About Dr. Zapf

Dr. Michael Zapf is a California native, spending most of his early life growing up in Downey.  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 Kiwanis International. 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 in 1984.
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 replacements.]
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 competency 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 medicine:
1) The American Board of Podiatric Surgery and
2) The American Board of Podiatric Orthopedics and Primary Podiatric Medicine
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
Mexicali, Mexico.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 American 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:


HOSPITAL STAFF PRIVILEGES: Dr. Zapf is on the staff of the Thousand Oaks Surgical Hospital, Los Robles Hospital, the Los Robles SurgiCenter and Specialty Surgical Center in Westlake.

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 Robles SurgiCenter.

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 30+ 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 State Board.

RESIDENCY REVIEWER: 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.

HCA FRIST HUMANITARIAN AWARD RECIPIENT: In 2017, Dr. Zapf was awarded HCA’s Frist Humanitarian Award. The award was named after Thomas Frist, M.D., the co-founder of Health Corporation of America and true humanitarian. The award is given out to physicians (as well as nurses and hospital volunteers) who embody Dr. Frist’s volunteer spirit and compassion.

BOARD OF PODIATRIC MEDICINE:  In 2013, Dr. Zapf was elected by Governor Jerry Brown to the Board of Podiatric Medicine (now called Podiatric Medical Board of California) which is an agency aimed to protect and educate consumers of California through licensing, enforcement, and regulation of Doctors of Podiatric Medicine.  Dr. Zapf served for many years as President Dr. Zapf's Public Health background is a good fit for the position of Board Member of the Board of Podiatric Medicine where the protection of California residents is his chief goal.

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 with his wife and son and their Norrbottenspets, Sitka.