Formed in late 2008, the American Society of Podiatric Surgeons (ASPS) is the surgical voice for the APMA and supports the association’s Vision 2015 project, according to the society’s Web site.
The ASPS has available membership categories of Fellow, Associate, Affiliate, Resident, Student and Emeritus, according to bylaws posted on its Web site. It is not a credentialing organization.
“The principal purpose of ASPS is to facilitate education and research activities in the area of podiatric surgery,” notes the ASPS site. “These activities are viewed to reinforce and support licensing and certification processes.” The society also notes it will offer educational programs and work with the American Board of Podiatric Surgery (ABPS).
Michael Graham, DPM, is a Fellow of both the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) and the ASPS. He joined the ASPS because he thinks it is important to have an organization associated with the APMA.
“Even though I might not always agree with the decisions of the leadership of the APMA, we need a representative body for our profession,” notes Dr. Graham. “The higher the membership, the better political pressure we can have as a united front.”
Bret Ribotsky, DPM, is a Fellow of the ASPS and notes that he opposed the schism between APMA and ACFAS. Dr. Ribotsky says it is up to the ASPS to provide value for its membership. He feels the ASPS needs to do a better job of sharing its goals and providing information on what it has accomplished. Officials from the ASPS did not respond to requests for comment for this article.
Research is a critical goal for the ASPS, according to Dr. Graham. He notes that podiatric schools and residency programs must address the fact that podiatrists are not as well versed in research and publishing as orthopedic surgeons.
Stephen Barrett, DPM, is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and a Fellow of the ASPS. He plans to continue his association with both groups.
In his conversations with colleagues, Dr. Barrett has gathered that many do not know how the situation with the ACFAS and APMA had occurred and some remain confused. He believes both organizations will grow.
In Dr. Barrett’s opinion, if the profession continues with a collective and not divided effort, there will be “very positive change and patient outcomes will continue to improve for many things, which were considered untreatable a couple of decades ago.”