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About Us & Our Mission

Our Mission

The mission of the Massachusetts Podiatric Medical Society to support the advancement of knowledge and delivery of foot health care; to facilitate and promote the interests, professionalism and recognition of its members; and to support the principles and goals of the American Podiatric Medical Association.

A Historical Perspective

The first professional office for the practice of podiatric medicine was opened on Winter Street in Boston in 1837, by Dr. Nehemiah Kennison, laying the foundation for the chartering of the state Society. The Massachusetts Podiatric Medical Society (MPMS) was subsequently incorporated under the general laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1906, as a non-profit organization "To better serve the health needs of the Commonwealth." MPMS has 300 member podiatrists.

The objectives of the MPMS are to promote the art and science of podiatric medicine, in addition to the betterment of public health. The Society, under the charter of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) shall also carry out the objectives and purposes of the national association. As defined by state law, the practice of podiatric medicine and surgery shall mean the diagnosis and treatment of the structures of the human foot by medical, mechanical, manipulative, surgical and electrical means. Podiatrists are foot specialists.

For over one hundred and fifty years, the role of the podiatrist as a health care provider has been intertwined with the desires of the Legislature for the maintenance and improvement of quality health care for the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Society also helped to organize Congressional support for our national health goals in 1912.

It is interesting to note that since the first running of the BAA Boston Marathon in 1897, till the present, podiatrists of the Commonwealth have always been available at the marathon to treat injured participants, commencing with Dr. Joseph Lelyveld. Additionally, it is known that President Abraham Lincoln suffered from significant foot problems and had his own personal podiatrist, Dr. Isacharia Zacharie.

The value of podiatric medicine was further enhanced during World War II as the Navy commissioned its first podiatrists. Today, all branches of the armed services include commissioned podiatrists to better serve the health needs of its personnel.

Many of the men and women practicing as doctors of podiatric medicine have served residencies in some of our most prestigious teaching hospitals located both in our state and throughout the nation. Dr. John Kelly was the first podiatrist to serve as an integral member of the diabetic health care team with Dr. Elate P. Joslin at the Deaconess Hospital and Joslin Clinic. Currently, in the Commonwealth, there are several institutions which provide residency training programs for podiatrists (please refer to list). Currently, all graduates from podiatric medical school are placed in residency training programs, 65% of which are surgical.

Podiatrists in Massachusetts are licensed to perform foot surgery, administer local anesthetics, prescribe medication, practice in surgery centers and they are included on virtually all hospital staffs. Referrals from primary care physicians to podiatrists are at an all time high and podiatrists are full participants in the managed care health care system.

These health care providers are indebted to past favorable considerations by the legislative considerations by the legislative body of our Commonwealth and look forward with anticipation to our continued cooperation in matters of mutual concern to maintain and increase the utilization of podiatric medicine in all the health care insurance programs made available to the citizens of our state.

Copyright © 2015 Massachusetts Podiatric Medical Society