ABC Continues Commitment to Therapeutic Shoe Fitter Credential
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ABC Continues Commitment to Therapeutic Shoe Fitter Credential

The American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics, Inc.'s (ABC) Therapeutic Shoe Fitter Exam Team met in late April 2009 to review and approve the certification examination and set the passing point for the coming year.  The certification exam is an essential part of the ABC therapeutic shoe fitter credentialing program.

ABC maintains that a program created and accessed by subject matter experts that measures a candidate's competency and training specific to therapeutic shoe fitting is the best way to provide appropriate, essential care for at-risk patients.  ABC certified therapeutic shoe fitters are the best qualified to provide the highest standards of care.

With the nationwide rise in diabetes and obesity requiring earlier intervention, it is more critical now than ever before that those who provide patient care are specifically educated and trained to provide the appropriate care.  It is also imperative that these individuals understand their scope of practice and recognize the critical nature of treating this "at risk” population.  They must also understand when to refer these patients to those with the appropriate credential, be it a Certified Pedorthist, Certified Orthotist or physician, when the patient needs care beyond their scope of practice.

Robert S. Lin, CPO, FAAOP, ABC President and Chief Orthotist/Prosthetist, Director of Residency Training and Associate Clinical Professor with Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford, Ct., says "Preventative care is a very important part of foot management and the Therapeutic Shoe Fitter may very well be the first to interface with many of these patients.  This ABC credential will help ensure that optimal care is available in not only the traditional medical environment but also the retail setting where a significant portion of this business is housed.”

The ABC therapeutic shoe fitter certification exam covers patient assessment, formulation and implementation of a treatment plan, follow-up, practice management and professional responsibility.  At the same time, the exam assesses the candidate's knowledge and skill in basic anatomy and physiology of the foot and ankle; common foot pathologies specific to the diabetic foot; basic medical terminology; physical evaluation; basic materials knowledge; assessment and fit; and many more.

The ABC Certified Therapeutic Shoe Fitter Exam Team is comprised of ABC certified individuals who voluntarily give their time to assure that the highest standards of the profession are being measured with the Certified Fitter–Therapeutic Shoes exam."  "Our goal is to ensure we havea contemporary exam that comprehensively measures the candidate's knowledge and skills,” said Steven R. Whiteside, CO, FAAOP, Chairman, ABC Therapeutic Shoe Fitter Exam Team.

In support of all of its certification programs, ABC just released its updated Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics Scope of Practice.  The publication is reviewed each year by a team of Certified Orthotists, Prosthetists and Pedorthists to maintain its continued relevancy to the profession. Included in the document is the scope of practice guidelines for ABC Certified Fitter-Therapeutic Shoes.   The Scope of Practice clearly identifies the knowledge required and the specifics deemed necessary for anyone providing therapeutic shoe fitting to patients.

The Scope of Practice specifically states that "The ABC certified fitter-therapeutic shoes is a health care professional who is specifically educated and trained to provide non-custom therapeutic shoes and non-custom multi-density insert.  The certified fitter-therapeutic shoes is obligated to support and conform to professional responsibilities that promote and assure the overall welfare of the patient and the integrity of the profession.”

"A large percentage of the 17 million+ people with diabetes in the U.S. today are not at high risk and can be safely and appropriately cared for by a therapeutic shoe fitter.  By meeting the needs of this group, therapeutic shoe fitters are an important link in the O&P community, servicing a large group of individuals who do not require the advanced care of a pedorthist or orthotist, ” said Dennis J. Janisse, C.Ped., ABC board member.

ABC's Certified Fitter-Therapeutic Shoes exam dates for summer and fall 2009 are August 3-8 and November 16-21.  Applications and candidate information are available online at  The exam is computer based and given at 250 locations nationwide anytime during the one week period.

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