The Texas 3rd Court of Appeals, reversing a decision by Travis County District Judge Darlene Byrne, recently sided with the Texas Medical Association in ruling that the state board that licenses podiatrists exceeded its authority when it created a definition of the foot that included the ankle. The podiatrists plan to appeal the court’s decision.
The Texas State Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners bypassed the Legislature to create its ankle-is-part-of-the-foot definition in 2001. The state board that defines podiatry does not define what a foot is. At stake is the ability of 900 podiatrists to operate on the ankle area.
Orthopedists must complete four years of medical school, a one year internship, and four years of residency to be able to operate on the ankle. Podiatrists, on the other hand, must complete four years of podiatry school and an internship of at least one year.