Offices and Clinics of Podiatrists

SIC 8043

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

This category pertains to establishments of licensed practitioners having the degree of D.P. (Doctor of Podiatry) and engaged in the practice of podiatry. Establishments operating as clinics of podiatrists are included in this industry.

Podiatry involves the study of movement and medical care of the foot and ankle. Doctors of podiatry diagnose and treat diseases and disorders of the foot, but they also can diagnose other maladies such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease because the foot is often the first part of the body to manifest the signs of serious illness. Orthopedists specialize in foot surgery, orthopedics, children's problems (podopediatrics), or foot problems of the elderly. The major focus of a podiatrist's practice, however, is the treatment of corns, bunions, calluses, ingrown toenails, and nail diseases, along with palliative care (to ease pain). Women of middle age comprise as much as 80 percent of some podiatrists' clientele, a situation attributed to the poor design of women's shoes.

Podiatrists work at private or group practices, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), hospitals, public health services and departments, and podiatric schools of medicine. The majority of podiatrists work in their own private practices and set their hours of business accordingly.

The podiatry industry gained increasing public recognition as a health profession in the 1990s and 2000s. Approximately 12,200 podiatrists practiced in the United States in 2009, according to statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These doctors averaged a 42.5-hour workweek, primarily occupied with patient visitation. Their income averaged $113,560 a year, with the more experienced doctors earning more. Opportunities for this profession are most lucrative in group practices or within medical networks, as opposed to individual private practice. The industry experienced steady growth in the 2000s in the number of trained podiatrists who established practices. Younger podiatrists, though, saddled with college-aid debt, often elected to work in partnerships to earn enough money and experience to open their own practices.

While the majority of podiatrists work in major metropolitan areas, they are not evenly distributed geographically. Since the 1970s, the northeastern United States has been the site of the highest concentration of podiatrists. Many podiatrists set up practices near the nine colleges of podiatric medicine in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. There are also several podiatric hospitals, including one in Cinncinnati, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco. The south and southwestern portions of the United States and nonurban areas have fewer podiatrists. Fewer than 160 podiatrists practice in Washington state, where doctors report a saturated market.

According to the BLS, podiatry is a well-paid profession, with projected growth at a par with the average growth rate for all occupations through 2018. Although growth in employment was expected to be somewhat slowed by the continued focus on containing health care costs, the number of podiatrists in the United States was expected to increase by about 9 percent by 2018, reaching 13,300.

To gain admission into one of the colleges of podiatric medicine, prospective students must first complete at least three years or 90 semester hours of college credit at an accredited undergraduate institution, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. More than 90 percent of the students entering a college of podiatric medicine have bachelor's degrees. Applicants must take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). In addition, podiatrists must be licensed to practice podiatric medicine after earning a doctor of podiatric medicine (DPM) degree from an accredited college of podiatry. Training for the DPM degree requires study in the basic and clinical sciences--anatomy, chemistry, pathology, physiology, pharmacology--and inpatient care. Graduate study entails a residency of one to three years in length after the DPM degree. All states and the District of Columbia require licensure, and others require completion of an accredited residency program and/or some form of continuing education in order to renew a license.

Podiatrists, like other alternative health care service providers such as chiropractors, optometrists, nurses, midwives, and acupuncturists, continued to fight to establish themselves in the medical community and hoped that, eventually, greater numbers of patients would gain access to "nontraditional" medical treatments. Medicare and private health insurance do not normally cover routine foot care. As a result, podiatric care is dependent on disposable income to a greater degree than other medical care. As the number of elderly in the U.S. population grows, demand for podiatric care also should rise, since this population has a high incidence of ailments in the leg and foot area.

Managed care raised serious concerns within the profession. In 1997, an investor-owned Florida company, Consolidated Health Corporation, purchased the Podiatry Hospital of Pittsburgh. The hospital, which had about 70 affiliated podiatrists, had seen dwindling admissions in the era of managed care. It was converted to for-profit status, and a private management firm was hired by Consolidated. In the mid-1990s, faced with such developments, podiatrists attempted to organize the first national labor union for doctors, the First National Guild for Health Care Providers of the Lower Extremities. However, because they were considered independent contractors, federal law prevented podiatrists from forming a labor union. Instead, the doctors were given the option of joining an association under the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU).

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News and information about Offices and Clinics of Podiatrists

Research and Markets Adds 2009 U.S. Offices of Podiatrists Industry Report.(Report)
Health & Beauty Close-Up; June 15, 2009; 442 words
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Research and Markets Adds 2009 U.S. Offices of Podiatrists Industry Report.(Report)
Health & Beauty Close-Up; June 15, 2009; 442 words
...addition of the "2009 U.S. Offices of Podiatrists Industry Report" report to...highlights include: The U.S. Offices of Podiatrists Industry report...sub-industries, including offices and clinics of podiatrists. Industry Definition...
WHISTLEBLOWER; Podiatrist faces new state scrutiny; Dr. Robert Mullin was disciplined in 2005, but former patients continue to complain about billing and botched surgery.(NEWS)
Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN); May 22, 2011; 700+ words
...recently, Mullin and his clinic, Advanced Foot and Ankle Care Clinics Ltd., were terminated...Morris said. The office of Minnesota Attorney...credentials, while the clinic and the other podiatrist in Mullin's practice...the state's 210 podiatrists who practice with...haven't ...
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Good Deeds: Sole mates; Podiatrist collects shoes to donate to the needy
The Sun - Naperville (IL); March 14, 2001; 548 words
Naperville podiatrist Dr. Patricia O'Donnell...s Naperville Foot Clinic is a drop-off point...the Naperville Foot Clinic, O'Donnell has been...pairs of shoes off in my office every day. I'd arrive...of shoes outside my office door. And they just...Chamber of Commerce offices on ...
Sun Publications (IL); January 20, 1999; 496 words
...wardrobe. The Naperville podiatrist is asking friends...the Naperville Foot Clinic, 622 E. Ogden Ave...said O'Donnell, a podiatrist and member of the Illinois...way in about 50 foot clinics throughout the Chicago...pair of Naperville podiatrists -- Dr. Nancy the effort. ...
Non-Surgical Treatment of Hallux Valgus: A Current Practice Survey of Australian Podiatrists
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...HV often present to podiatrists or other health is unknown whether podiatrists note particular physical...current practice of podiatrists, along with further...patients with HV to clinics, will inform planning...staff from each state office distributed the email...

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