Program Spotlight: Orthotics and Prosthetics
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Program Spotlight: Orthotics and Prosthetics

An aspect unique to the Salus University Orthotics and Prosthetics (O&P) program is the integrated 18-month clinical residency, where students are immersed in O&P clinical practice and research. Upon successful completion of the integrated clinical residency and coursework, graduates will be eligible to sit for the National ABC Board Exams in both Orthotic and Prosthetic Disciplines. 

op-photos-8-22-23-34.jpgNot all graduate O&P programs include an integrated residency, which sets the Salus program apart. Many other programs require students, upon graduation, to find a residency on their own.

As the first cohort of students from the Salus O&P program has begun their residencies, and the second cohort continues their didactic year, we caught up with a few students to discuss the residency and candidacy accreditation of the University’s O&P program. 

Antonio Butler ‘25O&P started one of his two integrated residencies this semester, for which he relocated to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for the next nine months to work at Orthotics and Prosthetics Solutions. 

He requested to travel to the south because, upon graduation, Butler planned to move back to Tennessee where his father owns Wolfchase Limb and Brace, which serves the Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi tri-state area. “It’s been a great opportunity to see what patient population I will be working with after graduation,” he said. “I have already seen a difference between the patient population in the Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware tri-state area as opposed to what I have seen here. It has been a great learning experience.”

Antonio and another student adjusting a prostheticThe residency itself has given Butler a breadth of experience, tailored to his desires after graduation. “[In my father’s company] I hope to move into a role of ownership and management. My residency has allowed me to work with the owner, and provided me management skills,” he said. 

On top of management experience, he is gaining the necessary technical experience for his future O&P career.  “I also shadow a clinician and do patient visits, where we are measuring, casting, fitting and delivering prostheses,” he said. “Last week, I got the chance to take the lead, [with a patient] where I got to do the evaluation and measuring myself, while a clinician supervised.”

Amber Lewis ‘25O&P also began her residency this semester but stayed much closer to Salus University’s Elkins Park, Pennsylvania campus by working in Philadelphia and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, at the Hanger Clinic. “Every day looks a little different but I have enjoyed it so far,” she said. “I get to see patients every day with a clinician supervisor. I have seen some pediatric cranial patients who need helmets and patients with prosthetics who need adjustments. I have gotten a lot of great hands-on experience.”

Lewis emphasized the extensive patient model experience and exposure she received during her didactic year at Salus, and how they helped prepare her to work in the field and see patients daily. “There are so many [opportunities] in the Philadelphia area that our professors exposed us to. [Salus] faculty and staff came in to be our patients for orthotics, and we had the opportunity to conduct outreach at different schools to expand O&P,” said Lewis. “Coming into my residency I felt much more confident because of all of the exposure I had.”

Mary-Kate Dennis ‘26O&P attested to the early clinical exposure the Salus O&P program provides, and how she has enjoyed the variety of experiences she has received throughout her first year in the program. Although she will not start her residency for another year, she is already looking forward to the experience. 

In its second year of operation, the Salus University O&P program currently has candidacy accreditation granted by the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE). 

O&P faculty posing for a group photo holding drillsWhen asked about the accreditation of the program, Butler, Lewis and Dennis gave the same answer; that their confidence in Chad Duncan, PhD, CRC, CPO, O&P program director, and his expertise far outweighed any concern they had over the future accreditation of the program.

“I was not worried [about accreditation]. This is not Dr. Duncan’s first rodeo, he has shown he is capable of building successful programs like at Alabama State University and Northwestern,” said Dennis. “I did not doubt [accreditation], especially after talking with Dr. Duncan about it. I would recommend that if any interested students have a concern they should discuss it with the O&P faculty because they will definitely ease their mind.”

Lewis and Butler expressed the same sentiment, that their confidence in the faculty and the program outweighed any concern they had over the future accreditation of the program.