What is a Board Certified Surgeon?

by The American Board of Podiatric Surgery

Most medical specialities have recognized certifying boards. Hospitals, surgical centers, health care plans, and patients often depend upon these recognized boards to verify certification status of physicians. Doctors who are board certified are referred to as “Diplomates.”

A podiatric surgeon certified by the American Board of PODIATRIC Surgery has successfully completed a credentialing and examination process and has demonstrated knowledge of podiatric surgery, including the diagnosis of general medical problems and surgical management of foot diseases, deformities, and trauma of the foot and ankle and related structures.

What Is ABPS?
The American Board of PODIATRIC Surgery was founded in 1975 as an independent, nonprofit organization for the purpose of certifying podiatric surgeons found to be qualified after meeting credentialing requirements and completing the examination process. ABPS is recognized by the Council on PODIATRIC Medical Education, which is the accrediting agency of the American PODIATRIC Medical Association. The major objective of the ABPS is to protect and improve the health and welfare of the public by the achievement of the art and science of podiatric surgery.

“Precertification clinical experience requirement insures that your board certified podiatric surgeon brings significant experience to the care of your feet.”

Education And Clinical Experience
After completing four years of podiatric medical school, a podiatric surgeon participates in a surgical residency program or post doctural education to prepare for the specialty of podiatric surgery. After several years of clinical experience and practice, a podiatric surgeon may apply for board certification. This precertification clinical experience requirement assures that your board certified podiatric surgeon brings significant experience to the care of your feet.

Certification Process
A podiatric surgeon who is certified by the ABPS has successfully completed an intensive certification process with three major components: surgical case review, a written examination, and an oral examination.

1. Case Review
When applying for certification a candidate submits x-rays, operative reports, and other chart materials relating to surgeries performed in the five years before applying. The ABPS credentials committee reviews the management of these cases from the time the patient came into the office, through the surgery, and the final outcome. The committee determines if the candidate’s ability, as reflected in these materials, meets the standards set by ABPS.

2. Written Examiniation
Candidates for certification must pass the written examination that tests academic knowledge of podiatric medicine and surgery. This examination has been developed carefully over the years in consultation with independent medical education testing specialists in order to assure that the written examination conforms to the highest standards of professional testing.

3. Oral Examination
The final step toward certification is the oral examination. This examination tests the candidate’s clinical judgment and reasoning skills. During the oral examination, the candidate is required to discuss the diagnosis and treatment of several actual case scenarios in accordance with the standards set by the ABPS.
Continuing Education Re-Certification

ABPS diplomats are required to participate in continuing education each year in subject areas relevant to the practice of podiatric medicine and surgery. Additionally every ten years diplomats must take a written examination to assess their current level of knowledge.