The California Board of Podiatric Medicine (BPM) licenses and regulates Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPMs). Though functioning semi-independently as other boards within the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), BPM is part of the Medical Board of California (B&P Code §2460) and it is MBC that officially issues licenses to this small specialty group of about 2,000 independent practitioners upon the "recommendation" of BPM (B&P §§ 2479, 2486 & 2488).
DPMs have been licensed by MBC since the 1920s, and the Legislature created the separate podiatric medical entity within MBC in 1957.
The Podiatric Medicine Practice Act is Article 22 of Chapter 5 (Medical Practice Act) of Division 2 (Healing Arts) of the Business and Professions Code (B&P Code). In brief, DPMs are independent practitioners of medicine diagnosing and treating conditions affecting the lower extremity (foot, ankle, and muscles and tendons of the leg governing their functions). In addition, DPMs are authorized by Section 2472 to perform as assistant surgeons in any surgical procedure, and they commonly are called upon to do so.