ACFAS Members Vote Against Dual APMA Membership

Brian McCurdy, Senior Editor

The membership of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) has agreed with the college’s board of directors that renewing members do not have to maintain membership in the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).
In the recent vote, 53 percent supported the board’s original decision from last fall. Podiatric surgeons must still be members of the APMA when they join the ACFAS but can drop association membership when they renew college membership. Reportedly 66 percent of the ACFAS membership cast their votes on this issue.
John Giurini, DPM, the President of the ACFAS, notes that the college did not intend for its members to choose between the college and the APMA, and that the two organizations will continue working together.
“It must be remembered that this vote is not an indictment of APMA or dissatisfaction with APMA,” he notes. “It is simply a reflection that the majority of members wish to have a choice. For a certain number of other members, financial considerations entered into their decision.”
Ross Taubman, DPM, the President of the APMA, expressed his regret with the vote, although he commends the ACFAS for continuing to recommend APMA membership to college members. He says the primary focus for the APMA is Vision 2015 and the goal of this initiative is for podiatric physicians to be universally recognized and accepted as physicians as per their education, training and experience.
Dr. Giurini notes that the ACFAS will work with the APMA on the Vision 2015 initiative and other issues such as scope of practice challenges.

What Is The Fallout From The Decision?
Since the ACFAS has changed its policy on APMA membership, they are in violation of the APMA bylaws, according to Dr. Taubman. Therefore, the ACFAS is not eligible to be recognized as an affiliate of APMA.
Lloyd Smith, DPM, a Past President of the APMA, predicts that as the ACFAS is no longer the association’s surgical affiliate, the APMA will seek out a new surgical affiliate. He believes both organizations will suffer due to the decision, calling the ACFAS board of directors’ action “unilateral and very confusing.”
“I am saddened to think that our profession will no longer be served by organizations with a unified structure,” says Dr. Smith. “The election results, confusing and contrary to most parliamentary actions of this sort, will negatively impact our profession. Our ‘separation’ will lead to unintended consequences and the members of both organizations will suffer.”

Editor’s note: For a related article, see this month’s “Forum” column, “Why ACFAS Members Should Stay In The APMA,” on page 89.


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