Dr. Michael Zapf is a California native spending most of his early life growing
up in Downey, CA.
After high school he attended California State University at Long Beach (Go
Beach!) where he received a B.S. degree cum laude in Microbiology. While at the
University he was involved in Circle K, an international service club sponsored by
In 1972 he received a Master of Public Health degree from UCLA (Go Bruins!
), again, with honors, with a specialization in Infectious and Tropical Diseases.
He followed this with training in San Francisco for licensure as a Public Health
Microbiologist, a profession he pursued for a few years at the Los Angeles
County Department of Public Health located in downtown Los Angeles (where
the Harbor Freeway meets the Hollywood Freeway).
In 1976 he spent one year at the UCLA hospital clinical laboratory supervising
and running the mycobacteriology (tuberculosis) laboratory. This was followed by
a couple of years working for the State of California as a quality control inspector
for private and hospital laboratories making sure they produced accurate
clinical results. This is the department that also licensed Clinical Laboratory
Technologists. While working for the state he was also enrolled back at UCLA,
this time in the Graduate Business School working toward his MBA. Something
was missing, however. He developed a calling for a life working with people
instead of businesses.
He left both the State position and the business school to enroll in the San
Francisco based California College of Podiatric Medicine (CCPM). At CCPM he
completed a four year course of study in all facets of medicine with an emphasis
on the medicine, mechanics and surgery of the lower extremity. His senior year
was spent at the Los Angeles County / University of Southern California Hospital
(i.e. County General) in East Los Angeles. He graduated near the top of his class
Back in 1984 not every podiatry graduate found a spot in a residency
program but Dr. Zapf was accepted at Valley West General Hospital (now
Good Samaritan Hospital) in the San Jose area under the direction of the
famous Thomas Sgarlato, D.P.M. During his residency he performed countless
hammertoe, bunion, neuroma, heel spur and other routine surgical procedures as
well as a smattering of more complex rearfoot surgeries.
[This might be a good time to point out the rapid increase in training standings
of the podiatry profession. When Dr. Zapf graduated a 1-year residency
concentrating in forefoot surgery was the common standard. By the time Dr.
Darren Payne graduated the standard was a two year residency with much
more concentration on wound care, limb salvage and rearfoot surgery. Dr.
Steve Benson, our office’s most recent graduate, exemplifies the new standard:
a 3-year residency that covers every aspect of foot, ankle and lower leg
surgery including complex foot surgeries using rings, plates, screws and ankle
If Dr. Zapf specializes in anything, it is general and comprehensive patient
care handling 90% of the things that can go wrong with the feet. He has enough
experience to know when to operate on something and, perhaps more important,
when not to wade in when the risks of a surgery appear to him to be greater than
the possible benefits.
BOARD CERTIFICATION: The standard basic certification of comeptancy in
medicine is Board Certification. To be board certified one has to be in practice
for a certain length of time and submit a variety of cases to the certifying board
who reviews the cases for variety and complexity. A certain few are selected and
you are invited to attend a panel of experts who quiz you on the handling of the
cases. Passing this test allows you to sit for a written and an oral exam on all
areas that the board is testing for. It is hard and not everyone passes and not
everyone even challenges themselves to take the exams. Dr. Zapf has taken
and passed the Board Certification for the two major certifying board is podiatric
1) The American Board of Podiatric Surgery and
2) The American Board of Podiatric Orthopedics and Primary Podiatric
The Surgery board is the one that certifies the podiatrist in all aspect of foot and
ankle surgery. The second board certifies in biomechanics and general podiatric
medicine. As far as we know, Dr. Zapf is the only local podiatrist who is certified
by both boards.
A final board that all three doctors in the office are certified by is the American
Wound Care Association.
TEACHING: For almost 10 years Dr. Zapf was an associate professor of
podiatric medicine and surgery at the California College of Podiatric Medicine
at the “Southern Campus” at the Los Angeles County / USC Medical Center
(County General). He would teach medical and surgical techniques to residents
and students every Wednesday afternoon at the East Los Angeles hospital. For
almost as many years he was a junior attending with the Baja Project for Crippled
Children where he would attend and supervise children’s clinics in Tijuana and
FELLOWSHIPS: Once Board Certification is achieved, doctors are allowed
to to join the educational arm of the respective boards. This achievement
is noted as joining the “fellowship” of the board and permission to use the
designation “Fellow” on your door, business card and letterhead. Dr. Zapf (and
Dr. Payne and Dr. Benson) is therefore a:
Fellow of the Amiercan College of Foot and Ankle Surgery (FACFAS)
Fellow of the American College of Podiatric Orthopedics and Primary
Podiatric Medicine (FACFAOM)
Fellow of the American Board of Foot Surgery (FAFS)
Fellow of the American Professional Wound Care Association (FAPWC)
Technically, his business card could read:
Michael A. Zapf, DPM, MPH, FACFAS, FACFAOM, FAFS, FAPWC
HOSPITAL STAFF PRIVILEGES: Dr. Zapf is on the staff of the Thousand Oaks
Surgical Hospital, Los Robles Hospital and the Los Robles SurgiCenter.
HOSPITAL COMMITTEES: Dr. Zapf has served on the peer review committee
of the thousand Oaks Surgery Hospital and the Quality Control committee of Los
Robles Hospital. He also serves on the medical advisory committee for the Los
CHAPTER AUTHOR. Because of his laboratory background Dr. Michael Zapf
was asked to author a chapter of clinical laboratory tests for the Review Text in
Podiatric Medicine published by the American Board of Podiatric Orthopedics,
first and second edition. He also writes a column for the Acorn Newspaper most
of which are recorded on his own web site: zfootdoc.com.
LECTURING. Dr. Zapf has lectured on diabetic foot care to the pharmacy
students at the Western States Health Science University in Pomona and to the
Advanced Anatomy students at Westlake High School. He has lectured to local
Women’s, Rotary, Kiwanis clubs, Zonta and the Westlakers.
CIVIC INVOLVEMENT: Dr. Zapf has been a 25+ year member of the Rotary
International, first with a club in Agoura Hills and then the Westlake Sunrise
Club, being past president of both. He was a former Trustee of the Conejo
Future Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of the Triunfo
YMCA. He was an early member of the Agoura Hills Redevelopment Agency
and has served as a Board Member of the Los Angeles County Podiatric
Medical Association as well as a several-time delegate to the Western Podiatry
EXPERT REVEIWER: He has been appointed as an expert reviewer by the
California Board of Podiatric Medicine and has been asked to review the
standard of care of other podiatrists when a complaint has been received by the
RESIDENCY REVEIWER: With his involvement with the American Board of
Podiatric Orthopedics he has been asked to joint survey teams that evaluate the
effectiveness of podiatric residencies. He has surveyed programs in New York,
Louisiana, Oregon, Colorado and California. In that capacity he not only serves
the profession but also obtains a clear perspective on the state of podiatric
education on a national basis.
EXAMINATION PREPARATION: On several occasions he has been asked to
write and review questions for the certifying exam given by the American Board
of Podiatric Orthopedics.
INTERNATIONAL SURGERY MISSIONS: Dr. Michael Zapf helped the Rotary
Club of Westlake Sunrise, along with the doctors of the Baja Project for Crippled
Children, establish an annual surgery brigade to Tegucigalpa, Honduras to
perform children’s foot surgery, mostly club feet. Dr. Zapf has traveled to
Honduras seven times for surgery sessions. Through this program more than
300 children have received complex foot surgery.
PRACTICE HISTORY: Dr. Zapf established the Agoura-Los Robles Podiatry
Centers in March of 1986 in Agoura Hills. He added the Thousand Oaks office
in 1994. For a few years near the beginning of his practice he maintained a part
time office in Simi Valley.
PERSONAL: Dr. Michael Zapf is lives in Oak Park and is married to Jackie. Their
son, Christopher, is currently in college and they have a dog, Brandr, a Norbott