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Podiatric surgeons are podiatrists who have completed extensive, post-graduate medical and surgical training, which enables them to perform reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle. The qualifications of podiatric surgeons are recognised by Australian State and Federal Governments. Podiatric surgeons are included within both the Health Insurance Act and the National Health Act.
Around the world, podiatric surgery has a long history of leadership and innovation in the field of foot surgery. Podiatric surgeons are unique, having dedicated their energy over many years in research, investigation and mastery of medical and surgical therapeutics of the foot and ankle. Podiatric surgeons are uniquely qualified to care for bone, joint, ligament, muscle and tendon pathology of the foot and ankle, including:
The Australasian College of Podiatric Surgeons is a national organisation, the roles of which include the development, implementation and monitoring of guidelines for the practice of podiatric surgery within Australia; and the training and ongoing provision of resources to assist in ongoing accreditation of podiatric surgeons within Australia. The Australasian College of Podiatric Surgeons is committed to the advancement of knowledge of podiatric surgery, and endeavours to uphold the highest standards in foot and ankle surgical care by podiatric surgeons within the community
Under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009, the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council has recognized podiatric surgery as a surgical specialty. Since 1976, the ACPS has been responsible for the development and training of podiatric surgeons in Australia.
It is the position of the ACPS that credentialing processes for granting privileges for the specialty of foot and ankle surgery should be uniformly applied to all surgeons seeking foot and ankle surgery privileges. This should occur regardless of whether the surgery has a specialist in podiatric surgery or orthopaedic surgery. These privileges should be based on the completion of training that is duly accredited by the surgeons’ registration board and surgical college. The privileging process should evaluate specialized foot and ankle post-Fellowship documentation, surgical training logs, and/or demonstration of current clinical experience at other facilities, continuing education, and certification, along with Fellowship qualification.
Information of the Hospital Credentialing of Podiatric Surgeons
The granting of clinical privileges for a foot and ankle surgeon with a Fellowship of the ACPS should be based on fair and objective analysis that follows the same National Standard requirements as set forth in evaluating other specialists and physicians consistent with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (“ACSQHC”) and/or individual State standards.
The ACSQHC Standard specifies that evidence of current license, competence, relevant training and ability to perform the procedures that the privileges request should form the basis of privilege delineation.Foot and ankle surgical training, demonstration of current clinical experience in foot, ankle and related lower extremity surgery, and continuing medical/surgical education are also important credentialing elements recognized by ACSQHC. These key elements allow for measurable and uniform objective criteria to be applied in evaluating a podiatric surgeon for privileges in foot and ankle surgery. In addition, consideration of scholarly and academic achievements may be factored into the decision making process.
Individual credentialing and surgical privilege delineation is determined by an individual’s qualifications and documentation consistent with other specialties and ACSQHC standards. All Fellows of the ACPS have comprehensive exposure and training to practice the diagnosis, surgical and adjunctive treatment of disease, injuries and defects of the human foot and ankle and associated structures. It is accepted that post Fellowship individual training expertise will develop in specific techniques or procedures.
Privileging of Surgical Assistants to Fellows of the ACPS
It is the position of the ACPS that credentialing processes for granting privileges for surgical assistants to a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon should require evidence of: