A little over two years ago, Dankmeyer's clinical staff was increased by the arrival of a new resident, Nina Bondre. It wasn't long after that she was joined by Kristen Beltran, followed by Rob Tyler and then Kelsey Kasten. Having four residents at a time is a bit unusual for a prosthetics and orthotics practice. Angie Bryl, CPO and Clinical Director of Dankmeyer says, "We were lucky to have four very talented residents join our program at various times during the past two and a half years. Each one of them has distinct skills and passions that they bring to the Dankmeyer team."
Angie explains that the purpose of the O&P residency is to take the recently graduated orthotics and prosthetics Masters students and provide them with structured opportunities for hands-on learning, real world experiences, and refinement of their skills over the course of 12-18 months. Once their residency is complete, they become board eligible, which means they must then complete both written exams and practical exams - the practicals involve working with test patients. They must pass all of these rigorous tests in order to become certified in their disciplines by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics - thus Certified Prosthetist Orthotist. Kelsey came to Dankmeyer as a Board Eligible Orthotist, having completed her orthotics residency elsewhere, to do her twelve month residency in prosthetics. She passed her boards and became a Certified Orthotist during her prosthetics residency. Nina, Kristen and Rob were all tackling combined residencies (both disciplines), which would take 18 months.
All good things must come to and end, so the saying goes, and within the last four months, Nina, Kelsey and Kristen have completed various portions of their studies and exams. We congratulate them for achieving their goals and are so happy to have them continue their professional careers at Dankmeyer! Rob isn't far behind, as he will complete his residencies in December and become a Board Eligible Prosthetist Orthotist at that time. Nina, Kelsey, Kristen, and Rob have each written a few words about their experiences and goals.
Nina Bondre, CPO
Residency at Dankmeyer was challenging but rewarding. I had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of patients at several different locations, primarily through Johns Hopkins and the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI). I discovered a passion and appreciation for the treatment and care of spinal cord injury patients. Managing the spinal cord injury clinic at KKI has been one of the greatest joys of my career thus far: working closely with a patient's care team has led to great outcomes for our patients. I became a Certified Prosthetist Orthotist (CPO) in July 2017, and I am excited to continue honing my clinical skills to provide the best patient care possible.
Kelsey Kasten, CPO
I am very happy to have now completed both of my residencies, and passed all of my board exams! I completed my orthotics residency at another company, and passed these exams in January. I then continued working as an orthotist while completing my prosthetics residency at Dankmeyer, and passed my prosthetics exams in September. I spent most of my time in the Easton office, working with Jed Newhardt, CPO. I feel I learned a lot about prosthetic care, while also improving my orthotic skills. I had many opportunities to help people through the process of getting their first prosthesis after amputation, and that is a very rewarding experience for me. Now that I am fully certified, I would like to continue to see prosthetic patients, while further delving into specialties I am particularly passionate about, such as pediatric orthotics and scoliosis treatment.
Kristen Beltran, CO, Board Eligible Prosthetist
I had a great residency experience – I had the opportunity to rotate around to multiple office locations, which helped me become familiar with a wide variety of patients and also to get to know Maryland better. I felt prepared going in to board exams, and I had a huge sense of accomplishment once I found out I passed. I am looking forward to continuing working with my patients and helping them reach their full potential. I have an interest in helping advance the field and in helping Dankmeyer keep up with emerging technology, such as scanning and 3D printing.
Rob Tyler, Resident Prosthetist Orthotist
Dankmeyer has surpassed my goals for a residency program. I feel that I am able to see a wide variety of patients and many interesting cases. It has also been helpful to have other residents in the office. We have been able to bounce ideas off of each other as well as get advice from each other throughout our residencies. I look forward to completing my residency in December and finishing the board exams soon after.
Dankmeyer is very proud and fortunate to have these four young professionals as part of our team. We wish Kristen good luck with her final practical in prosthetics in January! Rob will be a Board Eligible Prosthetist Orthotist before the holidays, and will face his first slate of exams soon after.
A new national online residency application process is in the works, and as soon as that information and link are available, we will post them on our Professionals page.