Master level O&P
Well here I am 3 weeks from graduation and what an experience it has been. Looking back at the last two years it amazes me that I could learn so much in that span, but I still have much more still to learn. But by looking back I did realize that my previous education in pre-physical therapy greatly benefited me in my transition into orthotics and prosthetics. The reason I believe this helped me was because of the heavily based anatomy and biomechanics curriculum that I experienced in my education at the University at Buffalo.
Now I am not saying that potential students should all go to Buffalo before they enter an O&P school. I just think that since O&P education is going to be transitioning to Masters level in 2012, I believe there is the opportunity to set up the educational path to benefit the new students that could produce more educated residents. Once O&P goes to a Masters in 2012, to me it seems like there will be a void in the educational path leading up to the Masters level program, which most master level or higher programs seem to have, like the pre-physical therapy program I was in. So what I see is the possibility to have some type of program that could be a “pre-O&P” that can teach the anatomy, biomechanics, and gait analysis type classes before the masters program, that way more time can be spent on more orthotics or prosthetics devices, fabrication, or fittings. This could possibly produce a more prepared resident coming right out of school. But, I do not currently know what developments there are to date on the transition to the Masters level so this could be something already in the works, which I believe will be a good idea.