Podiatric Medicine is a branch of the medical sciences devoted to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle disorders, diseases and injuries. The growing demand for high quality care of disorders of the foot, ankle, and lower leg is driven in large measure by the critical role of podiatrists in sports medicine, in diabetic foot care, and in the care of the geriatric population. The profession requires four years of rigorous study at an accredited podiatric medical school/college after four years of pre-medical education. Podiatric medicine as a career opportunity provides outstanding quality-of-life benefits for practitioners. Podiatrists experience the education of a medical specialist, the variety of a general practitioner, and the freedom of an entrepreneur.
The Midwestern University (MWU) Arizona School of Podiatric Medicine (AZPod) is a 4-year program whose core curriculum is similar to that of other medical schools. Courses in the clinical sciences are integrated with basic science courses during the first two years of the curriculum. Clinical courses continue through the summer and part of the fall quarter of the third year. All basic science courses and some clinical courses are shared with osteopathic medical students. Part time clinical training occurs in the second year. Full time clinical training occupies eight months of the third year and all of the fourth year. The overall goal of the School is to prepare the finest possible podiatric physicians for entry into residency training.
Second, third, and fourth year students complete clinical rotations in private practices, hospitals, and clinics. During these rotations, they learn how to take general and podiatric histories, perform routine physical examinations, interpret tests and imaging, make diagnoses, and perform therapeutic procedures. The only podiatric medical school in the Southwest, Midwestern University's program offers innovative instructional and learning techniques and takes full advantage of the abundant resources available on the campus and in the community. Students are taught fundamental skills early in the curriculum, which allows them to benefit more fully from an early introduction to patient care. Many elective rotations are available to podiatric medical students attending Midwestern University.
The integration of podiatry with the other health sciences disciplines at Midwestern University more fully prepares graduates to function effectively in the increasingly multidisciplinary care patterns of the future. Through the rigorous curriculum at Midwestern University, podiatry students gain the requisite medical knowledge and practical skills necessary to excel in residency and practice. Through an extensive program of community service, AZPod students develop an appreciation for the importance of ethics and professionalism in combination with compassion and cultural sensitivity.