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10/15/2019    Joseph Borreggine, DPM

Time for a Single Podiatric Medical and Surgical Certifying Board (Amol Saxena, DPM)

I have to agree with Dr. Saxena who is a very
well respected and honored colleague in the
podiatric profession. He should be considered
the quintessential model of what a podiatric
physician should be. I am proud to know him not
only as a fellow podiatrist, a classmate, but as
my friend.

Not only is Dr. Saxena a pioneer in podiatric
surgery, but he is one of the world’s renowned
sports medicine physicians. On top of that, he
is a podiatric residency director and runs a
very well-respected and sought out fellowship in
Palo Alto, CA.

He has also authored and co-authored many
articles over the last four decades regarding
his study and research podiatric medicine,
surgery, and biomechanics of the lower
extremity. He has given his life to the
podiatric profession.

Through his education, training and experience
Dr. Saxena has attained the truest pinnacle of
success as a well rounded podiatric physician
and surgeon. He has received many awards and
accolades for his accomplishments for all that
he has done for the podiatric profession.

His mentor, residency director and teacher is
our podiatric colleague from Chicago, Dr. John
Grady, who has been the scientific director of
the Midwest Podiatry Conference for almost forty
years. His resume’ of accomplishments and
success are too numerous to mention in this
text, but with him there not be podiatrists like
Dr. Saxena.

Not every podiatrist can succeed just like Dr.
Saxena and Grady did all these years. But, for
that to happen the educational groundwork and
mentorship needs to be made available to every
student.

And how that podiatric graduate chooses to
succeed should be left up to them. But, a clear
path to succeed in all that podiatric medicine
can only occur through a well-rounded post
graduate program. It should not only centered in
foot and ankle surgery; because podiatry is more
than that.

However, when there are available opportunities
to do so they should not be restricted to such a
narrow path. Not only should the podiatric
graduate be exposed to foot and ankle surgery,
but they should be steeped in the many nuisances
that podiatric medicine has to offer. With
availability of a well-rounded podiatric
residency and eventual fellowship a podiatric
graduate can succeed in whatever they choose.

Yes, times have changed and our profession and
it has evolved and morphed into something that
more centered on foot and ankle surgery than
anything else, but that does not mean we should
ignore all that podiatric medicine represents.

Why is there a required three year residency in
podiatric surgery for all DPM graduates? Why the
push for all “surgically” trained DPMs to be
board certified by American Board of Foot and
Ankle Surgery (ABFAS)?

I do not know the answer. Maybe someone can
enlighten me.

You would think with all that the podiatric
profession has had to offer historically and in
present day medicine that the current education
would parallel that sentiment. Alas, it does
not. The fact is that every podiatric student
successfully graduating does receive a DPM
degree, but I believe that where it stops for a
new graduate as being identified as a
“podiatrist”.

Podiatric students today have been indoctrinated
to believe that a degree in podiatric medicine
is a path to becoming a “foot and ankle
surgeon“. So, if this is true, the the only
certifying board should be American Board of
Foot and Ankle Surgery (ABFAS)

Hence, this is the ultimate solution to having
only one certifying board for podiatry. There I
said it! The problem is solved. We are all just
going to have to be “foot and ankle surgeons”
from now on.

With that said, our podiatric education should
no longer include anything but the necessary
educational precepts for the podiatric student
to attain a podiatric degree as such.

Moreover, there should complete elimination of
all other educational teaching outside of foot
and ankle surgery that deal with wound care,
biomechanics (sports medicine), diabetic foot
care, and so on.

Hence, this change should be immediate and
forthwith to the podiatric educational
curriculum so that all graduating podiatrists
can be fully vested in a foot and ankle surgery
career. Because, if foot and ankle surgery is
going to be what is most important to podiatric
medicine from now on and into the future, then
so be it.

So, if this what the podiatric profession truly
and inherently wants to do from now on, then, I
am sorry to say that what Dr. Saxena, et al. who
have made this profession what it is today have
done so all for naught.

Joseph Borreggine, DPM, Charleston, IL

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