The American Board of Podiatric Surgery was founded in 1975 as the certifying board in surgery for the profession of podiatric medicine. ABPS is incorporated as a nonprofit corporation in the District of Columbia and has its office in San Francisco, California.
The purpose of ABPS is to serve the best interest of the public and medical profession by evaluating the initial and continuing qualifications of podiatric surgeons. The board reviews the credentials of voluntary candidates, conducts oral and written examinations, and issues certificates.
ABPS certification indicates that the podiatrist has completed a credentialing process including required postdoctoral education, at least four years of postdoctoral clinical experience, approval of documented surgeries on all areas of the foot and ankle, and successful completion of written and oral examinations. Certified podiatrists are members of ABPS and are called diplomates.
Certification in foot and 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 which affect the foot, ankle, and leg.
All podiatrists certified by ABPS have completed the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree at an accredited college of podiatric medicine. Most podiatric medical students have completed a baccalaureate degree before admission to podiatric medical school. The DPM curriculum includes four years divided between basic and clinical sciences.
Podiatric residency programs are evaluated, approved, and classified by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education. ABPS requires successful completion of an approved surgical residency for certification in foot and ankle surgery.