In this issue, O&P News poses five questions to Michael P. Smith, CPO.
Smith is a 1984 graduate of the University of Washington prosthetic and orthotic program. He is a second-generation prosthetist. His father is a retired certified prosthetist.
Smith is the owner of the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Center with multiple locations in Virginia. Smith also does volunteer work and is involved with Physicians for Peace and Montero Medical Missions, having helped to establish a prosthetic clinic in the Philippines in 2005.
He is the vice president of the International African American Prosthetic and Orthotic Coalition.
O&P News: Who has had the greatest influence on your career?
Smith: My father, Aubrey Smith, CP, who had a private practice in Canton, Georgia, had the greatest influence on my career. Growing up, I saw what he did as far as prosthetics and working with people with a limb loss, and the results. Basically, the enjoyment that he had in working with patients rubbed off on me.
O&P News: What area of research in O&P most interests you right now? Why?
Smith: Computers and scanning technology. We are now able to digitize the limb, which will eventually eliminate the hands-on modification and save time for the practitioner. Hopefully, the digital image will get a more precise measurement, so the product can be reproduceable with predictable results.
O&P News: What advice would you offer to O&P students today?
Smith: They should do or learn as much as they can, even outside the field itself, about business practices. The schools’ primary focuses are patient care and the technical aspect of O&P. Students should not only know how to fabricate devices, but also learn how the front office of a business runs.
O&P News: What are your hobbies outside of work?
Smith: I enjoy fishing. I try to return to the Pacific Northwest for salmon fishing whenever possible. I also enjoy gardening. When I’m not at work, that is what I do when I come home. I have about 3 acres that I help to maintain.
O&P News: What is up next for you?
Smith: For me, I’d like to teach. I enjoy teaching. I’m hoping to do more volunteer work, especially overseas to help develop orthotic and prosthetic programs in other countries, and to teach those individuals in those countries, as well.
- For more information:
- Michael P. Smith, CPO, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclosure: Smith reports no relevant financial disclosures.