Information on Scope of Practice

Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPMs) are licensed under Section 2472 of the State Medical Practice Act. They diagnose and treat medical conditions affecting the foot, ankle and related structures (including the tendons that insert into the foot and the nonsurgical treatment of the muscles and tendons of the leg). A doctor of Podiatric Medicine with training or experience in wound care may treat ulcers resulting from local and systemic etiologies on the leg no further proximal than the tibial tubercle. Any procedure and modality is within the DPM scope if utilized to diagnose and treat foot, ankle or other podiatric conditions.

In addition to performing foot and ankle surgeries, DPMs are also licensed to assist medical and osteopathic doctors (MDs, DOs) in any surgery--podiatric or non-podiatric.

DPMs are trained and fully licensed to independently perform full-body history and physical (H&P) examinations in any setting for any patient.

DPMs, many of whom develop expertise in the care and preservation of the diabetic foot, perform partial amputations of the foot as far as proximal with the Chopart's joint, to prevent greater loss of limb, ambulation, or life. They order and administer anesthesia and sedatives, as indicated. The administration of general anesthesia, of course, may only be performed by an anesthesiologist or certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). DPMs commonly administer intravenous (IV) sedation.

Section 2472 also specifies the various peer-reviewed facilities in which ankle surgery may be performed. It may be viewed in its entirety from BPM’s website under Laws & Regulations. BPM interprets surgical treatment of the ankle to include those parts of the tibia, fibula, their malleoli and related structures as indicated by the procedures.

For questions or further information, please contact the Board at

Revised March 2018


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