1.1 Pursuant to 24 Del.C. Ch. 5, the Delaware Board of Podiatry (“the Board”) is authorized to, and has adopted, these Rules and Regulations.
1.2 Information about the Board, including its meeting dates, may be obtained by contacting the Board’s Administrative Assistant at the Division of Professional Regulation, Cannon Building, 861 Silver Lake Boulevard, Ste. 203, Dover, Delaware 19904-2467, telephone (302) 739-4522. Requests to the Board may be directed to the same office.
1.3 The Board’s President shall preside at all meetings of the Board and shall sign all official documents of the Board. In the President’s absence, the Board’s Secretary shall preside at meetings and perform all duties usually performed by the President.
1.4 The Board shall elect officers, pursuant to 24 Del.C. §504 in January of each year.
Statutory authority: 24 Del.C. §503; 504; 506.
2.1 Application and Requirements for Licensure. Pursuant to 24 Del.C. §508, an applicant for licensure must meet the requirements of 24 Del.C. §508(a). An applicant for licensure must arrange to provide the Board with a copy of his or her record with the National Practitioners’ Data Bank. Upon completion of these requirements, the Board shall issue a license.
2.2 The Board may require additional information or explanation when it has questions about an applicant’s qualifications or application materials. An application is not complete or in proper form until the Board has received all required and requested documents, materials, information and fees.
2.3 Graduates of non-United States (U.S.) degree programs will be required to have their credentials evaluated by a credential evaluation service acceptable to the Board, to determine equivalency to U.S. degree programs.
Statutory authority: 24 Del.C. §508.
2.4 Residency Program. The hospital residency program shall be approved by and comply with the Special Standards and Requirements established for residency programs by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) and Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME).
Statutory authority: 24 Del.C. §§508(a)(2)
3.1 Examination. Pursuant to 24 Del.C. §508 and 509, applicants for licensure must have taken an approved national examination and achieved the minimum passing score recommended by the testing service providing the examination. The approved national examination is the PMLexis administered by the National Board of Podiatry Medical Examiners (NBPME).
3.3 An applicant for licensure shall, prior to sitting for the examination, notify the testing service administering the PMLexis to forward his or her examination results directly to the Board. Failure to do so may constitute grounds for denial of licensure.
4.1 In addition to other requirements for licensure by reciprocity set forth in 24 Del.C. §510, the Board may only approve licensure by reciprocity where said applicants are currently licensed in other state(s) whose requirements for registration or certification are substantially similar to those of the State of Delaware, or as set forth in Rules 4.3 and 4.4, below. Equivalency shall be determined by comparing the laws in effect at the time of application. Prior to issuing a license by reciprocity, the Board will determine whether said applicants have ever been disciplined or whether there are any disciplinary actions pending in any jurisdiction.
4.2 Requirements for registration and certification, as they relate to states other than Delaware, are deemed by the Board to be substantially similar to those of the State of Delaware when said requirements include:
4.3 An applicant licensed in a state whose standards for licensure are not substantially similar to those of Delaware may obtain licensure by reciprocity if he or she holds a license in good standing in that state and has practiced podiatry for a minimum of five years after licensure.
4.4 An applicant for licensure by reciprocity, who is licensed in a state whose standards are not substantially similar to those of this state, must provide the Board with an affidavit from his or her employer(s) in the state of licensure, or other evidence acceptable to the Board, documenting at least five (5) years of practice following licensure in that state.
Statutory authority: 24 Del.C. §510.
5.1.1 Pursuant to 24 Del.C. §513(d), the Board will issue, without examination, an In-Training license to podiatric physicians who are (1) participating in this State in a residency program accredited by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education and (2) are otherwise qualified for licensure.
5.1.2 A podiatric physician who will be employed by a hospital as a resident or fellow in an accredited residency or fellowship program may apply for an In-Training license. Application shall be made on forms provided by the Board. Such applications shall include:
126.96.36.199 An affidavit of the employer hospital’s residency program director certifying that the podiatric physician will be employed by the hospital and meets all requirements for licensure specified in 24 Del.C. §508(a)(1) through (a)(7), excluding 24 Del.C. §508(a)(2).
188.8.131.52 An affidavit of the podiatric physician seeking licensure certifying that he meets all the requirements for licensure specified in 24 Del.C. §508(a)(1) through (a)(7), excluding 24 Del.C. §508(a)(2). Parts I and II of the Podiatric Medical Licensing Examination for States (PM Lexis) exam must be satisfactorily completed prior to residency. Satisfactory completion of Part III of the PM Lexis exam will have to be completed by the end of the first year of residency.
184.108.40.206 An affidavit of the podiatric physician seeking licensure certifying that he intends to limit himself solely to practice within the hospital or the performance of such medical duties outside the hospital which may be assigned to him as part of the residency program.
5.1.3 Residents employed by accredited hospitals who have been granted In-Training licenses shall be specifically limited to the practice of medicine within the hospital where they are employed, except for any medical duties which may be assigned as part of the residency program as long as those outside duties are performed under the supervision of a fully licensed podiatric physician.
5.2.1 A licensee whose license lapses for non-renewal may renew within one year by paying the late fee required by 24 Del.C. §511 and having completed all continuing education required for renewal. Late renewals shall be audited for satisfactory completion of the continuing education requirement.
5.3.1 A licensee may be placed on inactive status by the Board for a period of no more than five (5) years. Requests for inactive status shall be made, in writing, to the Board and requests which exceed one (1) year shall be renewed biennially at the time of regular license renewals. After application to the Board and payment of a renewal fee, an inactive licensee may obtain a new license and re-enter active practice after completion of the continuing education requirements below.
6.1 “Continuing medical education (CME),” as that term is herein applied by the Board, includes any and all continuing education requirements, as herein below provided, which must be satisfied biennially by all licensed practitioners as a condition for licensure renewal. Each licensed practitioner shall complete, on or before June 30 of even numbered years at least 32 hours of continuing education as a condition of license renewal.
6.2 Each practitioner shall be exempt from the continuing education requirement in the first biennial licensing period, or any portion thereof, in which he is licensed to practice in Delaware. During the renewal process, a practitioner shall attest to his satisfactory completion of the continuing education requirements for the previous two (2) years. Attestation may be completed electronically if the renewal is accomplished online. In the alternative, paper renewal documents that contain the attestation of completion may be submitted. Each licensee must maintain a Podiatry CME log, on a form to be supplied by the Board, indicating the date, title, sponsor, and number of hours the licensee attended, for each continuing education program submitted for credit. Random audits will be performed by the Board to ensure compliance with the continuing education requirement. Licensees selected for the random audit shall submit validated documents which evidence satisfactory completion of the continuing education requirements for the previous two (2) years. The Board reserves the right to request additional documentation, such as copies of program materials, to verify CME compliance in the course of a random audit.
6.3 Only approved courses will be counted toward the 32 hour biennial continuing education requirement. A practitioner may gain approval of any course or program by written application to the Board, stating the title, sponsor and summary of course content. The Board may act upon all such requests at the next regularly scheduled meeting, may act upon such requests at any intervening special meeting convened to consider other issues, or may delegate to any member of the Board the authority to approve continuing education courses on behalf of the Board. Any practitioner who attends and/or completes a course which has not yet been approved by the Board does so at his own risk that the Board may not approve the said course nor allow it to be counted toward completion of the annual requirement of 32 hours of continuing education.
6.4 Content. The overriding consideration in determining if a specific program qualifies for continuing education is that it be a formal program of learning which contributes directly to the professional competence of the licensee. No credit shall be given for business or practice seminars.
6.4.1 Computer, television or video based courses and other independent study courses may be submitted to the Board for approval, however no such course will be approved for credit unless it includes successful completion of a final examination or paper.
6.5 Hardship. The Board has the authority to make exceptions to the continuing education requirements upon written request of the licensee and a showing of good cause. “Good cause” may include, but is not limited to, disability, illness, military service, foreign residency, and retirement. Upon application, the Board shall set the time in which the licensee must complete the continuing education requirement. No extension shall be granted for more than 120 days after the end of the licensing period.
6.6.1 The Board may, upon request, review and approve credit for self-directed activities, including research, preparation and/or presentation of professional papers and articles, to a maximum of eight (8) hours per biennial licensing period. A licensee must obtain pre-approval of the Board prior to undertaking the self-directed activity in order to assure continuing education credit for the activity. Any self-directed activity submitted for approval must include a written proposal outlining the scope of the activity, the number of continuing education hours requested, the anticipated completion date(s), the role of the licensee in the case of multiple participants (e.g. research) and whether any part of the self-directed activity has ever been previously approved or submitted for credit by the same licensee.
6.6.2 The Board may award up to a maximum of eight (8) continuing education hours for the first-time preparation and presentation of an approved podiatric clinical course, in-service training, workshop, or seminar. A copy of the course syllabus and verification that the course was presented is required for Board approval.
Statutory authority: 24 Del.C. §§506(a)(7).
7.1 Grounds for discipline are listed in 24 Del.C. §515.
7.1.1 Advertising – communications to the public must be accurate and not convey false, untrue, deceptive, or misleading information. Licensees shall provide truthful and accurate representations of their credentials, training, experience, or ability. Licensees shall not communicate claims of superiority that cannot be substantiated. Violation of these standards is an act of consumer fraud or deception.
7.2.1 A copy of the written complaint shall be forwarded to the administrative assistant for the Board. At the next regularly scheduled Board meeting, a contact person for the Board shall be appointed and a copy of the written complaint given to that person.
7.2.2 The contact person appointed by the Board shall maintain strict confidentiality with respect to the contents of the complaint and shall not discuss the matter with other Board members or with the public. The contact person shall maintain contact with the investigator or Deputy Attorney General assigned to the case regarding the progress of the investigation.
7.2.3 In the instance when the case is being closed by the Division, the contact person shall report the facts and conclusions to the Board without revealing the identities of the parties involved. No vote of the Board is necessary to close the case.
7.2.4 If a hearing has been requested by the Deputy Attorney General, a copy of these Rules and Regulations shall be provided to the respondent upon request. The notice of hearing shall fully comply with 29 Del.C. §10122 and 10131 pertaining to the requirements of the notice of proceedings. All notices shall be sent to the respondent’s address as reflected in the Board’s records.
7.2.5 At any disciplinary hearing, the respondent shall have the right to appear in person or be represented by counsel, or both. The Respondent shall have the right to produce evidence and witnesses on his or her behalf and to cross examine witnesses. The Respondent shall be entitled to the issuance of subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents on his or her behalf.
7.2.6 No less than 10 days prior to the date set for a disciplinary hearing, the Department of Justice and the respondent shall submit to the Board and to each other, a list of the witnesses they intend to call at the hearing. Witnesses not listed shall be permitted to testify only upon a showing of reasonable cause for such omission.
7.3.4 Requests for postponements of any matter scheduled before the Board shall be submitted to the Board’s office in writing no less than three (3) days before the date scheduled for the hearing. Absent a showing of exceptional hardship, there shall be a maximum of one postponement allowed to each party to any hearing.
7.3.5 A complaint shall be deemed to “have merit” and the Board may impose disciplinary sanctions against the licensee if a majority of the members of the Board find, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the respondent has committed the act(s) of which he or she is accused and that those act(s) constitute grounds for discipline.
8.1 If the report is received by the chairperson of the regulatory Board, that chairperson shall immediately notify the Director of Professional Regulation or his/her designate of the report. If the Director of Professional Regulation receives the report, he/she shall immediately notify the chairperson of the regulatory Board, or that chairperson's designate or designates.
8.2 The chairperson of the regulatory Board or that chairperson's designate or designates shall, within 7 days of receipt of the report, contact the individual in question and inform him/her in writing of the report, provide the individual written information describing the Voluntary Treatment Option, and give him/her the opportunity to enter the Voluntary Treatment Option.
8.3 In order for the individual to participate in the Voluntary Treatment Option, he/she shall agree to submit to a voluntary drug and alcohol screening and evaluation at a specified laboratory or health care facility. This initial evaluation and screen shall take place within 30 days following notification to the professional by the participating Board chairperson or that chairperson's designate(s).
8.4 A regulated professional with chemical dependency or impairment due to addiction to drugs or alcohol may enter into the Voluntary Treatment Option and continue to practice, subject to any limitations on practice the participating Board chairperson or that chairperson's designate or designates or the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation or his/her designate may, in consultation with the treating professional, deem necessary, only if such action will not endanger the public health, welfare or safety, and the regulated professional enters into an agreement with the Director of Professional Regulation or his/her designate and the chairperson of the participating Board or that chairperson's designate for a treatment plan and progresses satisfactorily in such treatment program and complies with all terms of that agreement. Treatment programs may be operated by professional Committees and Associations or other similar professional groups with the approval of the Director of Professional Regulation and the chairperson of the participating Board.
8.5 Failure to cooperate fully with the participating Board chairperson or that chairperson's designate or designates or the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation or his/her designate in regard to the Voluntary Treatment Option or to comply with their requests for evaluations and screens may disqualify the regulated professional from the provisions of the Voluntary Treatment Option, and the participating Board chairperson or that chairperson's designate or designates shall cause to be activated an immediate investigation and institution of disciplinary proceedings, if appropriate, as outlined in subsection 8.8 of this section.
8.6.1 Entry of the regulated professional into a treatment program approved by the participating Board. Board approval shall not require that the regulated professional be identified to the Board. Treatment and evaluation functions must be performed by separate agencies to assure an unbiased assessment of the regulated professional's progress.
8.6.2 Consent to the treating professional of the approved treatment program to report on the progress of the regulated professional to the chairperson of the participating Board or to that chairperson's designate or designates or to the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation or his/her designate at such intervals as required by the chairperson of the participating Board or that chairperson's designate or designates or the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation or his/her designate, and such person making such report will not be liable when such reports are made in good faith and without malice.
8.6.4 Agreement by the regulated professional to be personally responsible for all costs and charges associated with the Voluntary Treatment Option and treatment program(s). In addition, the Division of Professional Regulation may assess a fee to be paid by the regulated professional to cover administrative costs associated with the Voluntary Treatment Option. The amount of the fee imposed under this subparagraph shall approximate and reasonably reflect the costs necessary to defray the expenses of the participating Board, as well as the proportional expenses incurred by the Division of Professional Regulation in its services on behalf of the Board in addition to the administrative costs associated with the Voluntary Treatment Option.
8.6.5 Agreement by the regulated professional that failure to satisfactorily progress in such treatment program shall be reported to the participating Board's chairperson or his/her designate or designates or to the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation or his/her designate by the treating professional who shall be immune from any liability for such reporting made in good faith and without malice.
8.7 The regulated professional's records of participation in the Voluntary Treatment Option will not reflect disciplinary action and shall not be considered public records open to public inspection. However, the participating Board may consider such records in setting a disciplinary sanction in any future matter in which the regulated professional's chemical dependency or impairment is an issue.
8.8 The participating Board's chairperson, his/her designate or designates or the Director of the Division of Professional Regulation or his/her designate may, in consultation with the treating professional at any time during the Voluntary Treatment Option, restrict the practice of a chemically dependent or impaired professional if such action is deemed necessary to protect the public health, welfare or safety.
8.10 Failure to enter into such agreement or to comply with the terms and make satisfactory progress in the treatment program shall disqualify the regulated professional from the provisions of the Voluntary Treatment Option, and the participating Board shall be notified and cause to be activated an immediate investigation and disciplinary proceedings as appropriate.
8.11 Any person who reports pursuant to this section in good faith and without malice shall be immune from any civil, criminal or disciplinary liability arising from such reports, and shall have his/her confidentiality protected if the matter is handled in a nondisciplinary matter.
8.12 Any regulated professional who complies with all of the terms and completes the Voluntary Treatment Option shall have his/her confidentiality protected unless otherwise specified in a participating Board's rules and regulations. In such an instance, the written agreement with the regulated professional shall include the potential for disclosure and specify those to whom such information may be disclosed.
9.0 Definitions - The following words and terms, when used in this regulation, should have the following meaning unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
“Conviction”, unless otherwise defined by specific statute, means a verdict of guilty by whether entered by a judge or jury, or a plea of guilty or a plea of nolo contendere or other similar plea such as a “Robinson” or “Alford” plea unless the individual has been discharged under §4218 of Title 11 of the Delaware Code (probation before judgment) or under §1024 of Title 10 (domestic violence diversion program) or by §4764 of Title 16 (first offenders controlled substances diversion program).
“Substantially similar crimes in another State or Jurisdiction”, shall include all crimes prohibited by or punishable under Title 18 of the United Stated Code Annotated (U.S.C.A.) such as, but not limited to, Federal Health Care offenses.
9.1 Any crime which involves the use of physical force or violence toward or upon the person of another and shall include by way of example and not of limitation the following crimes set forth in Title 11 of the Delaware Code Annotated:
9.2 Any crime which involves dishonesty or false, fraudulent or aberrant behavior and shall include by way of example and not of limitation the following crimes listed in Title 11 of the Delaware Code Annotated:
9.4 Any crime which involves offenses against the public order the commission of which may tend to bring discredit upon the profession and which are thus substantially related to one’s fitness to practice such profession and shall include by way of example and not of limitation the following crimes listed in Title 11 of the Delaware Code Annotated:
9.5 Any crime which involves offenses against a public health order and decency which may tend to bring discredit upon the profession, specifically including the below listed crimes from Title 11 of the Delaware Code Annotated which evidence a lack of appropriate concern for the safety and well being of another person or persons in general or sufficiently flawed judgment to call into question the individuals ability to make health care decisions or advise upon health care related matters for other individuals.
9.6 Any crime which involves the illegal possession or the misuse or abuse of narcotics, or other addictive substances and those non-addictive substances with a substantial capacity to impair reason or judgment and shall include by way of example and not of limitation the following crimes listed in Chapter 47 of Title 16 of the Delaware Code Annotated:
9.7 Any crime which involves the misuse or illegal possession or sale of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument and shall include by way of example and not of limitation the following crimes listed in Title 11 of the Delaware Code Annotated:
9.8 Any crime which is a violation of Title 24, Chapter 5 as it may be amended from time to time or of any other statute which requires the reporting of a medical situation or condition to state, federal or local authorities or a crime which constitutes a violation of the Podiatric Practice Act of the state in which the conviction occurred or in which the physician is licensed.
9.9 The Board reserves the jurisdiction and authority to modify this regulation as and if it becomes necessary to either add or delete crimes including such additions as may be required on an emergency basis under 29 Del.C. §10119 to address imminent peril to the public health, safety or welfare.