Podiatry class

Doctor of Podiatric Medicine

One of only nine schools of its kind in the U.S., our California School of Podiatric Medicine is a national leader in podiatric education and patient care. 

Campus Location

Format

  • On Campus

Program Duration

  • Four Years Plus Residency

Deadlines

A Rewarding Career in Podiatric Medicine and Surgery

Podiatric physicians are devoted to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of foot and ankle disorders, diseases, and injuries. They are the only health professionals who exclusively specialize in this area—and it’s a field in growing demand. An aging population coupled with an increase in chronic conditions that impact mobility, such as diabetes, means more people are seeking care. 

At the heart of the California School of Podiatric Medicine (CSPM) program is a rigorous curriculum in the basic medical and clinical sciences mixed with hands-on learning experiences that begin in students' second year, a full year earlier than other programs. Students gain clinical experience in a variety of inpatient, outpatient, and specialty facilities in the Bay Area and beyond—including in surgery, radiology, wound care, biomechanics, medicine, anesthesia, and, of course, podiatric medicine and surgery. You’ll provide care to patients of all ages and backgrounds and, in line with SMU’s mission, connect with and learn from underserved communities. 

Our program is committed to leading the field in podiatric medical education, patient care delivery experience, clinical outcomes, research, and community service efforts. After you graduate from SMU, you’ll be ready to excel in your residency training. 
 

What We Look For

  • A regionally accredited bachelor’s degree with the appropriate pre-requisite courses
  • A desire to work with underserved communities
  • A commitment to lifelong, self-directed learning
  • Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
  • Letters of recommendation

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Program Requirements and Info

The program at CSPM is a rigorous, medical curriculum and applicants are expected to be of the same caliber as those of applicants to all medical colleges.  In addition to prerequisite coursework, the following are also required:

  • Competitive MCAT scores
  • Official Transcripts from all institutions attended, including any work in progress. 
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation, one from a Podiatric Physician that you have shadowed

Applications for the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine program are accepted using the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine Application Service (AACPMAS) on a rolling basis until our class is full.

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2018 CSPM Admitted Student Profile

2018 CSPM Admitted Student Profile
Applicants370
Admitted120
Enrolled45
Average Science GPA
(enrolled student data)
3.06
Average Overall GPA
(enrolled student data)
3.23
Average MCAT Composite
(enrolled student data)
497

 

Prerequisite Coursework

Applicants must have all prerequisites courses completed prior to the start of the term. The program at CSPM is a rigorous, medical curriculum and applicants are expected to be of the same caliber as those of applicants to all medical colleges.

Most matriculated students have had a curriculum that includes three or more of the following recommended courses: anatomy, biochemistry, histology, microbiology, and physiology, as well as a spectrum of liberal arts subjects. A combination course such as genetics, embryology, virology, and immunology will also be beneficial.

Prerequisite Requirement, Semester or Quarter Units

General Biology with lab, 8.0 semester or 12.0 quarter units
General Chemistry with lab Including content in Inorganic,  8.0 semester or 12.0 quarter units
Organic Chemistry with lab, a total of 4 semester units of Biochemistry with a lab may be substituted for the second semester of Organic Chemistry,  8.0 semester or 12.0 quarter units
Physics with lab, 8.0 semester or 12.0 quarter units
English/Communications, 8.0 semester or 12.0 quarter units
Liberal Arts Electives, 12.0 semester or 18.0 quarter units

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is required of all applicants. Test results are valid for three years. The MCAT is the only acceptable standardized exam considered for admission.  The program at CSPM is a rigorous, medical curriculum and MCAT scores are expected to be of the same caliber as those of applicants to all medical colleges.  More information on the MCAT is available on their website: https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/

Deadline due dates for acceptances or decline of offers will be in compliance with current AACPMAS traffic rules in effect.  Students need to ensure that any MCAT scores submitted to AACPMAS be OFFICIALLY received by the service before any final action can be taken by the school. If the scores are not officially received by the CAS, this may delay any offers of admission that may be made to you.

Supporting Documents

The following documents should be from the same academic year as the year that you apply to CSPM. Unless otherwise indicated or requested during the application process, the following documents should be sent directly through AACPMAS at the time of application. Required documents include:

  • Official Transcripts from all institutions attended, including any work in progress.  Final updated official transcripts with "work-in-progress" courses completed will be required once grades are posted.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation from your college science faculty or a letter from a pre-health advisory committee
  • One (1) letter of recommendation from a Podiatric Physician that you have shadowed

Please include and submit your official transcripts and letters of recommendation directly through AACPMAS with your application.

CSPM also accepts letters of recommendation through Interfolio. Documents from Interfolio should be directed to dtran@samuelmerritt.edu

The Interview

Students are selected for an interview based upon the content of the application they submit through AACPMAS. Not all candidates who meet minimum qualifications will be granted an interview; neither will every interviewee be granted admission. An on-campus interview is required to be selected for admission. Phone or web interviews are not acceptable.

Interviews are held on most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays beginning in October and going through the following August. The full-day interview consists of an informational presentation about CSPM, Samuel Merritt University, and financial aid and scholarships, a visit to a local podiatric clinic, lunch with current CSPM students, and individual interviews with program faculty. Two to five students will interview each day.

CSPM will continue to interview students for admission until the class is full. After the class is full, interviews will be conducted for spots on the waitlist and possible admission to a future term. In most years, there is significant movement in the summer months that allows us to offer spaces to student on the waitlist.

Students who need disability accommodations may request them by emailing Elisa Laird-Metke at drc@samuelmerritt.edu. Please give as much notice as you can to allow time to set them up. Further information about the Disability Resource Center can be found here. 

International Applicants

All international applicants (including Canadian citizens) have special requirements. Please contact the Office of Admission for details. International applicants are strongly encouraged to observe the priority deadline of April 1st; to obtain a student visa can take up to three months.

TOEFL

TOEFL (U.S. citizens or international students) - The need for a TOEFL will be assessed based on information provided by applicants on the application for admission.  If required, a minimum score of 100 (Internet Based Test) must be achieved and official score results must be provided to CSPM.  In addition, applicants must achieve a score of 26 or higher in the speaking portion of the TOEFL iBT.

Application Fees
Application fees are payable to the Application Service of the American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine (AACPMAS). Samuel Merritt University does not charge an additional admission fee.

Non-Refundable Deposits and Fees
Students offered admission pay a non-refundable tuition deposit of $1,000 to secure their seat in the class.

Application fees and tuition deposits are non-refundable, whether or not the student withdraws in the first week of the term.

Tuition Calculator
There is a tuition calculator that provides a detailed summary of annual tuition, all fees for the program, and a cost estimator for the entire program.

Tuition Calculator

Your Doctor of Podiatric Medicine graduate education at Samuel Merritt University is an important and valuable investment in your future.  Not only will you have the opportunity to pursue a rewarding career in health care,  but Samuel Merritt University graduates have a loan default rate of less than one percent.  This means that students who borrowed to attend Samuel Merritt University have found employment in their chosen field that allows them to pay off their loans. 

The Doctor of Podiatric Medicine program is proud to offer a variety of ways to assist in funding your education including scholarships, work study and student loans. The first step in applying for financial aid at SMU is to submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

All accepted students are considered for the Entrance Scholarship.  Awarding of these scholarships is based on both MCAT score and GPA at the time of application.  These scholarships are renewable, based on maintaining academic achievement.  Entering Doctor of Podiatric Medicine scholarships include:

  • Regent’s Scholarship  $15,000
  • Presidential Scholarship  $10,000

Scholarships for Podiatric Medicine include:

  • Sharon Clark Diaz
  • Employee Campaign
  • CaFEE
  • APMA
  • Wong Scholarship
  • Lowe Scholarship
  • Faculty Scholarship
  • SMU Podiatric Medicine Scholarship
  • CSPM Alumni Scholarship

WICHE – Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.  WICHE grants are available for students from certain geographical areas of the country.  More information is available at the WICHE website, www.wiche.edu.

Your Financial Aid Package at Samuel Merritt University is personalized to you.  We develop your financial aid package using guidelines set by the Department of Education and the estimated costs of each program.

In addition to the cost of tuition, books and fees, financial aid can also cover other indirect educational costs, so the total cost of attendance includes:

  • Books and Supplies
  • Room and Board
  • Transportation
  • Personal Expenses
  • Other fees as determined by program/college

Once you receive your financial aid package, check this budget against your actual living expenses and we can make necessary adjustments to meet your needs.

Detailed information about financial aid, budgeting, total cost and application processes are available on the webpage.

https://www.samuelmerritt.edu/admissions/affording-smu/financial-aid-and-scholarships

We realize that the financial aid process can be difficult and overwhelming.  We are here to help.  Financial Aid staff can assist with budgeting, understanding your awards and understanding the process.  The SMU staff is committed to each and every prospective student and enrolled student.  We have an open door policy and are available via phone or email.

finaid@samuelmerritt.edu or 510-879-9200

First Year
Classes meet five days a week on the Oakland campus of Samuel Merritt University.  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 
Immunology  3.0
Radiology I  1.0
Podiatric Medicine I  1.0
Total units  5.0

Fall Semester 
Radiology II  1.0
Medical Microbiology  4.0
Pharmacology I  4.0
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  20.0

Spring Semester 
Pathology II  3.0
Pharmacology II  4.0
General Medicine II  3.0
Podiatric Medicine II  2.0
Podiatric Surgery II  3.0
Neurology/Clinical Neuroscience  6.0
Total units  21.0

Second Year Clinical Rotations

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

Rotation Name  (Months in Rotation)
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 Units

 

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)
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
Total  (11)     22.5 Units

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

Fourth Year Core Clinical Training Opportunities
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.

Second Year Clinical Rotations

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

Rotation Name  (Months in Rotation)
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 Units

 

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)
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
Total  (11)     22.5 Units

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

Fourth Year Clinical Rotations

Aside from our Oakland campus, students may base their fourth-year clinical training at one of our affiliated medical facilities, such as:  

  • Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Phoenix, Arizona

  • Long Beach, California

  • Puget Sound, Washington

  • Salt Lake City, Utah

Licensure Exams, Graduation, and Residency Placement Rates

American Podiatric Medical Licensing Examinations (APMLE)* First-Time Takers Average Pass Rates

APMLE Part I
Year Span      Pass Rate
2017-2019     83%

APMLE Part II - Written
Year Span      Pass Rate
2017-2019     85%

APMLE Part II - CSPE
Year Span      Pass Rate
2017-2019     96%

APMLE Part III
Year Span      Pass Rate
2020                 To be reported

*Visit APMLE for more exam details.

Four-Year Average Graduation Rate
Year Span      Graduation Rate    
2017-2019     88%

Residency Placement Average Rate
Year Span      Placement Rate
2017-2019     97%

CPME-required outcomes, July 1, 2019                                                                      
Part 1 APMLE Pass Rate 2017-19 (first-time takers only)—83%
Part 2 APMLE Written Pass Rate 2017-19 (first-time takers only)—85%
Part 2 APMLE CSPE Pass Rate 2017-19 (first-time takers only)—96%
Four-year Graduation Rate 2017-19 (average)—88%
Residency Placement Rate 2017-19 (average)—97%

The California School of Podiatric Medicine at Samuel Merritt University is accredited by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education (www.cpme.org) and the accreditation status is accreditation.  Accreditation is an indication of public approbation, attesting to the quality of the podiatric medical education program and the continued commitment of the institution to support the educational program. The council is recognized as the professional institutional accrediting agency for podiatric medical education by the US Department of Education and by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. For further information, please contact the Council on Podiatric Medical Education at the following address:

Council on Podiatric Medical Education
9312 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 571-9200

Technical Standards for Doctor of Podiatric Medicine

The mission of Samuel Merritt University’s Podiatry school is to produce highly skilled and compassionate podiatrists. Students are expected to develop a robust medical knowledge base and requisite clinical skills, with the ability to appropriately apply knowledge and skills, effectively interpret information, and contribute to patient-centered decisions across a broad spectrum of medical situations in all settings. The following technical standards, in conjunction with the academic standards, are requirements for admission, promotion, and graduation. The term “candidate” refers to candidates for admission as well as current DPM students who are candidates for retention, promotion, or graduation.

These requirements may be achieved with or without reasonable accommodations, the cost of which will be borne by the institution. These standards should not serve as a deterrent to any candidate with disabilities who desires to pursue medical education. Candidates with disabilities bring unique perspectives which contribute to the diversity of the student population and will create a diverse health care workforce of culturally competent practitioners who can meet the needs of their patients. Candidates with disabilities are encouraged to contact the Disability Resource Center immediately to begin a confidential conversation about possible accommodations necessary to meet these standards. Fulfillment of the technical standards for graduation does not guarantee that a graduate will be able to fulfill the technical requirements of any specific residency or clinical position.

Technical Standards

Observational Skills

A candidate must acquire information as presented through demonstrations and experiences in foundational sciences. In addition, a candidate must be able to evaluate a patient accurately and assess relevant health, behavioral and medical information.  Candidates must be able to obtain and interpret information through comprehensive assessment of patients, correctly interpret diagnostic representations of patient physiologic data, and accurately evaluate patient conditions and responses. 

Communication Skills

Candidates must exhibit interpersonal skills to enable effective caregiving of patients, including the ability to communicate effectively in English with all members of a multidisciplinary health care team, patients, and their families in person and in writing. Candidates must be able to clearly and accurately record information and accurately interpret verbal and non-verbal communication.

Patient Care Skills

Candidates must perform physical examinations and diagnostic maneuvers. A candidate must be able to provide or direct general care for patients, and properly respond to emergency situations in a timely manner. Examples of common treatments required of candidates include providing palliative care of foot and ankle conditions, injecting medications such as anesthetics and anti-inflammatories, taking orthotic impressions, taking pedal radiographs, and assisting in foot and ankle surgery. Candidates must meet applicable safety standards for the environment and follow universal precaution procedures.

Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, and Cognitive Skills

Candidates must be able to learn through a variety of modalities, including but not limited to, classroom instruction; laboratory, including cadaver lab; small group, team and collaborative activities; individual study; preparation and presentation of reports; and use of computer technology.  A candidate must effectively interpret, assimilate and understand the complex information required to function within the DPM curriculum including, but not limited to, the ability to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and understand the spatial relationships of structures; effectively participate in individual, small group, and lecture learning modalities in the classroom, clinical and community settings; learn, participate, collaborate and contribute as a part of a team; synthesize information both in person and via remote technology; interpret causal connections and make accurate, fact-based conclusions based on available data and information; formulate a hypothesis, investigate the potential answers and outcomes; and reach appropriate and accurate conclusions. A candidate must be able to find sources of knowledge, acquire the knowledge through various modalities, and possess the ability to be a life-long learner.

Behavioral Attributes, Social Skills and Professional Expectations

A candidate must be able to exercise good judgment, promptly complete all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients. The skills required to do so include the ability to effectively handle and manage heavy workloads, function effectively under stress, adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of patients. Candidates are expected to exhibit professionalism, personal accountability, compassion, integrity, concern for others, and interpersonal skills including the ability to accept and apply feedback and to respect boundaries and care for all individuals in a respectful and effective manner regardless of gender identity, age, race, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or any other protected status. Candidates should understand, and function within, the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of medicine, and maintain and display ethical and moral behaviors commensurate with the role of a podiatrist in all interactions with patients, faculty, staff, students and the public. Interest and motivation throughout the educational processes are expected of all candidates.

 

Promote Excellence

CSPM prepares students for careers in a high-demand health care specialty.

100%

NBPME III First-Time Pass Rate

DPM students' pass rates exceed the national average.

Advanced Training

CSPM patient clinicals begin as early as your second year, a year earlier than most.

100%

Residency Placement Rate

SMU’s doctor of podiatry graduates find residencies all over the nation.

Podiatric Medicine at SMU

Explore our facilities and see our students and faculty members immersed in learning, research, and clinical experiences.

Faculty

Faculty in the California School of Podiatric Medicine are devoted to training students to practice in a variety of inpatient, outpatient, and specialty facilities—including in surgery, radiology, wound care, biomechanics, medicine, and anesthesia. Our faculty are experts in their fields, frequently presenting at national conferences and publishing research in industry journals.

cherri-choate

Cherri S. Choate

DPM, MA, BS Assistant Professor
tim-dutra

Tim Dutra

MS- Health Care Administration; DPM- Doctor of Podiatric Medicine; BMS-Medical Science; MS- Kinesiology/Sports Medicine; BS- Psychobiology Assistant Professor
david-tran

David Tran

DPM, MS, BS, BA Assistant Professor Associate Dean of Admission
barbara-f-guzman

Barbara F. Guzman

DPM, BS Assistant Professor

SMU Perspectives