The Pathway to Certification

The ABFAS certification ensures that board certified surgeons have completed appropriate training, successfully performed a diverse range of foot and ankle surgical procedures, and passed our extensive examinations. The importance of board certification is reflected in trends by hospitals, surgicenters, managed care organizations, and insurance carriers to require physicians to have specialty board certification.

The following steps detail the certification process

  • Education

    1

    The first step toward certification is completion of a four-year doctoral training program at one of the nine podiatric medical colleges accredited by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME).

  • Training

    2
  • Clinical Experience

    3

    Candidates applying for Board Qualified status must submit residency logs through the Podiatry Residency Resource (PRR).

    Candidates applying for Board Certification must log all procedures post-residency into the Podiatry Logging Service for Surgery (PLS). The candidate most be the surgeon of record for all procedures logged into PLS. ABFAS will select a required number of foot surgery cases and a required number of reconstructive rearfoot/ankle surgery cases from the PLS log and request complete documentation. Candidates must log all cases where they are the surgeon of record.

    In addition, candidates participating in the Case Evaluation process will be requested to submit a list of cases for a specific date range performed at a specific facility where the candidate has surgical privileges. The ABFAS will compare the facility list to the candidate’s PLS list for audit purposes.

  • Board Qualification

    4

    To become Board Qualified in Foot Surgery, a candidate must complete the appropriate CPME-approved training program, pass Part I of the certification examination in Foot Surgery or Reconstructive Rearfoot/Ankle Surgery, and complete PRR case documentation. Board Qualified in Foot Surgery is a prerequisite for Board Qualified in RRA. Individuals who are Board Qualified are not members of ABFAS but are “in progress.” Board Qualified surgeons may not promote their status on letterhead, publications, or other advertisements.

    Part I Examination

    The Part I examination, which consists of a didactic (multiple-choice) section and a Computer-based Patient Simulation (CBPS) section, demonstrates a candidate’s cognitive knowledge and clinical reasoning skills in the medical, intraoperative, and perioperative care of the foot and ankle of podiatric surgery patients.

    Part I Examination.pdf
  • Board Certification

    5
  • Maintenance of Certification

    6

Become Certified​

Certification in Foot Surgery indicates that a podiatrist has demonstrated a cognitive knowledge of podiatric surgery, including the  diagnosis of general medical problems and surgical management of foot diseases, deformities, and/or trauma, and those structures which affect the foot and ankle.

Certification in Reconstructive Rearfoot/Ankle Surgery indicates that a podiatrist has demonstrated a cognitive knowledge of podiatric surgery, including the diagnosis of general medical problems and surgical management of foot and ankle diseases, deformities, and/or trauma, and those structures that affect the foot, ankle, and leg.

Certification in Foot & Ankle Surgery

Diplomates certified in Foot and Ankle Surgery must take a self-assessment examination every 10 years.

Since 2004, diplomates certified in Foot and Ankle Surgery can voluntarily convert to certifications in both Foot Surgery and Reconstructive Rearfoot/Ankle Surgery by participating in a process developed by the Board of Directors detailed in ABFAS Document 112.

Diplomates who convert must recertify every 10 years.