I went to podiatry school, at the Scholl College of Podiatry in Chicago, for one year in 1998. I decided it wasn't for me and left to pursue a career in emergency medicine, namely as a paramedic/firefighter. I still have a good friend from my time there who is a practicing podiatrist and foot surgeon who preformed surgery on MY foot about three years ago. There is about 100 people per class. If you do well, and get in the top half of your class, you are likely to get a surgical residency and are able to perform surgery. If you're in the lower half, you are out of luck and you can apply the following year and compete against the next class to try for a surgical residency. They last about 1-2 years and you train like a general surgeon, but specialize in podiatry, obviously. I fyou do not get a surgical residency, you do office visits and cut out callouses, warts, and corns, and fit patients for othotics and assess gaits, etc.
At the time, they told me the average podiatrist was making about $85K a year. If you assume you are a surgeon, I would bump that by about $25-50K a year. I was burnt out and didn't want to keep going at something I knew my heart wasn't in. Now bump that number with inflation for 15 years. It has a huge need, especially with the aging population, and especially in those states that recognize podiatry as a sub-specialty. If you like ortho, but want to be out practicing in 1-2 years, instead of 7-9, and don't mind working only on feet, it's a great career. If you are an adrenaline junky like me, you will be much happier as a firefighter/paramedic. I love my career and can hardly imagine doing anything else. I work about 90 days a year, make 6 figures, and have a pension that will pay me until I die. I also have huge career satisfaction, time to pursue other parallel careers, as well as time to spend raising my children.
The tuition then was $25K a year, I assume it's closer to $35K a year now. My advice to you, go walk into a podiatrists office. Tell them you are considering a career as a podiatrist. Ask if you can shadow them. I did this, and it went over great in entrance interviews. It also gives you a fabulous idea as to what you are going to be doing 40-60 hours a week for the next 30-50 years.
My wife is a dentist. I recommend the oral surgeon route. They make close to $250K-$350K a year and make there own schedule. Her best friend from dental school is doing that now and is RAKING in the cash.
Where are all the customers yachts?