UTRGV School of Podiatric Medicine

UTRGV School of Podiatric Medicine campus on a sunny day
School of Medicine Harlingen Campus. UTRGV photo by David Pike

Located in the heart of South Texas, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Podiatric Medicine (SOPM) became the only podiatric medical school in Texas. In June 2022, the SOPM found its home in the UTRGV Harlingen Clinical Education Building located on a 74,000 gsf facility. The UTRGV SOPM aims to provide a strong medical education, clinical training, research and healthcare access in podiatry. Our school is dedicated to studying and practicing podiatric medicine, which focuses on diagnosing and treating conditions related to the feet, ankles, and lower extremities. The UTRGV SOPM offers the lowest cost of tuition out of all podiatric medical schools in the U.S. and is the only institution supported by a major university state system, UT-System.

SOPM and the Heart of South Texas

The Doctoral of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree spans four years, during which students receive both classroom instruction and hands-on clinical training. Students will also train in sub-specialties courses that include sports medicine, pediatrics podiatry, diabetic foot care, trauma, lower leg extremities, and surgery. Our comprehensive curriculum is designed to provide students with a robust medical foundation consisting of a medical curriculum, where students will learn the entire human anatomy through subjects in biomechanics, radiology, cardiovascular, histology, anatomy & physiology, and more.

SOPM Environment and Facilites

Our facility offers a multi-level building boosting a library named after former UT-Board of Regents, Dr. Mario Ramirez who opened the first hospital in Starr County Texas. The library offers numerous study rooms for independent study and/or groups rooms. The library provides access to numerous databases, articles, and reference books for medical education. Students have 24/7 access to the library for extended study sessions and convenience.

To further enhance the learning experience students will train in our anatomy lab, which holds our vast plastinated collection of cadavers offering real-life learning experiences. The anatomy classroom features a state-of-the-art Anatomage Table with digitally stored specimens where students can dissect the specimens and scroll through the layers of internal organs, cardiovascular and neurological systems including the skeletal system. As part of student education, students will train in the Clinical Simulation Lab and Clinical Simulation Hospital, which provides a controlled environment where students train with standardized patients in a hospital setting.

Research Paving the Future

UTRGV researcher Dr. Claudia Biguetti, an assistant professor of medicine at the university, has established a research lab in the UTRGV School of Podiatric Medicine focused on improving bone healing and regeneration. Aided by a recent $125,000 Rising STARs grant from the UT System, Biguetti will be able to work in a regenerative medicine research lab to study ways to optimize the natural ability of bones to repair themselves after reconstructive surgeries.

In addition, UTRGV researcher Dr. Hazifur Rahman, an assistant professor of medicine at the university, has established a research lab in the UTRGV School of Podiatric Medicine focused on clinical and translational research directly related to foot and ankle deformities to improve health care delivery.

Aided by a recent $250,000 Rising STARs grant from the UT System, Rahman will be able to work in an Applied Biomechanics of the Lower Leg Extremity (ABLE) laboratory to improve mobility, functional independence, walking performance, and quality of life in patients with foot and ankle dysfunctions, using advanced gait biomechanical analysis, finite element modeling, musculoskeletal modeling and simulation, and variability analysis.

Interested applicants can apply through the Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Services (TMDSAS). For more information on the UTRGV School of Podiatric Medicine please visit us at: www.utrgv.edu/school-of-podiatric-medicine

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