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.
Offices of Podiatrists
The podiatry industry is gaining increasing public recognition as a health profession. 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.
Approximately 14,000 podiatrists practiced in the United States in 1997, up from 11,000 in 1996. These doctors averaged a 42.5-hour workweek, primarily occupied with patient visitation. Their income ranged from $56,000 for most inexperienced, to $138,000 for experienced doctors with over 30 years of practice. 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 seven colleges of podiatric medicine — in California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. There are also two podiatric hospitals — in Pittsburgh and San Francisco. The south and southwestern portions of the United States and nonurban areas have fewer podiatrists. Less than 200 podiatrists practice in Washington State, where doctors report a saturated market.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) maintains that podiatry is a well-paid profession, with projected growth at a par with the average growth rate for all occupations through the year 2006. In 1997, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) estimated that 5 percent of the population visited podiatrists, and according to the California College of Podiatric Medicine, demand for podiatrists is projected to reach 80 million visits per year in the twenty-first century. BLS further advises that opportunities for this profession are most lucrative in group practices or within medical networks, as opposed to individual private practice.
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...