In this issue, O&P News poses five questions to Christopher Robinson, MS, MBA, CPO, ATC, FAAOP(D), assistant professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwestern University’s Prosthetics Orthotics Center.
Robinson holds more than a decade of experience in the field of orthotics and prosthetics. At Northwestern University’s Prosthetics Orthotics Center (NUPOC), he works as an educator for physicians, physical therapists, prosthetist, orthotists and other allied health providers and performs clinical research.
Robinson also serves as an inpatient clinician providing O&P services to patients throughout the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. He serves as the vice president for the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine’s Medical Faculty Counsel and is chair of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP)’s Online Learning Center.
Robinson has been awarded the Feinberg School of Medicine’s “Best Teacher Award,” the AAOP’s distinguished educator prize and membership in the AAOP’s inaugural Fellows with Distinction class of 2016.
O&P News: What are your hobbies outside of work?
Robinson: I enjoy spending my free time with my wife, Lauren, and son, Grant. We like to go to the playground, museums and explore new restaurants around Chicagoland. I also enjoy working on the vintage bungalow my wife and I purchased in 2014.
O&P News: Who has had the greatest influence on your career?
Robinson: I am lucky to have had many strong mentors during my career, but I feel two stand out the most.
David Rotter, CPO, demonstrated to me the power of commitment to patient care. I spent many late nights and weekends under his tutelage ensuring the patient care we provided did not simply meet a need, but truly empowered the patients to their fullest. From working with everyone from infants to elite athletes, Rotter showed me early in my career that a practitioner with strong engagement has equally engaged patients.
Jim Kaiser, CP, demonstrated to me the importance of being a role model. Kaiser garnered respect from his patients and colleagues because he not only was gifted clinically; he had a tremendous respect for each person he interacted with. His ability to place himself into anyone’s shoes and willingness to do everything in his power to grant others a better opportunity is something I strive to do every day.
O&P News: What was the defining moment that led you to your field?
Robinson: In 2003, I was working on the sidelines of a soccer practice as a young certified athletic trainer and one of my athlete’s fathers pulled out a custom AFO to address his daughter’s foot and ankle problems. He put the AFO on his daughter and I watched her perform corner kicks for the first time pain-free despite weeks of rehabilitation and countless ankle tape jobs. That gentleman introduced himself to me as Bill Gallagher, CO, and asked if I would be interested in getting involved with prosthetics and orthotics. I was hooked from that moment.
O&P News: What area of research in O&P most interests you right now?
Robinson: Although cutting-edge technology seems to capture the headlines in the various trade journals, working with Yeongchi Wu, MD, research associate professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, has shown me there is a tremendous need for appropriate prosthetic and orthotic services within the developing world. I had the unique opportunity to work with him on a field-initiated study where we applied dilatancy technology to manufacture orthoses. This technology had already been developed by Wu and his team at the Center for International Rehabilitation for patients with lower limb amputation and has enabled more than 10,000 individuals in Thailand to receive appropriate care quickly and efficiently. The traditional care model for procurement of O&P services requires multiple visits, but Wu’s unique system enabled patients to go from an initial evaluation and impression to definitive prosthesis in a single day.
O&P News: What is up next for you?
Robinson: I hope to pursue a terminal degree in higher education so I can continue to grow professionally and make a greater impact on the students, patients and colleagues I get the pleasure of working with every day.
- For more information:
- Christopher Robinson, MS, MBA, CPO, ATC, FAAOP(D), can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclosure: Robinson reports no relevant financial disclosures.