What kind of education does my practitioner have?
Many people do not know about the education involved with becoming a Certified Prosthetist or Orthotist, as our field is fairly small. This is a common question our patients ask of their practitioners.
The education level for prosthetics and orthotics was raised in 2012 to a master's degree. Prior to 2012, practitioners would complete their bachelor's degree in a major of their choice, and then complete a separate certificate for orthotics and prosthetics. Now, there are no certificate programs available. The only route to become a practitioner is to complete a Master of Orthotics and Prosthetics program.
Once the master's degree is completed, a clinical residency must be completed. Residents can opt to focus on one discipline at a time for 12 months each, or do both orthotics and prosthetics together over the span of 18 months. During residency, residents work under the guidance of the clinical director and clinical mentors to learn patient care, proper documentation, and fabrication techniques. Following the successful completion of the residency, residents then take their board exams.
There are three exams per discipline. One exam per discipline is a clinical exam that takes place in Florida, where candidates are evaluated on their patient care skills and knowledge. After the candidate passes all of the exams, he or she is then bestowed the title of Certified Prosthetist Orthotist (CPO). Practitioners continue to hone their skills after the exams for the rest of their career by completing continuing education through conferences and courses.
Dankmeyer's practitioners have completed education programs all over the country! You can read about each individual and their education journey on our Clinical Staff page.
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