ORLANDO, Fla. — The 37th Annual American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Meeting and Scientific Symposium officially kicked off yesterday with the 2011 opening session.
Scott Cummings, PT, CPO, FAAOP, president of the Academy, thanked the past presidents and board members for their wisdom and continued support, and invited attendees to meet with current board members, who will be stationed at the Academy’s booth at designated times, a new feature this year.
The clinical content committee, headed by JoAnne Kanas, DPT, CPO, assembled a program offering up to 35 mandatory continuing education credits for practitioners, including the Thranhardt Lecture Series, clinical technique sessions and poster presentations, Cummings said.
Cummings also encouraged attendees to “find some downtime to reconnect, relax and enjoy, and to make the most of your visit to sunny Florida. I look forward to interacting with you during the next few days and learning more about how we can continue to improve both the meeting and the work of the Academy,” he said.
Peter Rosenstein, Academy executive director, encouraged attendees — especially students and newcomers to the profession — to take their participation one step further and get involved with the Academy’s societies, chapters and board. This involvement is necessary to continue driving the profession to serve the influx of people who are getting older and will need increased O&P care — “people like myself,” he explained.
“Diabetes, obesity epidemics … you will have more people to treat,” he said. “That’s both good and bad. But it’s something we have to focus on.”
Cummings echoed the importance of this obligation to patients.
“We are a tiny profession with a huge responsibility,” he said.
It is not enough, however, to simply offer advice like other professionals who are not properly trained in O&P, he said.
“The crux of our value is the training, expertise and clinical decision making that only we can bring to bear with providing comprehensive O&P care,” he said. “This requires content specific education and formal training for practitioners to achieve the best possible outcomes.”