Specialty Certifying Boards

Specialty boards in the profession of podiatric medicine have been established to certify advanced qualifications of individual podiatrists who have demonstrated special expertise in the recognized areas of podiatric orthopedics, podiatric surgery, and primary podiatric medicine. Certification is considered to be an earned credential for those podiatric physicians who have achieved certain levels of skill and ability based upon completion of specific advanced training and clinical experience and examination. Those individual podiatric physicians who are certified are recognized for their achievement and enhanced capabilities.

The American Podiatric Medical Association assigns the responsibility of specialty board recognition to the Council on Podiatric Medical Education. The Council on behalf of the podiatric medical profession has established the Joint Committee on the Recognition of Specialty Boards (JCRSB) which is a committee comprised of representatives of the profession, specialty boards, licensing bodies, the health-care community, and the public. The CPME and JCRSB are committed to assuring the public that those podiatric physicians who are certified have successfully completed the requirements for certification in an area of specialization. The recognition of a specialty board by the JCRSB serves to provide important information to the profession, health-care institutions, and the public about the sound operations and fair conduct of the board's certification process.

In its consideration of recognition of new specialty boards in podiatric medical practice, the APMA, CPME, and JCRSB are concerned with maintaining the orderly development of specifically identified specialties within the profession. Specialty boards are recognized only upon the basis of demonstrated need and potential benefit to the public. Proposals submitted by "special interest groups" seeking recognition of a specific type of clinical procedure, therapeutic modality, or technique are not regarded as appropriate for designation as a specialty board in podiatric medical practice.

The purposes of the CPME's recognition process include:

  1. The determination of whether or not a public and professional need exists for the conduct of a certification process in a special area of podiatric medical practice.
  2. Continuing recognition of existing boards.
  3. Modification of existing types of certification.
  4. Prevention of unnecessary duplication by boards and maintenance of minimum standards for the conduct and operation of specialty boards.

The process for reviewing specialty boards in the podiatric medical profession includes concurrent review of the substantive issues related to the need for certification within a special area of practice and the assessment of the capabilities of the board to conduct and operate a proper certifying process.

Two specialty boards aligned with three special areas of practice are recognized by the Council and the JCRSB. Recognition is based upon the demonstrated ability of a board to satisfy established criteria. With a view towards ensuring the health and safety of the public, only one specialty board may be recognized to conduct certification for each designated podiatric medical specialty area.

Recognized as the certifying board for the specialty areas of podiatric orthopedics and primary podiatric medicine is the:

American Board of Podiatric Medicine
3812 Sepulveda Boulevard, Suite 530
Torrance, California 90505
310-375-0700
310-475-1386 (fax)

Recognized as the certifying board for the specialty area of podiatric surgery is the:

American Board of Podiatric Surgery
445 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, California 94117-3404
415-553-7800
415-553-7801 (fax)