Alabama Passes SB28 Expanding the Scope of Podiatric Care for Patients

Alabama Passes SB28

Jun 6, 2023 | Upperline Health

Last month, Alabama governor Kay Ivey signed SB28 into law, allowing Alabama podiatric surgeons to treat conditions of both the foot and ankle. Laws governing the scope of podiatric medicine have not been updated in Alabama since 1973, and this expansion into ankle care will allow podiatrists to treat a broader range of lower extremity issues, ensuring patients get better care more efficiently.

Upperline Health doctors Mallory Kirkland, DPM and Jeff DeSantis, DPM, FACFAS, were instrumental in getting this law passed.

Dr. Kirkland, an Alabama native, has been working with state officials since her first year of medical school residency. She understood the limitations placed on podiatrists in Alabama, but she wanted to be able to practice and use everything she learned in medical school in her home state and provide care within her community. Prior to SB28 being passed, she was only able to use about 30-40% of her training in treating patients.

“Like so many other medical specialties, a podiatrist’s scope of practice should reflect the skills, processes and procedural services we have received after years of training – all of which are designed to help us provide the best standard of care for every patient,” says Dr. Kirkland.

Patients in need of surgery impacting their feet and ankles can now visit their podiatrist and receive complete care without having to be referred to another doctor, thereby shortening treatment times and reducing the number of visits to different doctors and allowing them to feel better faster!

Expanding the scope of podiatry will help attract more podiatric surgeons to Alabama, which means patients will have an easier time getting the treatment they need. 

“The modernization of the practice act for the specialty of podiatric medicine and surgery in Alabama is a giant win for the patients of Alabama,” says Dr. DeSantis, “As the education of podiatric physicians and surgeons throughout America was improved by standardizing the three-year residency model, the Alabama law was modernized, and the state will now be able to attract in the best and the brightest doctors of podiatric medicine.”

“This is a landmark event for podiatric medicine and surgery,” says Dr. Michael King, Upperline Health’s Chief Medical Officer, “We are so proud of Dr. DeSantis and Dr. Kirkland, who both played key roles in moving this bill forward.”