Erwin Unger

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Custom Foot Orthotics
Wright & Filippis
Rochester Hills, Michigan

When did you enter the O&P profession?

Sixty-eight years ago when I was a 14-year-old boy in Germany.

Why did you choose to enter the O&P profession?

My neighbor was an amputee. He used a broomstick for a prosthesis-he could even dance on it! I wanted to help make better prostheses for those in need.

Describe a time when you were especially proud of your work:

Once a man came into the offices of Wright & Filippis in so much pain he could barely walk. I handcrafted an orthotic device, and he walked out of the office pain-free. It always feels good to know that you helped to improve the quality of life for someone.

When did you join Wright & Filippis?

When I was 64 years old, I said that I wanted to work until I was 65. That was 17 years ago. My skills are unique, and I feel needed in the industry, so I just keep going and going&.

What is your favorite tool?

A handmade hammer that belonged to my father and his father before him. The hammer is 150 years old and is primarily used for making shoes.

Do you remember any big mistakes that you have made?

No real big ones-just a lot of little ones. I am still learning today.

What advice would you give to a new technician?

Take pride in your craft.