How do I Start a Podiatry Practice?

N. Madison
N. Madison

A person who wants to start a podiatry practice typically needs a good deal of education and training. Before he can open a practice, he’ll have to become a podiatrist, which requires the completion of high school, podiatry school, and a couple of years of residency training. Podiatrists are usually required to pass a licensing exam as well. Once a podiatrist is licensed to practice in his field and has completed his residency training requirements, he can open his own practice. For this, he’ll need a good location, equipment, staff, and a good plan for attracting and caring for patients.

Surgical tools and office equipment are usually obtained by a podiatry practice that is starting up.
Surgical tools and office equipment are usually obtained by a podiatry practice that is starting up.

A podiatry practice is a type of medical practice that cares for a patient’s feet. Podiatrists seek to help patients of all ages keep their feet healthy, functional, and pain free. A podiatrist treats foot injuries, such as fractures, as well as conditions such as bunions. He also helps patients who have diseases that affect the lower leg or foot, providing both diagnosis and treatment. He can prescribe medications, order tests, and even design casts for his patients.

Training is an important part of opening a podiatry practice.
Training is an important part of opening a podiatry practice.

The first step for someone who wants to open a podiatry practice is completing high school. Often, prospective podiatrists are advised to take advanced math and science courses in high school to prepare for the rigors of college. Classes that help to develop communication skills may prove helpful as well.

Podiatrists treat foot problems, such as bunions.
Podiatrists treat foot problems, such as bunions.

After high school, a person who wants to start a podiatry practice usually needs four years of college followed by another four years in a school of podiatric medicine. He then goes on to complete residency training at a hospital, which usually lasts for about three years. Podiatrists are also subject to the licensing requirements of the jurisdiction in which they plan to practice. Typically, aspiring podiatrists have to take and pass a licensing exam after medical school.

Once a podiatrist has completed his licensing and training requirements, he may decide to open his own podiatry practice. To do this, he’ll need to buy or rent a suitable facility that is big enough for treating patients and in a good location. He’ll need to buy podiatry equipment, such as nail files and drills, surgical lights, and scalpels, as well as desks, chairs, shelves, and other furnishings for his office. He’ll usually need at least a few staff members at the start, such as a nurse, a receptionist, and an office manager. In some cases, a podiatrist may hire a medical biller and an accountant as well.

To be successful in running a podiatry practice, a podiatrist may do well to start with a good business plan. His plan should include details about marketing and paying his staff until he begins to collect regular patient fees. A business plan can help a podiatrist not only stay focused on building his practice, but also to secure loan money to get started if necessary.

An aspiring podiatrist may want to major in premedical studies while in college.
An aspiring podiatrist may want to major in premedical studies while in college.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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