Fundamentals of Podiatric Practice II

Total Contact Hours: 
Course Director(s):

Robert Herpen, DPM, Associate Professor

Course Definition

This course prepares students of podiatric medicine for entry into clinical training by providing basic instruction in the physical examination and assessment of patients, including laboratory medicine and special studies. Because the patient is more than the sum of his or her structural and physiological properties, students will also learn the elements of behavioral science necessary to understand and enhance the complex human interaction that creates-ns the therapeutic alliance in patients with and without mental illness. Students will also become familiar with podiatric chairside and surgical instrumentation, and asepsis protocols. Moreover, students will be introduced to the diagnosis and management (including alternatives to traditional medical intervention) of some of the patient concerns most commonly encountered in practice. Finally, documentation requirements will be reviewed. This will expand on the material presented in Fundamentals of Podiatric Practice I, to include medicolegal requirements for documentation of the level of service provided.


  • To develop basic knowledge of techniques of physical examination, the (patho) physiology giving rise to normal and abnormal findings on examination, and the interpretation of these findings.
  • To develop an appreciation of the role of laboratory medicine in selected disease states including the indications for and interpretation of commonly used laboratory studies.
  • To develop an understanding of the indications for radiographs and special imaging studies and their use in a cost-effective manner.
  • To develop an understanding of the complexities of human behavior in states of mental health and illness than may impact on treatment decisions and outcomes and prepare the future practitioner to recognize and influence them and make appropriate referrals when indicated.
  • To develop familiarity with podiatric instrumentation and its use in common chairside procedures. This will include aware ness of asepsis in the handling and storage of instruments and the measures needed to protect instruments from damage during use and sterilization so as to maximize their useful life.
  • To develop an appreciation of some of the common conditions patients present to the podiatric practitioner with and the diagnostic work-up and treatment options for them.


To prepare students to enter clinic and participate in external clinical training rotations in a variety of specialty medical disciplines. Moreover, this course introduces the students to many of the basic examination and intervention techniques that will form the basis of much of their future professional careers.