A message from the Alabama Orthopaedic Society
Is my surgeon skilled and competent? It’s a question that does not cross the minds of patients in the state of Alabama. This confidence in surgeons is due to the fact that surgical residency training is monitored, standardized, and advanced through the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
The ACGME’s mission is to improve healthcare by assessing and advancing the quality of resident physicians education through exemplary accreditation and assures the public their surgeon has completed the highest standard of training and is competent to practice independently. The ACGME is a private, non profit organization accrediting nearly 9,000 residency programs and over 100 specialties and subspecialties. Podiatry is not one of these programs.(1)
Despite the fact that podiatric residency does not meet the minimum standards of every other surgical specialty, Senate Bill 101 seeks to give podiatric providers additional surgical privileges. This bill is not in the best interest of Alabamians. Although other states have adopted such scope expansions, the negative effects to patients are known. Studies evaluating this scope extension have shown it leads to longer hospital stays, higher costs and higher complications from surgery.(2,3)
Alabamians deserve treatment from the highest skilled surgeons that meet universally agreed upon training standards. The Alabama Orthopaedic Society believes all practitioners who provide surgical care should meet the uniform educational and training standards established by the ACGME.
The safest option for citizens of Alabama is to ensure their foot and ankle surgeons are educated, trained, and credentialed by the same standards as every other medical and surgical specialty. Failure to uphold this standard risks the health and well being of the citizens of Alabama.
- Chan JJ, Chan JC, Poeran J, Zubizaretta N, Mazumdar M, Vulcano E. Surgeon type and outcome after inpatient ankle arthrodesis and total ankle arthroplasty. JBJS, 2019.
- Chan JY, Truntzer JN, Gardner MJ, Bishop JA . Lower complications rate following ankle fracture fixation by orthopaedic surgeons vs. podiatrists. JAAOS, 2018