When you are Board Certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, you have to take a recertification exam every 10 years. Not all medical professionals are required to recertify, but it is required if you are a podiatric surgeon. The purpose of the exam is to evaluate the podiatric surgeon’s continuing competence.
There are only a small handful of podiatrists in our area who are Board Certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery.
Given the increasing amount of information that doctors need to stay on top of, this exam continues to get harder. The exam covers areas such as Acute Trauma, Basic Science, Infectious Diseases, Surgical Complications, Medical Imaging, Neoplasms and Tumors, and Surgical Principles and Procedures. I personally studied more than 3 months for this exam – that’s how much information is covered.
This year, the exam was an “adaptive reasoning exam” given by computer. What this means is that the more questions you get right, the harder the next questions become. If you get a lot of questions right, the exam is most likely the most difficult exam you have ever taken.
The exam takes several hours given under the most strict security precautions (think CIA Headquarters type security).
I had to show three forms of ID. I had my photo taken, as well as a scan of the vein pattern of my hand. All my belongings had to be put into a locker, and I had to turn my pockets inside out to show I wasn’t hiding anything. (Unfortunately, I accidentally left a penny in the bottom of my pocket, which I had to leave outside the testing area).
The final result – I am Board Certified for another 10 years.
By David Schlam