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Recently, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald carried headline articles on foot surgery being performed by podiatric “surgeons” without medical training.  Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes programme also recently aired a story on this topic.

A podiatric surgeon is essentially a podiatrist with additional training with the college of podiatry in surgery of foot and ankle. This is not medical training and is not accredited by the Australian Medical Council, the only “surgeons” not accredited by the AMC.

A podiatric surgeon is not medically trained in whole of body, cannot always prescribe medications, and their specialist training compared to orthopaedic surgeons is significantly different.

A review by the podiatry board is being undertaken including the continuing use of the title “surgeon” for podiatric surgeons.

BallaratOSM welcomes the scrutiny that this places on surgeons qualifications. All surgeons who work at BOSM have medical degrees, in addition to their specialist surgical training.

Mr Shaun English, who has a specific subspecialty interest and training in Foot and Ankle surgery has the following;

  • medical degree completed in 1995
  • orthopaedic surgery training completed in 2005 (resulting in fellowship of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons, and membership of the Australian Orthopaedic Association)
  • subspecialty training in Foot and Ankle surgery in Dublin (National Orthopaedic Hospital, Cappagh, 2007) and Oxford (Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, 2008)

He is currently supervisor for Foot and Ankle training for the Victoria and Tasmania orthopaedic training programmes.