Professions and Occupations

CHAPTER 5. Podiatry

Subchapter I. Board of Podiatry

§ 501. Objectives.

The primary objective of the Board of Podiatry, to which all other objectives and purposes are secondary, is to protect the general public, specifically those persons who are the direct recipients of services regulated by this chapter, from unsafe practices and from occupational practices that tend to reduce competition or fix the price of services rendered.

The secondary objectives of the Board are to maintain minimum standards of practitioner competency and to maintain certain standards in the delivery of services to the public. In meeting its objectives, the Board shall develop standards assuring professional competence, shall monitor complaints brought against practitioners regulated by the Board, shall adjudicate at formal hearings, shall promulgate rules and regulations, and shall impose sanctions where necessary against licensed practitioners.

64 Del. Laws, c. 39, §  172 Del. Laws, c. 213, §  1

§ 502. Definitions.

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them under this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

(1) “Board” shall mean the State Board of Podiatry established in this chapter.

(2) “Diagnosis” shall mean the ascertainment of a disease or ailment by its general symptoms.

(3) “Division” shall mean the State Division of Professional Regulation.

(4) “Electrical treatment” shall mean the administration of electricity to the foot and ankle by means of electrodes, machinery, rays and the like.

(5) “Electronic prescription” means a prescription that is generated on an electronic application and transmitted as an electronic data file.

(6) “Excessive use or abuse of drugs” shall mean any use of narcotics, controlled substances or illegal drugs without a prescription from a licensed physician or the abuse of alcoholic beverages such that it impairs a person’s ability to perform the work of a podiatrist.

(7) “Manipulative treatment” shall mean the use of the hand or machinery in the operation of or working upon the foot and its articulations.

(8) “Mechanical treatment” shall mean the application of any mechanical appliance made of steel, leather, felt or any material to the foot or the shoe for the purpose of treating any disease, deformity or ailment.

(9) “Medical treatment” shall mean the application to or prescription for the foot and ankle of medicine, pads, adhesives, felt, plasters or any medicinal agency.

(10) “Podiatrist” shall mean a person who is qualified to practice podiatry and is licensed under this chapter.

(11) “Practice of podiatry” shall mean the diagnosis and the medical, surgical, mechanical, manipulative and electrical treatment of all ailments of the foot and ankle. As appropriate in regulation, these services may be performed with the use of telemedicine. Podiatry may also include participation in telehealth, as further defined in regulation. Amputation of the foot shall be restricted to state-licensed podiatrists who have completed an American Podiatric Medical Association accredited surgical residency program acceptable to the Board and have current amputation privileges, or have fulfilled the credentialing criteria of the surgical committee of the Joint Committee on Accreditation of Hospitals accredited hospital where the amputation is to be performed.

(12) “Protective hairstyle” includes braids, locks, and twists.

(13) “Race” includes traits historically associated with race, including hair texture and a protective hairstyle.

(14) “State” shall mean the State of Delaware.

(15) “Substantially related” means the nature of the criminal conduct, for which the person was convicted, has a direct bearing on the fitness or ability to perform 1 or more of the duties or responsibilities necessarily related to podiatry.

(16) “Surgical treatment” shall mean the use of any cutting instrument to treat a disease, ailment or condition.

33 Del. Laws, c. 66, §  240 Del. Laws, c. 108, §  2;  Code 1935, §  5385;  24 Del. C. 1953, §  501;  53 Del. Laws, c. 315, §  161 Del. Laws, c. 356, §  164 Del. Laws, c. 39, §  170 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  172 Del. Laws, c. 213, §  174 Del. Laws, c. 262, §  1280 Del. Laws, c. 80, §  782 Del. Laws, c. 75, § 182 Del. Laws, c. 261, § 582 Del. Laws, c. 261, § 1683 Del. Laws, c. 13, §§   15, 1683 Del. Laws, c. 52, § 7

§ 503. Board of Podiatry; appointments; composition; qualifications; term; vacancies; suspension or removal; unexcused absences; compensation.

(a) There is created a State Board of Podiatry that shall administer and enforce this chapter.

(b) The Board shall consist of 5 members, appointed by the Governor, who are residents of this State: 3 shall be podiatrists licensed under this chapter and 2 shall be public members. The public members shall not be, nor ever have been, podiatrists, nor members of the immediate family of a podiatrist; shall not have been employed by a podiatrist or a company engaged in the practice of podiatry; shall not have a material interest in the providing of goods and services to podiatrists; nor have been engaged in an activity directly related to podiatry. The public members shall be accessible to inquiries, comments and suggestions from the general public.

(c) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, each member shall serve a term of 3 years, and may succeed himself or herself for 1 additional term; provided, however, that where a member was initially appointed to fill a vacancy, such member may succeed himself or herself for only 1 additional full term. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term of the former member. Each term of office shall expire on the date specified in the appointment; however, the Board member shall remain eligible to participate in Board proceedings unless or until replaced by the Governor. Persons who are members of the Board on July 20, 1999, shall complete their terms.

(d) A person who has never served on the Board may be appointed to the Board for 2 consecutive terms, but no such person shall thereafter be eligible for 2 consecutive appointments. No person who has been twice appointed to the Board or who has served on the Board for 6 years within any 9-year period shall again be appointed to the Board until an interim period of at least 1 term has expired since such person last served.

(e) Any act or vote by a person appointed in violation of this section shall be invalid. An amendment or revision of this chapter is not sufficient cause for any appointment or attempted appointment in violation of subsection (d) of this section, unless such an amendment or revision amends this section to permit such an appointment.

(f) A member of the Board shall be suspended or removed by the Governor for misfeasance, nonfeasance, malfeasance, misconduct, incompetency or neglect of duty. A member subject to disciplinary hearing shall be disqualified from Board business until the charge is adjudicated or the matter is otherwise concluded. A Board member may appeal any suspension or removal to the Superior Court.

(g) No member of the Board, while serving on the Board, shall hold elective office in any professional association of podiatrists; this includes a prohibition against serving as head of the professional association’s Political Action Committee (PAC).

(h) The provisions set forth in Chapter 58 of Title 29 shall apply to all members of the Board.

(i) Any member who is absent without adequate reason for 3 consecutive meetings or fails to attend at least 1/2 of all regular business meetings during any calendar year shall be guilty of neglect of duty.

(j) Each member of the Board shall be reimbursed for all expenses involved in each meeting, including travel, and in addition, shall receive compensation per meeting attended in an amount determined by the Division in accordance with Del. Const. art. III, §  9.

33 Del. Laws, c. 66, §§  3, 1440 Del. Laws, c. 108, §§  3, 17;  Code 1935, §§  5386, 5398;  42 Del. Laws, c. 159, §  1;  24 Del. C. 1953, §§  502, 503;  53 Del. Laws, c. 315, §  161 Del. Laws, c. 356, §  164 Del. Laws, c. 39, §  167 Del. Laws, c. 368, §  470 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  172 Del. Laws, c. 213, §  181 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 3

§ 504. Organization; meetings; officers; quorum.

(a) The Board shall hold regularly scheduled business meetings at least once in each quarter of a calendar year and at such times as the President deems necessary, or at the request of a majority of the Board members.

(b) The Board annually shall elect a president and secretary. Each officer shall serve for 1 year, and shall not succeed himself or herself for more than 2 consecutive terms.

(c) A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting business, and no disciplinary action shall be taken without the affirmative vote of at least 3 members.

(d) Minutes of all meetings shall be recorded, and the Division of Professional Regulation shall maintain copies. At any hearing where evidence is presented, a record from which a verbatim transcript can be prepared shall be made. The expense of preparing any transcript shall be incurred by the person requesting it.

33 Del. Laws, c. 66, §  340 Del. Laws, c. 108, §  3;  Code 1935, §  5386;  42 Del. Laws, c. 159, §  1;  24 Del. C. 1953, §  502;  53 Del. Laws, c. 315, §  161 Del. Laws, c. 356, §  164 Del. Laws, c. 39, §  165 Del. Laws, c. 355, §  170 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  172 Del. Laws, c. 213, §  1

§ 505. Records.

The Division of Professional Regulation shall keep a register of all approved applications for license as a podiatrist and complete records relating to meetings of the Board, examinations, rosters, changes and additions to the Board’s rules and regulations, complaints, hearings and such other matters as the Board shall determine. Such records shall be prima facie evidence of the proceedings of the Board.

72 Del. Laws, c. 213, §  1

§ 506. Powers and duties; immunity.

(a) The Board of Podiatry shall have authority to:

(1) Formulate rules and regulations with appropriate notice to those affected; all rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the procedures specified in the Administrative Procedures Act [Chapter 101 of Title 29] of this State. Each rule or regulation shall implement or clarify a specific section of this chapter.

(2) Designate the application form to be used by all applicants and to process all applications.

(3) Designate the written, standardized examination on podiatry administered by the National Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners (NBPME) and the Podiatric Medical Licensing Examination for States (PMLEXIS), to be taken by all persons applying for licensure.

(4) Evaluate the credentials of all persons applying for a license to practice podiatry in this State, in order to determine whether such persons meet the qualifications for licensing set forth in this chapter.

(5) Grant licenses to and renew licenses of all persons who meet the qualifications for licensure, including those persons who apply for temporary licensure.

(6) Establish by rule and regulation continuing education standards required for license renewal.

(7) Evaluate certified records to determine whether an applicant for licensure who previously has been licensed, certified or registered in another jurisdiction has engaged in any act or offense that would be grounds for disciplinary action under this chapter and whether there are disciplinary proceedings or unresolved complaints pending against such applicant for such acts or offenses.

(8) Refer all complaints from licensees and the public concerning licensed podiatrists or concerning practices of the Board or of the profession to the Division for investigation pursuant to § 8735 of Title 29 and assign a member of the Board to assist the Division in an advisory capacity with the investigation of the technical aspects of the complaint.

(9) Conduct hearings and issue orders in accordance with procedures established pursuant to Chapter 101 of Title 29.

(10) Where it has been determined after a hearing that penalties or sanctions should be imposed, to designate and impose the appropriate sanction or penalty after time for appeal has lapsed.

(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, 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 or federal law or rules or regulations or duly adopted rule or regulation of the Board. Good faith is presumed unless otherwise proven, and malice is required to be proven 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.

(e) The Board of Podiatry shall promulgate regulations specifically identifying those crimes which are substantially related to the practice of podiatry.

61 Del. Laws, c. 356, §  164 Del. Laws, c. 39, §  167 Del. Laws, c. 212, §§  1, 272 Del. Laws, c. 213, §  174 Del. Laws, c. 262, §  13