Podiatric Medicine Curriculum

Podiatric Medicine Schools

The educational program leading to the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree consists of a comprehensive curriculum in the basic medical and clinical sciences. The didactic course work is completed during the first three years of the program. Clinical rotations begin at the start of the second academic year in May. During the summer months, second year students begin to participate in clinical rotations, which cover mechanical orthopedics, radiology, general and primary podiatric medicine. The majority of the third year and the entire fourth year are devoted to clinical rotations at inpatient and outpatient facilities, outside externships at affiliated Bay Area medical centers and throughout the United States, and community practice clerkships.

Students, who successfully complete the four year podiatric medical curriculum, take and pass the 3rd Year Practical Examinations, the 4th Year OSCE Examination, Parts I and II of the National Board of Podiatric Medical Examinations, and receive approval for graduation by the appropriate administration and faculty may be granted the degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine. Applications for graduation are available from the Office of the Registrar during the spring semester of the fourth year.

The four year curriculum leading to the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree follows:

First Year

Classes meet five days a week on the Oakland campus of Samuel Merritt Univerisity.  During the Spring Semester, the first rotation occurs as a skills workshop, helping the students prepare for their clincal training.


Fall Semester  
Human Anatomy I  6.0
Biochemistry I 3.0
Histology 4.0
Physiology I 3.0
Lower Extremity Anatomy I 3.5
Introduction to Evidence Based Medicine 1.0
Total units 20.5


Spring Semester  
Medical Genetics 1.0
Physiology II 3.0
Lower Extremity Anatomy II 3.5
Human Anatomy II 3.0
Biochemistry II 3.0
Introduction to Clinical Medicine 2.0
Biomechanics I 1.75
1st Year Clinical Skills Rotation 0.25
Total units 17.5


Second Year

Classes meet three days a week, and clinical rotations meet two days a week.

Summer Semester  
Medical Microbiology 4.0
Pharmacology I 4.0
Immunology 3.0
Radiology I 1.0
Podiatric Medicine I 1.0
Total units 13.0


Fall Semester  
Pathology I 3.0
General Medicine I 3.0
Podiatric Medicine I 1.0
Biomechanics II 2.0
Podiatric Surgery I 2.0
Total units 11.0


Spring Semester  
Pathology II 3.0
Pharmacology II 4.0
General Medicine II 3.0
Podiatric Medicine II 2.0
Radiology II 1.0
Podiatric Surgery II 3.0
Neurology/Clinical Neuroscience 6.0
Total units 22.0


Second Year Clinical Rotations

Students will complete clinical rotation assignments in the following inpatient, outpatient and specialty clinical facilities:

Rotation Name Months in Rotation Units of Credit
Second Year Medicine Rotation 1 0.5
Second Year Radiology Rotation 1 0.5
Second Year Highland Hospital Rotation 1 1.0
Second Year Biomechanics Workshop 1 1.0
Second Year Simulation Center Rotation 1 0.5
Second Year Clinical Skills Rotation 1 1.0
Second Year Homeless Clinic Rotation 1 0.5
  Second Year Laguna Honda Hospital Rotation    1   0.5
 Total   7   5.5


Third Year

Classes meet one day a week, while clinical rotations meet four days a week.

Fall Semester  
Dermatology I 1.5
General Medicine III 3.0
Jurisprudence 1.0
Biomechanics III 2.0
Podiatric Surgery III 2.0
Total units 9.5


Spring Semester  
Pediatrics 2.0
Dermatology II 1.5
General Medicine IV 2.0
Podiatric Trauma 2.0
Public Health 1.0
Total units 8.5


Third Year Clinical Rotations

Third year students will complete the following clinical rotation assignments at affiliated Bay Area medical centers, outpatient facilities and community practice clerkships:

Rotation Name Months in Rotation Units of Credits
Third Year Medicine (entirely in simulated environment) 1 3.0
Third Year Diabetic and Wound Care Rotation 2 4.0
Third Year Highland Hospital Rotation 2 2.5
Third Year Highland Hospital Rotation/Mondays 1 0.5
Third Year Private Office Clerkship  1 2.0
Third Year Radiology Rotation 2** 1.0
Third Year Biomechanics and Sports Medicine Rotation 1 2.0
Third Year Surgery Rotation 3 5.5
Third Year Surgical Simulation Rotation 1 2.0
  11 22.5

**Completed during the months assigned to the Highland Hospital Rotation

Fourth Year Core Clinical Training Opportunities

Fourth year students have the opportunity to base their clinical training at one of several affiliated medical centers. These include:

  • San Francisco, CA
  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Tacoma, WA
  • Puget Sound, WA

Students receive 4 units of credit for each month they complete a rotation or clerkship. A total of 48 units of credit are required to complete the fourth year curriculum.

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