ABFAS Response to the ABPM CAQ

Know the Difference Between ABFAS Board Certification and ABPM’s CAQ

ABFAS is the only surgical certifying board for foot and ankle surgery in the U.S. recognized by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME). Over 10,000 podiatrists have earned ABFAS Board Certification by demonstrating specialized competency and skill in foot and ankle surgery. 

It is important for patients, providers and the podiatric community to understand the differences between ABFAS Board Certification and ABPM’s unrecognized CAQ in podiatric surgery. The two are not comparable credentials.

ABFAS opposes the ABPM CAQ in Podiatric Surgery, which presents a risk to patients and podiatry.


Lowers the bar.

ABPM is intentionally creating a path to certification in podiatric surgery that accepts a lower level of competency. Unlike the rigorous ABFAS Board Certification process, the ABPM surgical certificate program lacks any case review of newer podiatrists' actual surgical experience.

Risks confusing patients and the medical community.

In an August 12, 2022 statement, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) warned: “The CAQ in Podiatric Surgery has a high potential to mislead a patient to believe a surgeon has more experience and expertise than they do. The CAQ also causes greater confusion for other health-care specialties, insurance companies, state legislators, and hospitals…”

Threatens trust in the profession.

By offering its new surgical certification without recognition by any accrediting body, ABPM risks harming public health and the reputation of ABFAS Board Certified podiatrists nationwide.

Recent ABFAS pass rate data clearly show that ABFAS is doing its job of certifying highly knowledgeable podiatrists for surgery. Neither the public nor the profession are served by lowering standards.

If you share our concerns, here is a text of a letter you can personalize and send to your hospital credentialing committee, or you can provide a letter signed by the ABFAS Board of Directors.