ABLES has established a fair, reliable pathway to board certification that focuses on professional review of a candidate’s actual case records.

about ables


The American Board of Lower Extremity Surgery (ABLES) is a not-for-profit, multidisciplinary, autonomous certification board that has been recognized for its rigorous performance-based certification processes for more than 30 years. ABLES offers board certification for qualified DPMs, DOs, and MDs in the following disciplines:

  • Lower Extremity Medicine (non-surgical)
  • Lower Extremity Medicine and Surgery
  • Lower Extremity Medicine and Comprehensive Surgery, including Rearfoot and Reconstructive Surgery.



The ABLES certification process is a rigorous, intellectually probing evaluation characterized by:

  • Performance-based evaluation of clinical knowledge and skills
  • Emphasis on the physician’s decision-making process throughout a course of treatment
  • Case submission requirements that emphasize diversity of procedures performed, rather than requiring specific numbers of specific types of cases.

Because individualized case review is at the core of the ABLES philosophy, our certification process is tailored to the background and specialized training of each candidate. The number and types of cases a candidate is required to submit for review will depend upon the kind of certification s/he is seeking. For example, a candidate applying for certification in Lower Extremity Medicine and Comprehensive Surgery, including Rearfoot and Reconstructive Surgery, must submit a much larger complement of more complex cases, as well as documentation for additional specialized advanced training by a recognized institution.

In addition, our recertification process follows through with our unique commitment to advancing performance-based excellence over the entire course of our membersā€™ careers. We were the first board to require formal recertification, including case submission and oral review, every five years, and our members must submit cases representative of their work over the five years since their last certification.

ABLES’ goal is to provide board certification in lower extremity medicine and surgery based on superior knowledge, skills, experience, and clinical judgment. Our certification processes are rigorous and substantive.

ABLES does not discriminate against any applicant based on race, creed, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, religion, marital status, military discharge status, or income. We evaluate all applicants for certification solely on our published criteria for eligibility.


Do you need a few hours of CMEs to be current?

PICA is approved by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education as a provider of continuing education in podiatric medicine. PICA offers a wide variety of podiatric continuing education courses, most of which are free of charge.


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