Innovators Guide



Podiatrist Job Outlook

Employment is expected to increase about as fast as average. Job prospects should be good.

Employment change. Employment of podiatrists is expected to increase by 9 percent from 2008 to 2018, about as fast as the average for all occupations. More people will turn to podiatrists for foot care because of the rising number of injuries sustained by a more active and increasingly older population. Also, demand for podiatrists will increase because of the rising number of Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes and who are severely overweight. People with diabetes have circulatory problems that create the need for them to seek the aid of podiatrists; persons who experience rapid weight gain may have intense pressure on the foot and ankle, and therefore need the services of podiatrists.

Medicare and most private health insurance programs cover acute medical and surgical foot services, as well as diagnostic x rays and leg braces. Details of such coverage vary among plans. However, routine foot care, including the removal of corns and calluses, is not usually covered unless the patient has a systemic condition that has resulted in severe circulatory problems or areas of desensitization in the legs or feet. Like dental services, podiatric care is often discretionary and, therefore, more dependent on disposable income than some other medical services.

Employment of podiatrists would grow even faster were it not for continued emphasis on controlling the costs of specialty healthcare. Insurers will balance the cost of sending patients to podiatrists against the cost and availability of substitute practitioners, such as physicians, chiropractors, and physical therapists.

Job prospects. Although the occupation is small and most podiatrists continue to practice until retirement, job opportunities should be good for entry-level graduates of accredited podiatric medicine programs. Job growth, coupled with the need to replace podiatrists who stop practicing, should create enough job openings for the supply of new podiatric medicine graduates. Opportunities will be better for board-certified podiatrists because many managed-care organizations require board certification. Newly trained podiatrists will find more opportunities in group medical practices, clinics, and health networks than in traditional solo practices. Establishing a practice will be most difficult in the areas surrounding colleges of podiatric medicine, where podiatrists concentrate.

Source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition

Find related resources below:



Podiatrist Employment
Podiatrist Training
Podiatrist Job Outlook
Podiatrist Income

 

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