Diplomate FAQs

ABFAS provides answers to many frequently asked questions from diplomates. Have a question that is not listed here? Email us at info@abfas.org

 


General FAQs

  • How do I retrieve a lost password?

    You can retrieve your username and password by following the instructions on the ABFAS login webpage. If you are unable to secure the information using the website, call ABFAS at 415.553.7800.

    Sign into the ABFAS website with your username and password using the "Login" button at the top of the website.

  • How can I add my office information under “Find a Surgeon?”

    Log into your personal profile and update your directory address contact information.

    Sign into the ABFAS website with your username and password using the "Login" button at the top of the website. If you need password assistance, you will find it on the Login page.

     

Annual Fee

  • Can I pay my annual fee by credit card over the phone?

    We encourage you to pay online by logging into your online profile.

    Sign into the ABFAS website with your username and password using the "Login" button at the top of the website. If you need password assistance, you will find it on the Login page. 

    While you are logged into your personal profile, please verify your contact and licensure information, and confirm your agreement with the ABFAS privacy policy and advertising agreement.

    If you are unable to pay online, please call 415.553.7800.

  • When should I expect to receive my annual fee invoice?

    Annual fee invoices are available on your personal profile page in early July, and ABFAS will send an email notification advising that the annual fee invoice is ready for payment. ABFAS will also mail a physical paper invoice to the mailing address on file.

    If you wish to avoid a late fee of $100, pay all annual fees by September 1. If you do not pay your fee by October 31, ABFAS may revoke your board status.


Membership

  • What types of foot and ankle surgeons does ABFAS certify?
    ABFAS has two types of candidates, Board Certified and Board Qualified. Each candidate type has further distinctions:


    Board Certified:

    • Ambulatory: A podiatric surgeon who became certified by the American Board of Ambulatory Surgery before it joined with ABFAS.

    • Foot and Ankle Surgery: A podiatric surgeon who became ABFAS Board Certified before 1991.
    • Foot: A podiatric surgeon who has passed the ABFAS Part I and Part II foot surgery examinations, holds hospital privileges, and has an active license.
    • Reconstructive Rearfoot/Ankle (RRA): A podiatric surgeon who is certified in foot surgery and has also passed the ABFAS Part I and Part II RRA surgery examinations, holds hospital privileges, and has an active license.

    Board Certified podiatric surgeons are Diplomates of ABFAS.

    Board Qualified:

    • Foot: A podiatric surgeon who has passed the ABFAS Part I Foot surgery examinations, holds hospital privileges, and has an active license.

    • Reconstructive Rearfoot/Ankle (RRA): A podiatric surgeon who has passed the ABFAS Part I Foot surgery and has also passed the ABFAS Part I RRA surgery examinations, holds hospital privileges, and has an active license.
  • What are the different types of status an ABFAS candidate can have?

    TYPE

    Certified: Ambulatory, Foot and Ankle Surgery, Foot, Reconstructive Rearfoot/Ankle (RRA)

    Qualified: Foot, Reconstructive Rearfoot/Ankle (RRA)


    STATUS      

    Active: Engaged in the active practice of podiatry; has fulfilled all relevant exam requirements; maintains an active, unrestricted license; and holds current, active surgical privileges at a hospital or surgery center.

    Administrative: Engaged primarily in an administrative capacity directly related to the profession of podiatry.

    Expired: A Board Qualified or Board Certified podiatric surgeon whose status has expired.

    Extension: A Board Qualified podiatric surgeon who has received an extension for the time period they can be Board Qualified, or a Diplomate who has been given additional time to complete LEAD program requirements.

    Inactive: Not engaged in the active practice of podiatry.

    Incomplete: A podiatric surgeon who has taken and passed the ABFAS Board Qualification examinations but has not submitted the necessary documentation to become fully Board Qualified. A podiatric surgeon has one year after passing the Board Qualification examinations to submit the required documentation. After one year, the podiatric surgeon is non-compliant with ABFAS Board Qualification policy.

    No Board Status: A podiatric surgeon who has graduated from, or is in their final year of, a CPME-approved residency program and who has not achieved ABFAS board status.

    Non-Compliant: A podiatric surgeon who has taken the necessary ABFAS Board Qualification examinations but did not submit all required documentation within one year of passing the Board Qualification examinations. A Board Certified podiatric surgeon holding foot and ankle certified status who is not compliant with LEAD program requirements.

    Surgically Inactive: Engaged in the active practice of podiatry but no longer has an active foot and ankle surgical practice; has fulfilled all relevant exam requirements; maintains an active, unrestricted license; and holds current, active privileges at a hospital or surgery center.

    Suspended: A Board Qualified or Board Certified podiatric surgeon whose Foot status has expired and who has met the requirements for RRA Board Qualification or Board Certification. The Foot status must be active in order for the RRA status to be active as well.

    Resigned: Has voluntarily given up Board Certification.

    Retired: An ABFAS Diplomate who has retired from active practice.

    Revoked:

    Administrative: Unrelated to any professional review action (e.g., non-payment of annual fee or special assessment).

    Legal: Upon professional review related to any of the following possibilities: misrepresents certification status or provides false information to ABFAS, has cheated on any ABFAS exam, or violates the Code of Ethics of the APMA, conviction of either a felony related to the delivery of a healthcare item or service or any offense that causes their license revocation.

    Please contact our verifications department if you have additional questions regarding suspended or revoked status.

    NOTE: ABFAS does not have a board eligible status.

     
  • My Board Certification expired. How do I reestablish my Board Certified status with ABFAS?
    Please see the ABFAS Policies webpage for more information.
  • My Board Certified status was revoked for not paying my annual fee. How do I reinstate my Board Certified status with ABFAS?

     A former member who was revoked for non-payment of annual fee may be reinstated if:

    • The member’s time-limited ABFAS certificate has not expired.
    • The member submits documentation that they have met their state’s continuing education requirements.
    • The member submits documentation of an active, unrestricted license.
    • The member submits documentation of an active surgical hospital privileges.
    • The member pays all past due annual fees and late penalties for each year. There is no prorating of the annual fee.

    A former member who was revoked for non-administrative reasons, such as license revocation, must request to reestablish Board Certification in writing for Board of Directors approval. 

  • I have a retired status. How do I change it to active?

    A former member who has a “retired” status may be reinstated if:

    • The member’s time-limited ABFAS certificate has not expired.
    • The member can verify they have met their state’s continuing education requirements.
    • The member has an active, unrestricted license.
    • The member has active surgical hospital privileges.
    • The member has paid current annual fee.
  • I plan to retire from practice. How should I notify ABFAS?

    If a Diplomate has fully retired from practice they may request retired status with the board. This request must be in writing either via email, letter, or fax and should contain the effective date of retirement. Email: info@abfas.org, Fax: 415-553-7801

    Please note, ABFAS policies define a Certified – Retired member as “a member who has completely retired and does not actively practice podiatric surgery." Credentialing organizations requesting verification of board status will be given this information. A surgeon holding retired status has no further affiliation with ABFAS.

    ABFAS Certified - Retired members are not required to pay an annual fee nor are they required to meet any other LEAD program requirements. Certified - Retired members may not vote in ABFAS matters.


Certification


Certificates

  • How do I order a certificate?

    Please note that you must be Board Certified to order a certificate. In recognition of achieving Board Certified status, ABFAS will provide newly certified Diplomates their first certificate at no charge.

    To order additional certificates, log into your personal profile page and download the Additional Certificate order form in the left-hand column. See the Promote Your Certification page for more details. 

  • I passed both the Foot Surgery and RRA Surgery Board Certification exams, but only received a certificate indicating I am Board Certified in Foot Surgery. Is this an error?

    If you achieve Board Certification in Foot Surgery and RRA Surgery in the same year, you will receive two separate certificates. The certificate vendor ships all Foot Surgery certificates first, then later sends the RRA Surgery certificates. Each year, there is a high volume of certificates to be personalized and framed; therefore, please allow up to 15 weeks for processing.


Assessment Accommodations

  • I have a disability and need special accommodations when taking my assessment(s). What do I need to do?

    Please see the ADA Accommodations webpage.


Fees

  • Where do my application, exam, and annual fees go?

    Application fees support ABFAS administrative costs, including the meetings and work of the four committees that develop the exams. ABFAS currently has 16 different exams that cover In-training didactic and CBPS, Board Qualification didactic and CBPS, and Board Certification CBPS and Case Review.

    In 2018-19, ABFAS administered almost 6,000 individual exams. To prepare for this, each year approximately 135 ABFAS Board Certified members volunteer more than two weeks of their time to meet and review the current exams’ performance, develop new items for future exams, and strategize new exam processes. In addition, for Case Review, more than 115 ABFAS Board Certified members volunteer for three days (four to five if you include travel time) to review more than 6,900 procedures submitted for those seeking Board Certification. During the time all of the committees meet, the volunteers are not seeing patients or performing surgery, which means that they are giving up not only their time but their income to make sure that ABFAS exams are of the highest quality.

    ABFAS volunteers, staff, and part of your annual fee also support the Podiatry Residency Resource (PRR) program and the Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME) through the Residency Review Committee (RRC) and its residency program evaluation process (CREC) and the Joint Committee on the Recognition of Specialty Boards (JCRSB). And the one PRR staff member works out of the ABFAS facilities.

    As ABFAS is an independent organization that does not take industry sponsorship or funding like other associations, we appreciate all of your support and the value you put on the podiatric foot and ankle surgery profession and becoming ABFAS Board Certified.

  • Are ABFAS fees used for lobbying?

    No. We only apply fees to administrative/operational costs.


Verification Credentialers

  • How do I obtain a self-verification of my ABFAS status?
    ABFAS provides one free self-verification of status per year for Board Qualified and Board Certified podiatric surgeons.

    If a verification of status is requested for credentialing purposes, a credentialer or organization must obtain a copy of the status verification through our website. ABFAS collects a $35 fee per verification report for credentialing organizations. 
  • What information is provided on an ABFAS verification report?

    Hospitals and other credentialing organizations pay for individual verifications of podiatric surgeons undergoing the ABFAS Board Certification process. ABFAS does not release any information about passed or failed exams. The ABFAS verification report provides information about the DPM’s podiatric medical school graduation, completion of residency training, state licensure, current board status, and when that status was achieved and will expire. 

    In accordance with standards published by the National Committee for Quality Assurance and The Joint Commission, ABFAS conducts primary source verification of the podiatric medical school graduation, completion of residency training, and state licensure for each ABFAS Board Certified and Board Qualified podiatric surgeon.