I took the EFAS Certification exam at 2016. By then, I had 10 years of experience as an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon,
first at the University Hospital where I was trained and as a private practitioner thereafter. At the time I was also preparing my thesis regarding total ankle arthroplasty, which I finished the following year. Although continuously following the
literature regarding foot and ankle surgery, the preparing for the exam was very useful for myself to rehearse the basic science and to recall the topics of the specialty that I do not so often see in my everyday work.
I believe that the official
qualification has many advantages. At least in my country there is no official certification or subspecialty for the orthopedic foot and ankle surgery, like there is for example for the rheumatoid surgery. Therefore it is at least in theory possible to
anyone to call themselves foot and ankle surgeons if they will to do so. The certification from a powerful and independent organization like EFAS is an excellent way to prove your expertise in front of the colleagues and more importantly of the patients.
Today the importance of continuous education is growing and the certification is one good way to prove that your practice is up-to-date. I took two weeks of preparing time for the written exam, mostly reading the most important textbooks and undergoing
the latest research. I felt that the clinical cases discussion was more a discussion between colleagues than an actual exam, and you should pass it easily if you have more than few years of experience in the field. I can warmly recommend taking the
exam! I believe that as many colleagues having the certification as possible makes the whole foot and ankle surgery community more established and stronger. And surely it will open new doors for you as an established expert.
Dr. Helka Koivu, MD, PhD, EFAS Certification Consultant Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgeon, Pohjola Sairaala, Turku, Finland Member of EFAS Specimen Lab