The podiatrists are urging elected officials to amend the current scope of practice law to include the treatment of conditions of the ankle and the soft tissue structures that affect the function of the foot and ankle. With this modification of the definition of the practice of podiatry, patients will be able to receive treatment from professionals specifically qualified to provide such services. NYSPMA leaders as well as their patients are sending messages to elected representatives via www.nyspma.org and are also holding a series of meetings in the State Capitol.
New York State is home to the oldest college of podiatric medicine in the United States, one of only eight such schools in the country. But with the current restrictive policy in place, while approximately 20% of the nation's podiatrists receive their training in New York, most take their expertise elsewhere to practice.
“We’ve seen the number of podiatric licenses issued in New York State steadily decline,” said Roy DeFrancis, DPM, president of the NYSPMA. “With our aging demographic and the growing number of people affected by diabetes, the current law is making it difficult for patients who need the services of a podiatrist to be promptly and effectively treated. New York State needs to be in step with the rest of the country,” he added.
According to a recent study conducted by an independent research firm on behalf of the American Podiatric Medical Association, medical care for diabetes is often not sought in time to prevent serious amputations. Having feet and ankles checked regularly by a podiatrist, as part of a complete diabetes management program, can drastically improve the success rate of managing the disease, preventing complications, and ultimately amputation. NYSPMA is urging for changes in the scope of practice law to ensure that more podiatrists remain in the state to keep up with the growing demand for timely treatment.
For further information on the bill (A.2518 (Pretlow)/S.2992 (Klein) or to send an email message, visit www.nyspma.org.
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The New York State Podiatric Medical Association (NYSPMA) is a tax-exempt not-for-profit, voluntary professional association uniting 3 of every 4 doctors of podiatric medicine (DPMs) in New York State. NYSPMA is the only recognized component member in New York, of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) and its affiliated national network of certifying boards and professional colleges. Established in 1895, the NYSPMA was the first organization of its kind in America and remains the APMA's largest statewide component.