Upon successful completion of four years of graduate professional education, podiatric medical graduates participate in post-graduate education and training opportunities.
Post-graduate training provides an orderly progression from student doctor to competent, independent clinician. Residency programs expose the podiatric medical graduate to structured learning environments and experiences in general medical patient management along with training in the diagnosis and care of podiatric pathology. Similar to other medical specialties, this training process occurs in teaching hospitals or academic health centers throughout the country. There is one type of podiatric residency program requiring three to four years of training.
Approval by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME) of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) is the recognition accorded a podiatric residency program that meets the educational standards established by the profession. The primary purpose of approval is to promote and assure high quality education and continuous improvement in educational programs.
The podiatric medicine and surgery residency is a resource-based, competency-driven, assessment-validated program that consists of three years of postgraduate training in inpatient and outpatient medical and surgical management. The sponsoring institution provides training resources that facilitate the resident’s sequential and progressive achievement of specific competencies.
The Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME) approves residency programs in Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Residency with or without the added credential in Reconstructive Rearfoot/Ankle Surgery (PMSR and PMSR/RRA).
- Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Residency (PMSR) – A PMSR resident is trained in the breadth of podiatric healthcare. Completion of the residency leads to the following certification pathways — the American Board Podiatric Medicine (ABPM) and foot surgery of the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery (ABFAS).
- Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Residency with a credential in Reconstructive Rearfoot/Ankle Surgery (PMSR/RRA). In addition to the standard Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Residency, the added credential in Reconstructive Rearfoot/Ankle Surgery (PMSR/RRA) is available with some residencies. These residencies can provide a sufficient volume and diversity in reconstructive rearfoot and ankle procedures and are approved grant an added credential in RRA. Completion of a Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Residency with the added credential leads to the RRA certification pathway of ABFAS.
For more information about requirements for these approved training programs, see the Standards and Requirements for Approval of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Residencies document.
A license to practice podiatric medicine is issued by individual states. Requirements for licensure and the scope of practice vary from state to state. Reciprocity is available among some of the states. Licensure (training or full) may be required for residency training. The majority of states require residency or other post-graduate training prior to full licensure. As of November 2013, 92% of states required post-graduate training. For the most current information regarding state licensure, contact the individual state licensing board. Contact information by state is provided by the Federation of Podiatric Medical Boards at www.fpmb.org/memberboards.asp.