What’s in a Name?
The Prosthetics and Orthotics industry is no stranger to multi-generational practices, with the descendants of practitioners taking part in the family business. Many Florida clinicians are familiar with Mid-Florida Prosthetics and Orthotics and the Bustamante name, or the Fredricks and their O&P operation named Rehab Engineering LLC. in South Georgia and North Florida. Our neighbors to the North have probably heard of the Millers of Ohio and West Virginia, and their innovative work with 3D printed sockets for their three-legged dog, Keating.
The International Institute of Orthotics and Prosthetics is proud to have members of all three of these O&P families enrolled in the Masters of Prosthetics and Orthotics (MPO) program. Alex Miller, James Fredrick, and Victor Bustamante have been exposed to the Orthotics and Prosthetics world from a very young age and are expected to graduate in 2021 with the rest of their talented cohort. We asked them what their plans are after graduation, as well as how they chose what O&P program to attend.
It is refreshing to hear the goals of these three students. When asked what they hoped to do after graduation they all has similar aspirations of working for, and potentially taking a leadership role in their family’s company. But is it enough to share a name with a successful Prosthetist or Orthotist to seamlessly fall into succession? Hand skills aren’t given at birth, but rather carefully learned and practiced. The intangible elements that make a great clinician, however, cannot always be taught but instead are a result of our upbringing. The curriculum at IIOP will provide plenty of opportunity to hone the hand skills of the next generation of practitioners, but it also emphasizes the essential functions that help a clinician build a strong relationship with the patient.
When making the decision of what school to attend, there are a lot of factors to consider. Alex Miller admitted “I toured another school, and this place, the facility, just blows everything out of the water that I’ve ever seen,” before adding “it’s going to kind of spoil us, I think.” IIOP is proud of it’s 40,000 square foot facility equipped with a 3D-printer, three-axis carver, and several 3D white-light scanners, but can assure its students will learn all the basics before being exposed to time-saving methods. The students all agreed that a large factor in their decision was the Institute’s devotion to Prosthetics and Orthotics, how everything is focused solely on O&P education, and it’s clear that it’s the main goal of IIOP.