A podiatrist, also known as a podiatric physician or surgeon, diagnoses and treats conditions affecting the foot and ankle. As with all medical careers, the path to becoming a podiatrist begins with a genuine desire and interest in helping other people. The strong foundation built as an undergraduate student at Westminster College includes demonstrating the knowledge, skills and personal growth attributes that contribute to a strong podiatry school application and future success as a medical professional.
Pre-Podiatry students must be mindful of the core requirements for competitive podiatry school applications, preparing for the MCAT exam, gaining appropriate experiences in the field and completing their respective majors. While it is possible for a student to do virtually any academic major, it is imperative for all students to work closely with both academic and health professions advisors to ensure completion of all requirements for podiatry schools and for their undergraduate degree.
Most often, a student on a pre-podiatry track will choose a science major such as Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, or Neuroscience since the curricula include most, if not all, required and recommended courses for medical schools. Students will typically apply to podiatry school between their junior and senior years, allowing for a direct transition following graduation, but some wait until after they graduate to apply in order to further their education and gain more relevant experience.
The academic and extracurricular experience at Westminster College, ranging from coursework to on- and off-campus service and experiential activities to international study and/or travel, contribute strongly to the appeal of the well-trained and well-rounded individuals who graduate from our school.
Prerequisite courses generally include:
Course requirements may vary from one professional program to another, so it is the responsibility of the student to be aware of specifics regarding their schools of interest. Good planning and working closely with academic and health professions advisors are essential to maximize chances of success in the competitive optometry school application environment.
This is a sample schedule for a Biology major preparing to take the MCAT between their junior and senior year and matriculating to a podiatric medical school following graduation. Please note that an individual student's schedule will vary based on the major selected and the schedule of course offerings. First-Year Program (FYP) courses, Intellectual Perspectives (IP) courses, the Cluster Course (CC), which are Westminster graduation requirements, are indicated in italics.
With the exception of the core requirements and courses strongly recommended ahead of the MCAT exam, there is curricular flexibility within any chosen major and among the elective courses that are part of the liberal arts curriculum at Westminster College. It is, however, strongly suggested that students take both courses in Anatomy & Physiology (BIO 335/336), and Neurobiology (BIO 434) in order to be better prepared for the podiatric medical curriculum. Students planning to study abroad for a semester must also plan accordingly to meet all requirements and timelines. It is also advisable for students to budget time during the spring semester of their junior year to prepare for the MCAT exam.
Please contact the Health Professions Advisor, Dr. Joshua Corrette-Bennett.