Podiatric surgeons are podiatrists who have undertaken extensive postgraduate training and education in reconstructive foot and ankle surgery. Most podiatric surgeons will have had at least 10-12 years of training and experience in the medical and surgical care of foot and ankle conditions before they begin surgical practice.
Currently, all podiatrists are required to complete a 4 year (or equivalent) undergraduate degree in podiatry to become initially registered as a general podiatrist. All undergraduate podiatry degrees incorporate general medical and surgical studies, as well as specific content related to pathology and diseases affecting the foot and ankle. All graduate podiatrists may administer local anaesthesia and perform minor skin and nail surgery.
To become a podiatric surgeon, a podiatrist must practice as a general podiatrist for 2 years, then complete a Master‘s degree incorporating additional core studies in general medicine, surgery, pharmacology, pathology, radiology and podiatric medicine. Candidates who have achieved scheduled medicine endorsement with the Podiatry Board of Australia may then apply to sit an entrance examination with the College, and if successful they may enter into an accredited training program as a Registrar. The length of time to complete training will typically range from 3-6 years, and will be directly involved in over 2000 surgical procedures, rotations with other medical specialists, overseas and interstate clinical placements, and final examinations.
The Fellowship qualification of the Australasian College of Podiatric Surgeons is bestowed on individuals who have successfully completed all training and examination requirements set by the College. Once FACPS qualification is obtained, the practitioner may apply to the PBA for specialist registration as an accredited podiatric surgeon for the purposes of health insurance rebates.
Podiatric surgeons have ongoing obligations to maintain professional competencies as determined by the College and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
More information of the ACPS training requirements can be found here.