Maryland Surgeons Contact Your Legislator: Help Us Oppose Bill Allowing Podiatrists to Use the Title Physician


The Maryland Orthopaedic Association (MOA), representing 236 surgeons, is asking our members to write in opposition to HB 1430 in Maryland. Please scroll down to take action and contact your legislator. This bill allows podiatrists to use the title “physician.” The AAOS and MOA oppose the use of the title “physician” by non-physician clinicians as it is likely to confuse the public by implying that the clinician is engaged in the unlimited practice of medicine.

Podiatrists and orthopaedic surgeons are trained differently. The lower extremity is one of the more complex areas of the human musculoskeletal system, and an orthopaedic surgeon will attend four years of medical school, serve a five year orthopaedic surgery residency, and typically take an additional year of subspecialty fellowship training. MDs or DOs participate in active clinical care in multi system trauma and disease management, which is not the case for all podiatrists, and is a prerequisite for peer-review oversight.

While recent changes have improved podiatric education, it is not the same as the multi-system medical education required to become a MD or DO, nor is it the same accreditation process. They do not participate in the United States Medical Licensing Examination, which is the standard for all advanced medical care and essential to the degree of MD and DO. We believe that the title of physician should be attained through the accreditation process, and not the legislative process.