ABPM is proud to be living up to its motto. We are “Certifying Today’s Podiatrist”. Not only is ABPM certifying more podiatrists annually than any other board, we are advocating for you and all of podiatry. In our Podiatry Forward campaign, we’re focused on clarity, fairness, and unity. You’ll hear more from our Podiatry Forward campaign in 2023 and there will be continued decisive action from this Board of Directors on clarity, fairness, and unity in the profession. We believe in clarifying the board certification experience in podiatry. The profession has evolved, and so must board certification. Boards that don’t evolve will find themselves experiencing a version of professional natural selection. Since 2011, there is now a single, CPME-standardized residency training model. Not having a single primary board certification at the end of that residency program does not serve the public or the profession. And if a podiatrist decides to voluntarily seek additional recognitions beyond board certification, those should be offered. ABPM’s Board Certification and Certificates of Added Qualification (CAQ) live up to this goal.
We’re out there taking meaningful and specific actions supporting podiatrists across the US. In the State of Oregon, they’ve limited a podiatrist’s access to the full scope of practice to those who are board certified in RRA by a single board. That is an additional step that is not required for any MD or DO in the state. ABPM has been a forceful advocate to ensure that podiatrists are treated the same as other physicians in their licensing process. ABPM provided written comments and I testified at a state hearing explaining that board certification is separate from state licensure.
In New York State, there are over 2,200 licensed in-state podiatrists and roughly 34 of them have the Advanced Ankle Permit. Again, the permit is only available to those who have a particular RRA certification. Many of the “have not” podiatrists in the state have excellent surgical training. In fact, much of that comprehensive training is coming from inside the state. Patients and podiatrists in New York deserve better. Patients in the state need access to competent podiatrists for their foot and ankle care. They shouldn’t have to drive across a state line to receive this care. ABPM will not stand idly by in the face of discrimination of competent, board certified podiatrists. The student recruitment crisis is having immediate, but also looming lasting effects.
Without unity in our profession, promoting the positives and fixing the negatives, we will enter a period of professional decline. Dr. Jason Lee, the founding Dean of the new LECOM School of Podiatric Medicine, told me something I thought to be profound; “You can’t shrink the profession into prosperity.” This crisis will require immediate and decisive action from all the stakeholders in the profession. I ask that you communicate with your leaders and insist upon it. And if they refuse to act, take the leadership role on yourself.
ABPM has become the new US national representative to the International Federation of Podiatrists (FIP). Now we represent American podiatrists on the international stage where we will work to achieve our goals of improving podiatric education and care worldwide. ABPM is filling its ranks with proven leaders in podiatry. You may have seen that we welcomed former APMA President Dr. Phillip Ward as our new executive director. Additionally, former CPME Chair Dr. Timothy Ford is the chair of the CAQ in Podiatric Surgery exam committee. Former APMA President and FIP President Dr. Matthew Garoufalis has become the President of ABPM International, a legally separate but affiliated organization certifying podiatrists outside the US. But perhaps even more importantly, our desire is to grow the next generation of leaders for the profession and we have dozens who are rising in the ranks now who will be the profession’s future leaders.
Lastly, the ABPM will not waiver in its obligation to advocate for Diplomates hospital and surgical privileges. Any impedance on a Diplomate of ABPM because of their board certification will be met with swift action from our team of attorneys led by general counsel Keith Greer, Esq., an icon in the podiatric legal space. Notify ABPM HQ if you experience any such discrimination.
As you know, not all the organizations in our profession see our vision. But, these are the same organizations who have neglected their duties to fix these issues in the past. Informed by you, we will continue to do what we believe is right.
Personally, I’m honored to represent 5,863 active ABPM Diplomates and hundreds more who are Board Eligible. I wish you a happy, prosperous 2023 and ask that you help us improve the profession for our next generation.
We’re ABPM and we’re moving Podiatry Forward.
Lee C. Rogers, DPM