Certification and Membership Organizations in Podiatry | Practicing DPMs | APMA
Certification and Membership Organizations in Podiatry

Students, residents, young members, and others have voiced confusion about the roles of the many organizations that exist in the podiatric medical profession. Most often the concerns focus on certifying boards and their connection to other organizations.

No podiatric medical certifying board requires membership in any organization to complete the certification process.

Voluntarily electing to become a member of any podiatric organization provides no advantage to candidates seeking board certification, nor does it affect eligibility to serve in a residency program: Applicants to CPME-approved residency programs are not required to be members of any specific organization in order to be eligible for placement. Students who are informed otherwise are encouraged to report these residency programs to CPME.  

APMA recognizes the difficulty in understanding the differences between various podiatric medical and surgical organizations. We have created this brief guide to assist students, residents, young members, and others. An attempt has been made to include all of the existing organizations, but some may have escaped our research. We apologize for any that were missed and plan to update the guide when a new organization surfaces or an old one discontinues its operations.

The APMA Family of Organizations (PDF)
Other Podiatric Organizations Outside the APMA Umbrella (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the importance of JCRSB with regard to certifying boards?
    The JCRSB (Joint Committee on the Recognition of Specialty Boards) serves as an arm of the Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME) and American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) to recognize certifying boards in podiatry as well as to establish national policy for certification. It functions in a manner similar to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the coordinating body for allopathic certification. Recognition of a specialty board by the JCRSB serves to provide important information to the profession, health-care institutions, and the public about the sound operations and fair conduct of the board’s certification process.
  • Do I need to be a member of any specific organization in order to sit for my board qualification/certification examination?
    No. In order to sit for board qualification/certification, you do not need to be a member of any other organization; however, you must meet the training and experience requirements established by the certifying board.
  • But don’t I have to be board certified to join certain specialty organizations?
    Yes. Some specialty organizations require board qualification or certification to be eligible to join and maintain membership. Others may require board qualification or certification to be eligible for certain categories of membership.
  • Can I be certified by more than one certifying board?
    Yes. No restrictions exist on sitting for certification by multiple boards.
  • What is a component organization?
    component organization is an association duly chartered and recognized by APMA. APMA has 53 component organizations, one in each state plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and one for those working in the Federal Services. The APMA National and Component dual membership model means you will be aligned with podiatrists across the country and within your state.
  • What are affiliated and related organizations?
    APMA recognizes Clinical Education Affiliates and Related Organizations that have complied with the requirements established in the APMA Bylaws and Administrative Procedures. A Clinical Education Affiliate brings together podiatrists and others who have a common interest in a unique area of podiatric medical practice. Members have a significant interest in the unique area of practice but may be seeking membership purely to develop or expand this interest by gaining increased knowledge and/or skill through educational programs and/or materials offered or produced by the organization. A Related Organization brings together podiatrists and/or others who have a common interest in a non-clinical aspect of podiatric medicine and practice (e.g., administrative, educational, credentialing, fraternal, or cultural). APMA-recognized affiliated and related organizations embrace the mission and values of APMA and require that all members of the organization who are eligible to be members of APMA maintain membership in APMA.
  • Do I need to be a member of a component organization in order to be a member of APMA?
    Yes; APMA and the state components are two parts of a whole. APMA and the components work in unison to provide an array of services for our mutual members. APMA’s components are separate organizations that provide unique services tailored to the needs of DPMs at the local level. The dual membership model is designed for maximum impact and influence at local and federal levels; therefore, it's not possible to join only part of what APMA and the state components partner to provide.
  • APMA advocates for the entire profession. Won’t I benefit from those efforts, even as a non-member DPM?
    No; APMA’s advocacy initiatives are a direct result of the input of its members. Non-members do not have the opportunity to participate fully in important conversations on critical issues facing DPMs, such as reimbursement, scope of practice, and legislative challenges. No membership means no voice in shaping practice and policy. APMA is the only organization fighting for podiatry at the national level. Representing DPMs in conversations with legislators, regulators, policymakers, and decision makers across the board, APMA is the voice of the profession.
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