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Mechanics and Doctors: Part 3, Certification


When I wrote my first blogpost on mechanics and doctors, this image with an ASE certified technician stood out to me. I believe most of us trust that whoever the clinician is who calls themselves “doctor” is qualified to treat us appropriately from the technical aspect of medicine. It is true that all “doctors” went through the rigors of the training process, but there is a difference between those who have chosen to go the extra mile and attain additional certifications. I’m not 100% sure of what it means for my mechanic, but an added knowledge base seems to be there whenever I talk to one vs others who are not. Hospitals, surgical centers, insurance carriers, and managed care organizations are requiring added certifications which speak of their importance.

What are the steps?
The process of learning never ends! After four years of podiatry school and then three years of podiatric surgical residency, the certification process ensures that surgeons have completed appropriate training, performed a diverse range of podiatric surgical procedures and passed the extensive written and oral examinations.

After residency
Once residency is complete, foot and ankle surgeons that desire to be Board Certified, must pass part one certification exam. Once this first exam is passed, the candidate is the board qualified, a designation that lasts for seven years.

Medical Staff

Once Board Qaulified
During the next seven years, the candidate must log the surgical procedures they perform to demonstrate that they are capable of a diverse range of procedures. As soon as the required number of procedures has been logged, the candidate may sit for the second board certification exam. This certification 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 that affect the foot, ankle, and leg. There are two designations of board certification, Foot Surgery, and Reconstructive Rearfoot Surgery.

Once Board Certified
The journey never ends! Once board certification is achieved, the surgeon is required to recertify every ten years.
And if my doctor isn’t board certified, should I seek treatment elsewhere?
Not necessarily. This isn’t what I’m suggesting. There are many reasons why someone isn’t certified, much of the reason is the timing involved.