CHAPTER 356

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 855

AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 24, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO CHIROPODY AND/OR PODIATRY.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Title 24, Delaware Code, by striking Chapter 5 thereof and by substituting in lieu thereof a new Chapter 5, to read as follows:

CHAPTER 5. PODIATRY

§501. Definitions

(a) As used in this Chapter, podiatry means the diagnosis and the medical, surgical, mechanical, manipulative and electrical treatment of all ailments of the human foot and leg, excepting amputation of the foot or leg or the administration of an anesthetic other than local.

(b) As used in the definition of podiatry in subsection (a) of this Section:

1. "Diagnosis" means the ascertainment of a disease or ailment by its general symptoms;

2. "Medical treatment" means the application to or prescription for the foot or leg of medicine, pads, adhesives, felt, plasters or any medicinal agency

3. "Surgical treatment" means the use of any cutting instrument to treat a disease, ailment or condition;

4. "Mechancial treatment" means the application of any mechanical appliance made of steel, leather, felt or any material, to the foot or in the shoe for the purpose of treating any disease, deformity or ailment;

5. "Manipulative treatment" means the use of the hand or machinery in the operation or working upon the foot and its articulations;

6. "Electrical treatment" means the administration of electricity to the foot or leg by means of electrodes, machinery, rays and the like;

§502. Board of Podiatry Examiners; appointment; tenure; qualifications; removal; vacancies

(a) The Board of Podiatry, Examiners for this State, hereinafter in this Chapter referred to as the "Board", shall consist of four members. The members shall be appointed by the Governor to a term of four years, or until their successors are appointed and qualified, from a list of members in good standing submitted by the Podiatry Society of Delaware. The members shall be so appointed that the term of only one member shall expire in each calendar year.

(b) The members may be removed by the Governor for continued neglect of the duties required by this Chapter or on recommendation of the Podiatry Society of Delaware for unprofessional or dishonorable conduct.

(c) Vacancies occurring in the Board by reason of the death of any member or his incapacity, neglect or refusal to act or removal, or in any other way shall be filled by the Governor from recommendations of members in good standing submitted by the Podiatry Society of Delaware. The newly appointed member or members shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term or terms of the member or members.

(d) No member of the Board shall serve more than four complete terms or be appointed thereto after he or she has reached the age of sixty-five years.

(e) Three members of the Board entitled to vote shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The affirmative vote of at least two members of the Board entitled to vote taken at a meeting in which a quorum is present shall be required to adopt any regulation which could deprive a person licensed to practice podiatry of his license or to issue, deny, revoke or suspend any certificate to practice or to take any disciplinary action against any person.

§503. Receipts and disbursements; compensation of Board members

other moneys received by it, and they shall be deposited in the General Fund of the State.

(b) The necessary and legitimate expenses and salaries of the Board, not exceeding $25.00 per day for each member of the Board actually engaged in duties of the Board plus expenses incurred in connection therewith, shall be paid by the State' Treasurer out of funds appropriate for the purpose upon warrants signed by the President and Secretary of the Board.

§504. Powers and duties; and immunity of members

(a) The Board shall have the power and duty to:

1. Investigate the character of all applicants for a certificate to practice podiatric medicine to determine whether or not he or she is likely to engage in unprofessional conduct, and whether he or she is physically and mentally capable of engaging in the practice of podiatric medicine with safety to the public.

2. Conduct such examinations as it deems necessary and proper, to determine the professional qualifications of those persons who apply for certificates to practice podiatric medicine in Delaware.

3. Investigate complaints and charges of unprofessional conduct respecting any holder of a certificate to practice podiatric medicine.

4. Investigate complaints and charges that physical and mental disability renders the practice of podiatric medicine by any person contrary to commonly accepted standards.

5. Investigate complaints of unauthorized practice of podiatric medicine.

6. Suspend, revoke or reinstate any certificate to practice podiatric medicine.

7. Reprimand, censure publicly or privately or to take other appropriate disciplinary action with respect to any person authorized to practice podiatric medicine in Delaware.

8. Take or cause to be taken such depositions as may be needed by the Board in any investigation, hearing or proceeding.

9. Administer oaths and to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents by the filing of a subpoena.

(b) The members of the Board shall not be subject to, and shall be immune from, claims, suit, liability, damages or any other recourse, civil or criminal, arising from any act or proceeding, decision or determination undertaken, or performed or recommendation made so long as such member of the Board acted in good faith and without malice in carrying out the responsibilities, authority, duties, powers and privileges of the offices conferred by law upon them under this Chapter or any other' provisions of the Delaware law, Federal law or regulations, or duly adopted rule or regulation and good faith is presumed unless otherwise proven with malice required to be shown by the complainant.

(c) No member of the Board shall in any manner whatsoever discriminate against any applicant or person holding or applying for a certificate to practice podiatric medicine by reason of sex, race, color, creed or national origin.

(d) No member shall participate in any action of the Board involving directly or indirectly any person related in any way by blood or marriage to said member.

§505. Qualifications required

(a) Any person not having a certifcate to practice podiatry medicine in this State and desiring such a certificate must:

1. Be a citizen of the United States of America or have filed a petition for naturalization, or be a lawful permanent alien resident of the United States of America.

2. Have a working.ability to read, write, speak and understand in the English language.

3. Have received a degree of "Doctor of Podiatric Medicine" or its equivalent from a legally incorporated college or school approved by the Board, and

recognized by the Council on Education of the American Podiatry Association.

4. Submit to the Board satisfactory proof that such person has not been convicted of a felony, professionally penalized or convicted of drug addiction, violated the Podiatry Practice Act of this or any other State, engaged in the practice of Podiatry without a license, prescribed narcotic drugs unlawfully, wilfully violated the confidence of a patient or has been professionally penalized or convicted of fraud.

5. Submit to the Board satisfactory proof that such person is at the time of application physically and mentally capable of engaging in the practice of podiatric medicine according to generally accepted standards, and submit to such examination as the Board may deem necessary to determine such capability.

6. Pass the professional examination administered by the Board, as well as all tests given by the National Board of Podiatry Examiners.

(b) Each person desiring to practice Podiatry in this State shall submit to the Board an application in writing ou such form as shall be required by the Board and pay a fee not to exceed $100.00 which shall not be returned.

(c) Each person shall satisfy the Board with compliance of requirements of subsection (a) of this Section in such form and manner as the rules and regulations of the Board shall require. Upon the applicant's so satisfying the Board and upon payment of such fee as shall be required by the rules and regulations of the Board, the Board shall administer to the applicant an examination, unless the applicant is excepted therefrom by other provisions hereof.

§506. Professional examinations

(a) The Board shall conduct examinations of applicants for a certificate to practice Podiatry in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed and

published by the Board. Such examination shall be given at least once each year, or more often as the Board shall determine. Examinations shall be given

in such a way that the persons grading examination papers shall have no knowledge of the identity of the individual being examined.

(b) The examination shall be in the English language, shall be comprehensive in character and designed to determine the applicant's fitness to practice Podiatry and shall cover those general subjects and topics, a knowledge of which is commonly and generally required of candidates for the degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine conferred by approved colleges or schools in the United States.

§507. Exceptions to Examinations

(a) Under such rules and regulations as the Board may adopt, the examination required for a certificate to practice Podiatry in this State may be waived by the Board in the following cases:

1. A person who is licensed or otherwise qualified to practice Podiatry in any State of the United States may be issued a certificate to so practice in this State during the disability for the purpose of taking charge of the practice of a person licensed to so practice in this State during a disability, illness or by reason of the decrease of such licensee. The Board may, in its discretion, grant such a temporary license for a period not to exceed four months for such purposes. The Board may, in its discretion,
extend such temporary certificate for an additional four months, but not longer. Such certificate shall be issued upon the written request to the Board of the person desiring to so practice and, where possible, by the person licensed to practice in this State whose practice is involved and upon the payment to the Board of a fee of $50.00. The application* shall be made in such form and contain such information and certifications as the Board shall by rule or regulations prescribe.

(b) When a temporary certificate is issued and a license obtained, the Podiatrist receiving such certificate shall have authority to practice Podiatry in this State for the time and under the conditions specified in the temprorary license.

(c) Persons who are licensed to practice Podiatry in any of the United States or of a foreign country may come into this State in consultation with any person licensed to practice Podiatry in this State but only

as a consultant. Consultation shall be limited to examination, recommendation and testimony and litigation.

(d) Students of accredited schools or colleges of Podiatry who are receiving their practical training under the personal supervision of a Podiatrist licensed in Delaware may do so without a license or examination, but such students shall be registered with the Board as such by the supervisor.

(e) Applicants who are registered or certified by the Board of Podiatry Examiners of other states whose requirements for registration and certification are substantially equal to those of this State at the discretion of the Board be granted certificates without examination upon the payment of $100.00, provided, however, that the provisions of this Section shall be extended only to applicants from those states which extend a similar privilege to persons certified and registered to practice in this State.

§508. Certificate filed with Division of Revenue

Every person receiving a certificate from the Board and desiring to practice in this State shall file same with the Division of Revenue and obtain an occupational license as provided by Chapter 23, Title 30, Laws of Delaware.

The Division of Revenue shall not register any person without such certificate.

§509. Renewal of certificate

(a) For the purpose of correcting and revising the register of practitioners of Podiatry, as kept by the Board, each person to whom a certificate to practice Podiatry in this State is granted, shall procure periodically from the Secretary of the Board, on or before the 30th day of June, a certificate of registration. Such certificate of registration shall be issued by the Secretary of the Board upon payment of the fee of $50.00. All certificates so issued shall be prima facie evidence of the right of the holders to practice Podiatry, as the certificates shall designate, in this State during the time for which they are issued and the same shall be exposed to public view in the operating room of the holder. Any certificate to practice Podiatry granted by the Board shall be cancelled if the holder thereof fails to secure renewal of the certificate provided for in this

Section by the due date. The certificate to practice or the renewal certificate thus cancelled may at the discretion of the Board be restored upon payment of all renewal fees that are unpaid and a restoration fee of $25.00, with such further examination of the holder as to his competence and ability to practice, as the Board may determine. The Secretary of the Board shall mail, a renewal notice at least 30 days in advance of the due date to each person whose name appears on the register of the Board. The printed form should be properly filled out by the holder of such certificate and returned to the Secretary of the Board, together with the appropriate fee.

(b) Persons who desire to renew their licenses shall present to the Board proof that they have earned eight (8) credits of continuing education over the two (2) year period preceding their application for renewal as a condition for renewal of the certificate. Any seminar which receives certification by any State Board of Podiatry Examiners or the equivalent thereof shall be accepted towards said credit.

§510. Refusal to issue licenses or revocation or suspension of same

(a) The Board may refuse to issue or may suspend or revoke any certificate it has issued or may place the offending person on probation or may censure publicly or privately any holder of a license for any of the following causes:

1. The use of any false, fraudulent or forged statement or document or the use of any fraudulent, deceitful, dishonest or immoral practice in connection with any of the licensing requirements.

2. Conviction of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude.

1. Drug addiction or chronic and persistent addiction to intoxicants to such a degree as to render the licensee unsafe or unfit to practice Podiatry.

2. Any dishonorable, unethical or unprofessional conduct likely to deceive, defraud or harm the public.

3. Violation directly or indirectly of any provision or term of this Chapter or any rule or regulation of the Board.

6. The practice of Podiatry under a false or assumed name.

7. Any physical or mental disability which renders the further practice of Podiatry by the licensee dangerous.

8. Mental incompetence or mental illness when determined by any final order or adjudication of any court of competent jurisdiction.

9. The advertising of the practice of Podiatry in any unethical or professional manner.

10. Knowingly performing any act which in any way assists an unlicensed or unregistered person to practice Podiatry.

11. The wilful violation of any privileged communication.

(b) Any person against whom a complaint has been made under this Section shall be notified at that fact and a copy of such complaint shall be sent to such person by certified mail, return receipt requested, by the Board, and such person shall be given a full fair and impartial hearing by the Board, whose decision shall be made by a majority vote of its members. Such person shall have the right to counsel and to examine and cross-examine witnesses. The Department of Justice shall represent the Board and shall have the same right in every such hearing.

(c) The judgement of the Board in any case shall be final unless within ten days after a copy thereof has been sent to the person against whom the judgment is rendered and said person appeals to the Superior Court of the county wherein the alleged offense occurred. The Superior Court shall hear and determine all appeals taken pursuant to this Section and may by proper rules prescribe the procedure to be followed therein. In the case of every such appeal, the cause shall be determined on the record without the aid of a jury, and the Court may reverse, reaffirM or modify the decision of the Board or remand the cause to the Board for rehearing. The decision of the Board shall be affirmed by the Superior Court unless there is an abuse of discretion by the Board or unless manifest injustice appears.

§511. Corporations, other than colleges, not to practice

Except for professional associations authorized by the laws of this Statepno person shall incorporate under the laws of this State for the purpose of practicing Podiatry.within this State, and no foreign corporation organized for such purposes shall attempt to practice Podiatry within this State. Such restrictions shall not apply to accredited Podiatry colleges, whose students are receiving their practical training under personal supervision of any licensed Podiatrist of this State.

§512. Persons not affected by chapter

(a) This Chapter shall not apply to:

1. Commissioned surgeons of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force or Public Health Service, in the actual performance of their official duties.

2. Regularly licensed physicians in this State.

3. A visiting Podiatrist called into consultation in this State from another State where it is duly qualified under the laws of that State to practice Podiatry.

(b) This Chapter shall not prohibit the fitting recommending or the sale of corrective shoes, arch supports or similar. mechanical appliances by retail dealers or manufacturers. However, no representative of such dealer or manufactuer shall be permitted to diagnose, treat or prescribe medically for any foot or leg ailment, disease or deformity, unless certified and registered under the provisions of this Chapter and licensed to practice Podiatry in this State.

§513. Right to compensation from insurance and related programs

For purposes of disability, workmen's compensation, standard health and accident, sickness and other such insurance plans, whether or not they be considered insurance policies if the Podiatrist is authorized by law to perform the particular services, he shall be entitled to compensation for his services under such plans.

§514. Name used in practice of Podiatry; penalty

Whoever practices or offers to practice Podiatry under any name except his proper name, which is the name in his license granted to him as a Podiatrist, as provided in this Chapter; or whoever uses the name of any company, association, corporation, office, parlor, trade name, business name or a successor thereto, in connection with the practice of Podiatry as defined in this Chapter, shall be fined for the first offense not less than $100.00 nor more than $200.00 and for any subsequent offense shall be fined not more than $500.00, and his license shall be revoked by the Board.

§1. Practice without registration or certificate, separate offenses; penalty

Whoever practices or attempts to practice Podiatry within this State without having been registered or without having obtained a certificate to practice Podiatry or during the period of suspension or revocation of such certificate previously granted shall be fined not less than $100.00 nor more than $200.00, or imprisoned not less than one month nor more than one year, or both, and upon a second or any subsequent offense, shall be fined not less than $200.00 nor more than $500.00 and imprisoned not less than six months nor more than one year.

Each act of practice or attempt to practice Podiatry under the disabilities described in this Section and each day on which any person holds himself out as practicing under any name except his own shall be a separate offense.

§1. Filing of false documents or forged Affidavits; penalty

Whoever files or attempts to file as his own the diploma, certificate or license of another or a forged, false affidavit or identification or qualification is guilty of a felony and shall be fined not less than $500.00 nor more than $2,000.00 and imprisoned not more than five years.

Approved June 27, 1978.