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    AHP Advanced Practice Collective Webinar: Best foot forward - Podiatric Surgery; The latest battlefield for health professionals seeking to work to scope

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    Event description

    A panel discussion unpacking the history and evolution of podiatric surgery in Australia, through to statutory recognition and the ongoing skirmishes with the medical profession.

    Drawing on the historic development of podiatric surgeons as an example of changing professional boundaries to respond to population needs, participants will learn about:

    • The history of the development of the role of the podiatric surgeon
    • The drivers underpinning the evolution of the profession of podiatric surgeons in Australia.
    • Strategies to overcome opposition, including education, advocacy, and demonstration of competency and safety in podiatric surgical practices.
    • The role of regulatory systems and structures
    • Interprofessional tensions in the implementation of new roles.

    The latest webinar from The Allied Health Academy’s AHP Advanced Practice Collective will take you on a deep dive into: a real-life example of how a profession’s scope of practice can evolve and develop, through the setting of training and other standards, into a regulated specialisation; and how regulatory change may not actually be the end of the story.

    In late 2023, podiatric surgery in Australia was subject to an inflammatory media blitz by (among others) the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and 60 Minutes – criticising the fact that podiatric surgeons are not medical practitioners but have regulatory authority to conduct minor operations on human feet, and which coincided with a strong push by the Australian Medical Association against their use of the word ‘surgeon’. This media campaign followed closely on the heels of an AHPRA announcement of an independent review of podiatric surgery.

    Is this simply the latest example of medical protectiveness over the tasks it perceives to sit solely within its domain?

    Or is there substance to the claims that only the holder of a medical degree can rightfully slice human tissue, or be called a surgeon?

    In this 1.5-hour facilitated panel discussion (incl. Q+A), panellists from the podiatric surgery profession and medicine, as well as regulatory experts and researchers will provide their insights and perspectives on this controversial topic.

    While using podiatric surgery as a case study, this panel discussion is designed to tease out the issues the topic highlights as they relate to the broader need, as articulated for the Scope of Practice Review, to facilitate health professionals to work to their full scope of practice.

    On completing this webinar, participants will gain insights into the dynamics and challenges of shifting role boundaries for podiatric surgeons, especially when these shifts clash with established professions. Attendees will learn effective strategies for driving change, empowering them to navigate and lead in the evolving landscape of patient care and professional collaboration.

    Panel Facilitator:

    Susan Nancarrow

    Dr Susan Nancarrow, CEO HealthWork International & The Allied Health Academy

    Susan is an allied health professional, health services researcher, and has held senior executive roles in higher education. Susan has more than twenty years' experience of international health services research, expertise and analysis, with a particular interest in the health workforce, models of health service organisation and delivery, and the sociology of the professions. Susan founded HealthWork International in 2021 to find new and innovative ways to shape the health workforce, to better meet the needs of 21st century health care.

    Panel Members:

    Dr Rob Hermann

    Dr Rob Hermann – Podiatric foot and ankle surgeon (registered specialist), Fellowship Australasian College of Podiatric Surgeons (ACPS), Member ACPS, Immediate Past President ACPS, Fellow Academy of Ambulatory Foot Surgery (USA)

    Rob graduated in 1984 and qualified for ACPS Fellowship in 1991. He has served as College President for 10 years and is Chair of the ACPS Clinical Audit Committee, Research Committee and Examination Committees. He developed and implemented the ACPS Online Audit Tool in 2010. Rob has worked on the furthering the great achievements made by the original members of the College by supporting and leading the push for reforms. These efforts have including furthering federal government recognition of the podiatric surgery, project managing improved funding for podiatric surgery through Medicare and private health insurance. He has also assisted in the achieving and maintaining accreditation of the College training program. Importantly Rob has supported and developed clinical governance of podiatric surgery through clinical audit activities, peer review and quality improvement.

    Dr Mark Gilheany

    Dr Mark Gilheany – Foot and Ankle Specialist, Podiatric Surgeon, FACPS(AUS), FFPM RCPS(Glasg), FAAFAS(USA),MSurgEd(Melb)

    Mark Gilheany is a podiatric surgeon. For over 25 years offering specialist access to surgical care for foot and ankle pathology in regional Victoria and with a base in Melbourne. He has attained fellowships from the USA and the UK in addition to Australian qualifications.

    Mark is extensively published and in addition to surgical qualifications holds a master’s degree in surgical education from Melbourne University and has also studied public health at a doctoral level.

    In addition to his clinical role, he has sat on a range of regulatory board/committees as part of the Australian national regulation and accreditation scheme for health care practitioners, most recently involved in the development and implementation of the capabilities and professional standards for podiatrist’s and podiatric surgeons.

    Historically, at a policy level he has been involved in achieving regulatory change to enable broader recognition of the podiatry profession in Australia, including working on the development of policy frameworks to support prescription of restricted medicines by podiatrists in Australia.

    He has also been involved in teaching across the various domains of podiatric medicine throughput his career and is an adjunct Associate Professor at La Trobe University. He also is a current member of the American Board of Podiatric Medicine: International (ABPMi) Examination Committee.

    Mark is a past president of the Australasian College of Podiatric Surgeons and continues to be involved in podiatric surgical education, leading the ACPS to successful independent accreditation of its podiatric surgical training program as chair of ACPS education and training.

    A body of work across clinical services, education, policy, regulation, and advocacy that has been recognised through various awards including life membership of the Australian Podiatry Association.

    The event will be hosted by The Allied Health Academy. 

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    When you register for this event, your details will be stored in the HealthWork International customer relationship management system for the purpose of event management, which is subject to the HealthWork International Privacy Policy. You will not receive communications from HealthWork International group, except about this event, unless you "opt in" on the event registration page.

    This event will be recorded for the benefit of the Advanced Practice Collective, operated by The Allied Health Academy Pty Ltd (ABN 35 661 494 113), a member of the HealthWork International group of companies (full list below). The recording will be made available on the Advanced Practice Collective and accessible free on an ongoing basis for members of that Collective to access. The Collective itself is free to join. You can also request, by emailing, that a copy of the video is made available to you outside of the Collective for a fee of $100 plus GST, which covers the administrative costs of making the video available on another platform.

    By attending the session, you agree that the HealthWork International group of companies can edit, use and disclose the video and associated audio as they see fit for the purposes of the Collective and other work of HealthWork International. Statements, and context of statements, of attendees will not be amended in a way that is misleading or inaccurate. If you do not agree to this privacy statement, you should not attend the live event. You can find further information about HealthWork International group at its website: and address any questions regarding privacy to  

    HealthWork International group of companies:

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    • The Allied Health Academy Pty Ltd (ABN 35 661 494 113)
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