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Onny Mbagwu – IIOP Student Blog – April 20, 2021

Peace be with you all! I hope you had a wonderful week!

In two weeks, this semester will be coming to an end. The seniors are graduating, the second semester students (me and my cohort) are being shipped off to clinical rotations for the summer, and the freshman class is getting ready for their hands-on second semester. Boy has it been a long/quick/tiring/exciting/struggle/rewarding ride! But I am grateful for every part of it. This week has been a bit hard, but we managed to complete it. We should all pat ourselves on the back for pushing through. We completed our UCBL foot Orthosis, made a rocker bottom, took our midterms, and started our solid AFO projects. I like how I am starting to get the hang of casting, fabricating, and modifying the pieces. As I practice more, I am gaining more confidence. And I hope I get a chance to gain more confidence by learning and practicing more during my clinical rotations.

See y’all again next week. Time is going by fast and I’m not sure if I should be happy or scared lol  -Onny

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Savanna Stumpf– IIOP Student Blog – March 8, 2021

February Recap – – Semester 1

2 months down, 14 months to go! With midterms right around the corner, my classmates and I have really started to crack down on our studying.  We are all definitely feeling the pressure to do well, being that these exams will be our first big tests of the semester; The first big tests at IIOP in general actually. With that being said, we all are just longing to do well to prove our worth at school and feel that first big success leading us into our futures.

This past month has been a lot like the first. Learning, learning, and more learning. It has been exciting though because now that we have a small grasp on the basics, we can start weening our way into more hands-on work. For example, I would say we all have a pretty good grasp on lower extremities at this point in the semester. So, in lab, we were able to palpate and test those muscles on one another while learning about pathologies and abnormalities we may come across in the field. Fortunately, my classmates and I are all pretty average, so we just palpated and tested muscle function with one another. Dr.O has been an amazing help with all of this, as well, with her past experience and special talent to make us all feel at ease and comfortable. Because if we are being honest, as great as friends we have all become to be, it can be a little weird basically throwing your classmates leg over your shoulder to test that ROM of the hip ya know.

Another exercise we have all really been enjoying on top of lecture is practicing taking patient history. We have been doing this more in a group setting to help bounce ideas off of one another and give helpful criticism on what we did well verses what we could improve on. It also gives a bit of free range to loosen up and take on a role as a fifty-year-old with adhesive capsulitis or an eight-year-old with osteomyelitis. (Not to name any names, but some people are definitely better actors than others lol – – although I think my classmates all know that)

On top of lecture and lab though, we did get a really special treat this past month. Being that IIOP has P&O clinic within its facility, we were allowed to sit in and observe a patient receiving a brand-new leg for a recent amputation. For me especially, it brought me back to my happy place. Seeing someone so thankful and overjoyed takes you to a state of what I can only describe as “pure.” I had been feeling so stressed with school and the worries of not preforming well on my upcoming exams, and this one patient visit was the perfect reminder of why I am here and that this stress is worth it in the end. This is something I will forever be thankful for with IIOP because I do not believe we would have been graced with this little moment anywhere else. 

If I can leave you with anything from this quick blog, let it be remembered that “Every good thing you do creates ripples that you may not see. Do them anyway.” – Unknown


Savanna Stumpf

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Savanna Stumpf– IIOP Student Blog – February 12, 2021

Week 5 – – Semester 1

Another week, another post! I’m not sure about you, but for some reason this just felt like the longest week.

This week in Pathology, we really focused on how to talk about different abnormalities on a practitioner-patient/parent basis. While we may be getting tested on these pathologies in more of a scientific way in class, not every brain processes “a localized congenital abnormality leading to a lateral curvature of the spine and surrounding tissues” as scoliosis. In order to work on this skill, we were assigned to make a pamphlet or some type of information guide, that would help aid us in the future. While all 5 of us students made wonderful pamphlets, we were extra fortunate that our good ole classmate Ian Reyes wrote a rap to perform as well. So, if you are ever in dire need of learning about Cranial Disproportion, just call up Ian and ask for a little performance.

To wrap the week up, we finished with our gait class. While we started off with lecture in the morning, we moved onto a lab assessment in the afternoon. Since our class is called gait analysis, it was only right we do a lab assessing each of our gaits. Each of my classmates chalked the bottom of our feet with blue chalk and walked across 15 feet of paper. From there, we took different measurements and compared between all of us. We even got the opportunity to include data from Mrs.Crawford, and turns out she is the slowest walker of us all! Had to throw her under the bus!

Happy Mardi Gras weekend!!


Savanna Stumf

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Bryce Dahl – IIOP Student Blog, 1/26/2020

Back here in Tampa, Fl as we’ve just begun our third week back at IIOP! So far we’ve fabricated our wrist hand orthoses (WHO’s) and managed to stay Covid-free as we are back in the building where it all started. We’ve been primarily focusing on the upper extremity (which is nice because I was focused on lower all through rotation) and are moving rapidly through our IIOP course material. Friday we wrapped up our MMT and ROM practicals and had our White Coat Ceremony to make it official as we prepare to be health care professionals and search for our next step of residency.

In the weeks to come we will be sharpening our hand skills with fabrication of upper extremity prosthetics, transfemoral prosthetics, and knee-ankle-foot-orthotics. It feels great to be back in Tampa with the boys, and with the 70 degree and sunny weather here in Janurary, I’d say 2021 is off to a great start!!


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Onny Mbagwu – IIOP Student Blog – January 22, 2021

Hola! I hope everyone enjoyed their week. Just a quick update because we literally had two days of class because of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Thursday and Friday, we were off.

               This week, we ended our introduction to lab skills and material class. It was a fun way to learn about the tools we would be using as O&P practitioners and how to use the tools. The best part of the class was that there weren’t any exams lol. On Tuesday, we got right into it and performed AFO casting on our peers. Remembering what I learned in my first semester of IIOP, I was able to identify the main bony landmarks to be distinguished inside of the cast for later use.  Let me tell you right now, I most definitely like using fiberglass for casting more than paster. The plaster was a struggle to use and my cast fell apart a couple of times. I could have done it all day though because, to be honest, it felt like I was crafting a phenomenal art piece. You can call me Onny Picasso or LeOnny Da Vinci.

               After working hard on my cast, I decided I wanted to take the leg home with me and pull a prank on my roommate. Ahh what a great way to end the week.

See all again next week! 😊

-Onny or LeOnny Da Vinci

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Onny Mbagwu – IIOP Student Blog – January 15, 2021

Helloooo! Week 1 and we are back in action! I think the upperclassmen hyped me up for this second semester. I heard through the grapevine that the first semester would be the most challenging and so far, they were right. The days are much longer but it goes by fast when you are enjoying it. I think it was funny to see my roommate’s reaction when I told her I had fun in class today. “Say what??? Fun? At school?”

Anyway, this week we got straight to work. From metal bending to creating our own tools like the inside and outside calipers, heel wedges, and even sewing velcro together to fabricate AFO straps. I enjoyed it all. Using the bigger machines like the bandsaw, the workmaster drum, and the dry blaster gave me a bit of the nerves, but after a few hours of learning the techniques and taking my time to get to know the machines, I have become a pro. They look scary but the machines are most definitely safe if used correctly.

Welp, that’s all for now. Can’t wait for next week!


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Onny Mbagwu – IIOP Student Blog – January 6, 2021

Happy New Year everyone! I hope this year will be filled with good health, happiness, and prosperity. My name is Onny Mbagwu and I am the newest edition to the IIOP bloggers team! Firstly, I would like to congratulate all of those who graduated this December 2020, for you all have served as a guide for me and my future success in the O and P field.

I always knew that I wanted to be in the medical field, but I was not sure of where I wanted to be. Being interested in anatomy and psychology, I changed my major from biology to psychology, while also taking pre-medical classes. In almost every one of my psychology classes, the professors talked about Phantom Limb Pain Syndrome. I was beyond fascinated with that topic and began researching more about it. Learning about Phantom Limb, led me to research more about O&P and here I am!

My first semester was as challenging as expected. I think everyone gets a bit nervous because we don’t know how large the coursework is, we don’t know what to expect or what kind of professors we would have. Also, I was in a whole new state and did not know anyone. Although I was coming fresh out of undergrad, you all should know that everything I learned in undergrad has vanished, except for my acquired skills in time management, and Microsoft Office. However, I noticed that even after completing my first semester here, I am able to retain the information that I have learned in all of my classes.  I was lucky to have a great cohort, professors, and upperclassmen who offered their help and allowed me to open up and ask questions about the information that I did not understand or was confused about.

This is just a formal introduction as the newest addition to the bloggers’ team. As you follow the rest of my journey in this program, I hope you all will enjoy reading about my fun-filled experience and education at IIOP and in the O&P world.


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Francesca Cicchetti – IIOP Student Blog – November 13, 2020

Good morning everyone!


Happy November!! To start this blog off, let’s start with a little joke. “What does Thanksgiving have in common with Halloween?”


Hahahaha. I thought that was a perfect little way to start. Anyway, let’s see…I hope everyone is doing well and that you all have had a good start to the month. We have been busy here over at IIOP.

Our lovely patient models, David, Dave, and Taylor came in and helped us out with our ischial containment sockets! We casted them, fabricated check sockets (fit and adjusted those), and finally got to laminate their definitive sockets! It was a pretty busy week and we all were exhausted, but it was well worth it! For our definitive socket fittings, our good pals from Blatchford, David, Mike, and Steve, came in and showed us a few of their amazing knees and feet! On Thursday, we were able to fit our patient models with the Linx system and Orion 3 knee with the Echelon hydraulic ankle! It was amazing because we were able to gain some valuable insight on how to properly bench align and calibrate their products! On Friday, our Blatchford pals and patient models came back and we got to have some more fun. We fit our definitive sockets with Blatchford’s KXO6 (polycentric) knee and their Mercury hydraulic (single axis) knee. My class and I really appreciated Blatchford for taking the time to come teach and help us out for a couple of days!! We learned so much and had a great time.

Finishing up my updates, we had our patient models return to help us this past week with our CAD-CAM ischial containment sockets. We used our VX Element scanner to capture the shape of the patient’s residual limb. Their scans were then synced into the Omega WillowWood software where we were able to modify their scans. Next, we uploaded the modified scans to our Provel C7 carver and created a positive foam model which we used to pull our plastic to create their check socket. We used this method in place of casting our patients with plaster…just another tool we get to put in our growing toolbox!! These scans can be used in the future to create other devices such as cranial helmets, scoliosis braces, and various sockets!! We will be fitting our patients on Monday before concluding our transfemoral class.

That is all for now! Have a wonderful rest of your week and we will chat soon.


Signing off,

Fran Cicchetti

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Bryce Dahl – IIOP student, International Clinical Rotation (Quito, Ecuador) 11/12/2020

Tierra de Papayas – Nov 12th, 2020

It’s been one week since I have returned to Quito and already feels like I’m living in a movie again. Upon landing in Quito, a quick 3-hour nap and I was back in the lab modifying molds, awaiting patients to arrive. Pretty cool to jump right back in where I left off in this crazy but beautiful place.

Nothing says ‘welcome back’ like getting a week’s worth of fruit and veggies from the neighborhood food truck….for $6. I was paying $20 for eight to ten sweet potatoes last week at Kroger. I wasn’t expecting to be greeted back by so many familiar faces of the community. I’ve really enjoyed my stops at the little tiendas (stores) where the same old ladies are always so kind and patient with my Spanish and laugh when I absolutely butcher my order ….but hey got that Duolingo streak up to 90 days so don’t mess with me.

Getting to follow up with some of the patients I met in September has been a reward. Hearing how happy they are to be at work with their new prostheses and moving around the city is why we do what we do. The 8 weeks I’m here are going to be geared more towards learning more plaster modification, suction fitting, and elevated patient interaction as my Spanish progresses. I’m working really hard to absorb not just a cultural experience, but a professional lesson of practice that I’m excited to share back in Los Estados Unidos. Each day is a lesson, each day is a reward.




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Bryce Dahl – IIOP student, International Clinical Rotation (Quito, Ecuador) 11/04/2020

Quito by 2 am – Nov 4th, 2020


Back on the red-eye flight to Quito for my third and final rotation of the semester. Leaving from my rotation in Nashville, I was able to collect several top-shelf prosthetic knees that I’m stoked to get down to Ecuador and delivered to their very deserving ROMP recipients.

This trip should allow Dave and me to really set the groundwork for the future of ROMP-Ecuador’s practice. I’m excited to see where our opportunities take us and I’ll continue to document all adventures along the way.

2020 has been quite the year and currently with the future president of the United States in limbo (election still going on), COVID-19 present, and the rest of 2020’s plague of anxiety, I will do my best to shed some light on the positive very much alive!

Follow me on this journey of love, humility, and strength one leg/arm at a time.


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