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Podiatric Medicine - D.P.M. PDFDownload to print

College of Podiatric Medicine

College of Podiatric Medicine

College of Podiatric Medicine
6000 Rockside Woods Blvd., Independence, OH 44131
Tel: 216-231-3300 / 800-238-7903


Podiatric medicine is the branch of medicine which medically and surgically manages care of the lower extremity. The podiatric physician is a health professional who is involved with examination, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of foot disorders by physical, medical and surgical means. A doctor of podiatric medicine is trained to detect the signs of systemic disease which may appear first in the lower extremity, such as diabetes or circulatory disorders. When such diagnoses are made, the podiatric physician consults with the patient's family doctor concerning the systemic disease. A career in podiatric medicine can include the areas of primary care, surgery, orthopedics, sports medicine, geriatrics and pediatrics.

The College of Podiatric Medicine has partnered with the College of Education, Health and Human Services to provide a combined Bachelor of Science/Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree. This combined degree will allow Kent State undergraduate students majoring in Exercise Science to seek admission to the DPM program with the potential benefit of receiving a bachelor's degree upon successful completion of 12 credit hours once accepted and enrolled in the DPM program. For more information about the program, please contact the Office of Enrollment Management at the College of Podiatric Medicine at 216-231-3300 or 

Career Opportunities

Employment of podiatrists is expected to grow 14 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Continued growth in the demand for medical and surgical care of the foot and ankle will stem from the aging population. Podiatrists will also be needed to treat patients with foot and ankle conditions caused by chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity.

(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Admission Requirements

The College of Podiatric Medicine requires that candidates for admission complete a minimum 90 semester credit hours (or minimum 135 quarter hours), including the following prerequisites:

  • 6 semesters (or 9 quarter hours) of English
  • 8 semesters (or 12 quarter hours) of biology*
  • 8 semesters (or 12 quarter hours) of general/inorganic chemistry*
  • 8 semesters (or 12 quarter hours)of organic chemistry*
  • 8 semesters (or 12 quarter hours) of physics*

* All science coursework must include labs, when applicable.

Nearly all of entering podiatric medicine students will have earned a bachelor’s or advanced degree prior to matriculation; however, students may be granted admission with the required undergraduate coursework (90 semester hours or 135 quarter hours) and prerequisites completed. In addition to required coursework, the following classes are recommended: biochemistry, histology, anatomy and physiology, neurobiology and microbiology.

A traditional candidate for the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree will have the following academic credentials:

  • Overall GPA: 3.41
  • Science GPA: 3.29
  • Non-science GPA: 3.50
  • Organic chemistry GPA: 3.06
  • MCAT score: 23

The College of Podiatric Medicine requires candidates to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) prior to matriculation. Scores must be within three years of the application date.  Candidates may apply before taking the MCAT; however, the college will not be able to take final admissions action until official MCAT scores are received by the application service (AACPMAS). Candidates should plan on taking the MCAT no later than May of the year they plan to matriculate.

Applicants should furnish at least one academic letter of recommendation or a composite letter from a pre-medical advisory committee, and one letter from a practicing doctor of podiatric medicine.

For more information about graduate admissions, please visit the Graduate Studies website.

Technical Standards and Essential Requirements for Student Education at Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine. 

The College of Podiatric Medicine is committed to the admission and advancement of all qualified students. College policy prohibits discrimination against anyone solely based on race, sexual orientation, gender, veteran status, color, national origin, religion, age, handicap or disability. 

The faculty and administration have adopted the following technical standards and essential requirements that must be met by all students for progression and graduation. These technical standards expected of students seeking the degree of doctor of Podiatric Medicine reflect the college's highest commitment to the safety of its students and patients, and recognize the essential functions of the profession of podiatric medicine. 

The following standards and requirements describe the academic abilities and non-academic qualifications that are essential to the program of instruction, are directly related to the licensing requirements, and are directly related to those physical abilities, mental abilities, skills, attitudes and behaviors that students must demonstrate or perform at each stage of their education to ultimately ensure patient safety. 


  • Visual observation and integration: Candidates and students must have  sufficient vision to observe demonstrations, video materials, and slides through a microscope and computer screens. They must acquire information from written documents, radiographs, photographs, charts and diagrams. They must be able to observe a patient accurately close at hand and at a distance to assess asymmetry, range of motion and tissue/texture changes.
  • Communication: Candidates and students must be able to communicate effectively in oral and written formats, and in settings where time span is limited. This includes communication in clinical and laboratory settings. Candidates must be able to accurately elicit information in a timely and efficient manner. Candidates must be able to describe a patient's condition to the patient and to others in the diagnosis and treatment process. 
  • Other sensor capacities: Students must independently be able to take an oral history, do stethoscopy and communicate while wearing a surgical mask. Students must also have sufficient somatosensory capacity to palpate pulses, use a tuning fork and assess skin temperature. 
  • Motor functions: Candidates and students must have sufficient motor function reasonably required to undertake classes, laboratories and demonstrations, to provide general patient care as well as emergency treatment to patients. This includes cadaver dissection, microscopy, aseptic technique and safe handling of microbiological specimens. Also included is the motor capacity for chart and prescription writing, palpation, percussion, auscultation and other diagnostic maneuvers. All of these tasks must be done in a timely and efficient manner within prescribed time limitations relative to the context of a practicing physician. Examples of common daily treatments include, but are not limited to, palliative care of foot and ankle problems, injections, orthotic impressions, taking and processing of pedal radiographs, and performance of soft tissue and osseous tissue surgical procedures. Examples of emergency treatments include CPR, administration of intravenous medications, the opening of obstructed airways, and hemostasis techniques. 
  • Intellectual, conceptual, quantitative and integrative abilities: Candidates must have sufficient cognitive abilities and effective learning techniques to assimilate the detailed and complex information presented in the medical student curriculum. Candidates must engage in critical thinking and problem solving. They must be able to learn through a variety of modalities including, but not limited to, classroom and lab instruction and exams; small group, team and collaborative activities; individual study; preparation and presentation of reports; and use of computer technology. Candidates must be able to consistently, quickly and accurately measure, calculate, interpret, reason, memorize, analyze, synthesize and transmit information across modalities. Candidates must be able to demonstrate these skills and procedures under pressure and in a timely fashion across a range of conditions and time frames. They must be able to recognize and draw conclusions under pressure and in a timely fashion across a range of conditions and time frames. They must be able to recognize and draw conclusions about three-dimensional spatial relationships and logical sequential relationships among events. These skills and abilities are fully defined by the faculty and explained in course syllabi. 
  • Behavioral and social attributes: Candidates must demonstrate the maturity and emotional stability required for full use of their intellectual abilities. They must accept responsibility for learning, exercising good judgement and promptly completing all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients. They must understand the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of medicine and function within both the law and ethical standards of the medical profession. Candidates must be able to work effectively, respectfully and professionally as part of the healthcare team and to interact with patients, their families, and health care personnel in a courteous, professional and respectful matter. They must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and long work hours, to function effectively under stress and to display flexibility and adaptability to changing environments. 
  • Involvement in invasive and exposure-prone procedures: Candidates and students must be qualified to be personally and actively involved in invasive and exposure-prone procedures without being a danger to patients, other health care professionals or fellow students. They must demonstrate adherence to the universal precautions as defined by the Center for Disease Control. As part of the technical standards and essential requirements to matriculate at the college, the following statement shall apply: If the student is HIV seropositive, the student may be restricted by the State Medical Board of Ohio from performing procedures required for graduation. If the student is HBV and or HCV positive and does not demonstrate non-infectivity, the student may be restricted by the State Medical Board of Ohio from performing procedures required for graduation. Any questions regarding these requirements should be directed to the senior associate dean.
Progression Requirements

Students whose first semester of coursework in the DPM program is fall 2016 or later are required to meet the following minimum overall GPAs during the first and second year:

  • 2.500 overall GPA at the end of the 1st Year fall semester
  • 2.500 overall GPA at the end of the 1st Year spring semester
  • 2.500 overall GPA at the end of the 1st Year summer semester
  • 2.500 overall GPA at the end of the 2nd Year fall semester
  • 2.400 overall GPA at the end of the 2nd Year spring semester

Students falling below the minimum overall GPAs following the 1st Year fall, spring, and summer semesters, or the 2nd Year fall semester are required to participate in mandatory academic counseling. Students below the minimum overall GPA of 2.400 at the end of the 2nd Year spring semester will be academically dismissed with the right to appeal, provided that the student has not previously been dismissed (academic or otherwise) from the College of Podiatric Medicine. 

Graduation Requirements

A candidate for the degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine must have:

  • Maintained satisfactory academic performance with no grade below a C or S (satisfactory).
  • Demonstrated clinical competence through completion of the performance objectives.
  • Been verified as being in good disciplinary standing.
  • Satisfactorily completed all academic requirements, including clinical rotations and externship/clerkship program requirements.
  • Fulfilled all responsibilities and financial obligations to the college and university.
  • Demonstrated moral and mental competency to practice podiatric medicine.
  • Taken and passed the American Podiatric Medical Licensing Examination (APMLE) Part I, and have taken both sections of Part II (written examination and the Clinical Skills Encounter--CSPE examination) and released the score reports to the college.
  •  Passed Senior Competency Examination

In order to be eligible for graduation in May, candidates must have met all of the above requirements prior to June 30th immediately following the May graduation. 

Attendance at the graduation ceremony is required.

All students must successfully complete the graduation requirements within six years of their initial matriculation. Exceptions for students with extenuating circumstances must have the approval of the CPME. 

There is no contract stated or implied, between the college and the students that a degree will be conferred at any stated time, or at all.

Program Learning Outcomes

The following educational outcomes will be attained as a result of the cumulative effect of both didactic instruction in the basic medical sciences and clinical courses, as well as, clinical experiences afforded through clinical rotations and clerkship experiences. The goal is to prepare the graduate for successful entry into postdoctoral training program.

  1. To have an appreciation of the ethical responsibilities of the physician to his or her patient.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of medical statistics, epidemiology and research methods.
  3. Diagnose common foot and ankle pathology utilizing signs, symptoms, differential diagnosis, laboratory and X-ray evaluations; and discuss treatment alternatives available in each diagnosis, including the following:
    a. Hallux valgus k. Verruca
    b. Hallux limits l. Stress fracture
    c. Contracted and deformed lesser digits m. Ulcers
    d. Hyperpronation on hindfoot n. Bacterial infections
    e. Hypersupination of hindfoot o. Fungal infections
    f. Morton's Neuroma p. Ankle sprains
    g. Capsulities of forefoot q. Plantar calluses
    h. Tendonitis/bursitis r. Degenerative joint disease
    i. Heel Spur syndrome s. Gouty arthritis
    j. Nail deformities (Onychomycosis) t. Rigid flatfoot
  4. To have an understanding of the medical, social, economic, ethnic and cultural issues and concerns of the geriatric population.
  5. To have an appreciation of civil, criminal and administrative laws that impact podiatric practice.
  6. To have knowledge of podiatric practice administration.
  7. To have an understanding of the public health issues that impact podiatric practice.
  8. To be able to provide podiatric primary care in a clinical setting.
  9. Is proficient in the ability to perform a history and basic physical examination, including the lower extremity.
  10. Recognize the common major dermatologic conditions, and manage pedal dermatological problems.
  11. Be knowledgeable of the major systemic diseases, their pedal manifestations and implication in the management of the podiatric patient.
  12. Demonstrate knowledge of the pathology, clinical presentation and treatment of general neurological disease, and understand the pedal manifestations of neurological diseases.
  13. Understand common emergent medical problems and their management.
  14. Ability to perform a complete podiatric biomechanical arthrometric examination, and interpret the results.
  15. Prescribe and institute orthotic or other mechanical therapy (physical therapy, activity modification, exercise therapy, shoe therapy, etc.), based upon findings of a podiatric biomechanical arthrometric examination.
  16. Evaluate, diagnose, prescribe and institute treatment for commonly encountered and mechanically induced injuries or conditions occurring in the lower extremity.
  17. Perform a complete lower extremity examination on pediatric aged patient, comparing developmental milestones to the norm, and identifying common lower extremity injuries and conditions.
  18. Be able to evaluate medical status of a pre-op patient, and recognize and prepare treatment plan for common post-op complications.
  19. Understand concepts of wound healing (both soft tissue and bone), and utilize those concepts to evaluate and manage surgical wounds.
  20. Understand and perform basic surgical skills, including administration of local anesthetics, aseptic techniques, instrumentation, homeostasis techniques suture materials and needle selection, suturing, hand ties, tourniquets application and gowning and gloving.
  21. Understand concepts necessary to determine the indications for forefoot and rearfoot surgical reconstruction procedure, including:
    • a. Pre-operative evaluation and procedure selection.
    • b. Description of the procedure.
    • c. Reasonable postoperative follow-up plan.
  22. Recognize various types of foot and ankle trauma, including fractures, dislocations, sprains, tendon ruptures, and formulates a treatment plan.
  23. Recognize and implement treatment plan for soft tissue or bone infection, including surgical procedure and selection of antibiotic agents.

Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine is an institution organized in conformity with the laws, rules and regulations of the State of Ohio with the authority to confer the degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. The college is accredited by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME) of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).

Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME)

Culminating Requirements

Senior Competency