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CPME FAQs – Specialty Boards

What is the role of the Specialty Board Recognition Committee (SBRC)?

The SBRC is responsible for recommending to the Council the granting of new and continuing recognition of specialty boards in podiatric medicine. The SBRC reviews applications, annual reports, petitions for continued recognition, progress reports, and other information submitted by the specialty boards within its review area. (Ch. 5, Sec. 7.C. of the CPME bylaws)

What is the difference between the Joint Committee on the Recognition of Specialty Boards (JCRSB) and the SBRC?

In March 2021, the APMA House of Delegates approved a resolution moving the JCRSB from a joint committee of CPME and APMA to a standing committee of CPME. Subsequently, CPME adopted bylaw amendments at its October 2021 and April 2022 meetings to officially move the SBRC to a standing committee of the Council and restructure the SBRC representation.

Furthermore, as part of this process, the JCRSB/SBRC documents (CPME 220, Criteria and Guidelines for Recognition of a Specialty Board for Podiatric Medical Practice, and CPME 230, Procedures for Recognition of a Specialty Board for Podiatric Medical Practice) must be updated to reflect the revisions to the CPME Bylaws. The revision process is underway and is being led by the SBRC Advisory Ad Hoc Committee.

Can CPME mandate that there is only one recognized specialty board?

The issue of having one specialty board for the profession is an issue the profession itself must resolve. CPME cannot make this decision alone for the profession.

How does a podiatrist who did not complete a CPME-approved three-year residency program become board certified, and what is CPME’s involvement in a re-entry pathway for podiatrists?

Each recognized specialty board sets its own criteria for awarding board qualification/eligibility and board certification. Please contact each board regarding its requirements. Links to each board’s homepage can be found on the CPME homepage by clicking on the “Specialty Certifying Boards” tab.

Recognized specialty boards have the ultimate responsibility of identifying qualified practitioners who have successfully completed approved postgraduate training and passed a rigorous examination that attests to advanced skills and knowledge.

Podiatric physicians who graduated from residency prior to 2011 and who completed a one- or two-year residency program may have difficulty proving to the specialty board that they completed a sufficiently rigorous and advanced education.

The issue of instituting a re-entry pathway for podiatrists was not a decision made solely by the CPME. The podiatric medical profession defines a specialty as a field of practice within podiatric medicine that requires possession of special knowledge and skills achieved through completion of intensive study and extended clinical experiences beyond the professional degree. Criteria within CPME 220, Criteria and Guidelines for Recognition of a Specialty Board for Podiatric Medical Practice, expound on this topic:

Criterion 5.2
The specialty board shall require candidates for certification to have successfully completed a minimum of three years of CPME-approved residency training.

It is important to note that this change related to residency training requirements was made in conjunction with the specialty boards, the APMA House of Delegates, and the profession as any changes include input from the community of interest. Prior to the adoption of CPME documents, the criteria and guidelines are disseminated widely to obtain feedback regarding how revisions will affect the community of interest. Individuals and groups had the opportunity during open calls for comment to discuss disagreement with criterion 5.2.

Criterion 6.2
The specialty board shall collaborate with CPME in the development of standards and requirements for the evaluation and enhancement of postgraduate education programs. The specialty board appoints representatives to participate in various aspects of the approval process in order to provide a significant contribution to the review and recognition of postgraduate educational programs that relate to the educational requirements for certification. Such activities must include, but are not limited to, the following: participation in the on-site evaluation of residencies and other postgraduate programs, representation on the Residency Review Committee, financial support of approval systems, and development of recommended revisions in approval standards and requirements.

All recognized specialty boards participate directly in developing the standards and requirements for postgraduate educational programs.