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Student Blog

Bryce Dahl – IIOP student, International Clinical Rotation (Quito, Ecuador) 9/16/2020

Los Perros y El Pichincha

This past weekend the gang got together (found friends!) and we climbed the 4703m (15,429ft) mountain called Cumbre Rucu Pichincha. Living in Colorado for a year and working in RMNP for a summer, I’ve been fortunate enough to see some pretty cool peaks at some high altitudes but Pichincha has my tallest Colorado peak beat by over a thousand feet. We were fortunate enough to have photographer Pancho (@panchopaz) with us to capture the experience!

The clinic has steam coming off of it at all times these days as we have been producing socket after socket. We had a new little furry patient join us on Monday with a congenital below-elbow amputation. We were able to successfully cast little Tarzana and will do our best to fit her with a prosthetic arm and hopefully give this little pup one more reason to smile!



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Francesca Cicchetti – IIOP Student Blog – September 16, 2020

Hello Everyone!

My name is Francesca Cicchetti and I will be IIOP’s new blogger for this semester and I am so excited to share with you all that we have been up to! We hit the ground running since the first day of this semester, so I am a little behind on sharing our progress. So now that I have a moment to catch my breath, let’s catch up on everything we’ve done, shall we…

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to “Zoom” my classmates and other students in the country my clinical experience at POA in Orlando, FL. It was an amazing time! We were able to interview patients, practitioners and also had the opportunity to observe various in-house fabrications and other projects in the lab!! Since I was nominated for an Oscar for my fine performance, I decided to continue it, here.

Our first week back we started on our ground reaction ankle foot orthoses (GRAFOs for short). It was AMAZING!! It was so wonderful to be able to be back together and in the lab after a long few months of quarantine… I really missed my pals. That week we also had the opportunity to get to know our newest cohort with a hotdog social! Food AND new friends?! What more could we want?! They are absolutely a wonderful group of students and I know they are going to make the finest Orthotists and Prosthetists one day.

So, fast-forward to now, these past few days we have been working on our knee ankle foot orthoses (KAFOs for short). We casted our patients (each other), filled our casts, modified our molds, and pulled our plastic. Then today we did some metal bending for our knee joints and uprights. Something we’ve honestly been dreading for the past few days. And I am proud to report that no tears and only sweat was shed! We will be finishing up our projects and fitting them later on this week. Stay tuned for more pictures and posts to come, I cannot wait to share with you all our semester. Happy Wednesday everyone!

Signing off for now,



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Alex Miller – IIOP Student Clinical Rotation

Alex Miller has returned to his family’s Prosthetics and Orthotics practice in Belpre, Ohio. Follow along with his journey as he keeps us updated on his clinical rotation. His website also gives us a look at some of the numerous projects Alex has completed both at IIOP and professionally.

Miller P&O Clinical Rotation

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Bryce Dahl – IIOP student, International Clinical Rotation (Quito, Ecuador) 9/7/2020

Granadillas y Tortillas – Monday, September 7th

Just when life here in Quito could not get any better, each Thursday a fresh produce truck pulls up to the clinic like a less-fun ice cream man. I kid you not I can get a sack of sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, broccoli, carrots, and corn for $3.50! Also, something I need to address, the American dollar is the primary currency in Ecuador, so $50 cash can take you a very long way. I’m pretty used to traveling light and living out of a backpack but this place is like some sort of organic hippie paradise.

I spent the majority of the weekend locating and comparing the prices of different fruit & meat markets. Dave was able to help me out with a bike so transportation has really increased here in week 2. Something else I forgot to mention, the clinic and my apartment sit at 9,300’ of elevation so you can imagine I’m having to really acclimate coming from Tampa, Fl. Just 3 weeks ago I was running 8-10 miles at a time in Tampa and now I’m sucking wind trying to run a mile or two here in Quito.

I’m falling more in love with the Spanish culture and with the recent discovery of $1 a pound for chicken and the ridiculously cheap groceries, I think I could see myself returning. Well, it’s a busy Monday morning and I’m sure my molds are almost dry so back to work!


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Bryce Dahl – IIOP student, International Clinical Rotation (Quito, Ecuador) 9/2/2020

No Wifi, No Tools, No Problem – Wednesday, September 2nd

Alright well, I should have realized that wifi in a third world country would be challenging but I have to say it has been pretty cool leaving the good ol’ iPhone on airplane mode for a few days. I just wrapped up day two in the new clinic and I’m exhausted. This is where I show my support to all the nurses out there because I didn’t realize how tough 12 hours of working on your feet can be… mad respect.

The clinic is very new and we are still gathering components, tools, and improvising a lot. Tools like calipers, rivet head rounding tools, heel wedges, and pipe holders are all things you probably aren’t familiar with if not in the field of O&P; however, these are small tools that serve large purposes in any O&P clinic. What makes these tools unique is that they can all be fabricated from minimal material. In my previous semester at IIOP, we had to fabricate our own tools to have them handy when their purpose was called. As a result of my education at IIOP, I have been fortunate enough to supply the clinic here in Quito by applying the fabrication techniques I have learned.

So far I’ve seen my first pediatric patient ever with my preceptor (Master Yoda) teaching me his careful art of prosthetic alignment and patient evaluation. It’s been exciting to apply more of my education through ankle-foot-orthotic modifications; however, this week I’ve been instructed to keep preparing the clinic as the next week is going to be an all-out fabrication war according to Dave. Meaning, we will see a lot of patients next week and really get to test the limitations of this small but fearless clinic. Stay tuned, this is gonna be fun.



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Bryce Dahl – IIOP student, International Clinical Rotation (Quito, Ecuador) 8/31/2020

7 hours in Miami – Monday, August 31st

As I sit here in the Miami airport, getting ready for my departure to Quito, it’s tough to visualize what this rotation is going to look like. All I’ve been able to foresee is the overwhelming wall of Spanish that I know is going to cripple me and there’s probably nothing my 29-day Duolingo streak is going to do about it. But hey, I’ve always been attracted to a little chaos followed by personal growth. I’m excited about the opportunity to improvise with minimal materials and absorb as much as I can from the brilliant mind of Mr. Dave Krupa. Dave is a good friend of mine and to much credit of his own, he is a huge reason why I got into O&P, but that’s a story for another day. I’m looking forward to representing a great school (IIOP)and an amazing faculty as one might say I will be “putting on for this city.” Now back to watching Money Heist in Spanish…


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Bryce Dahl – IIOP student, International Clinical Rotation (Quito, Ecuador)

As this crazy world and pandemics change our structure here at IIOP, our students still have to pursue clinical rotations to fulfill their requirements for graduation. One of our students, Bryce Dahl, will be traveling to Quito, Ecuador to complete his first clinical rotation.
Stay tuned with updates from Bryce as he writes this blog about his journey.

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