

Interview Day at Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine right before the coronavirus and now my future home to further my education!!!

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