From the Editor - Progress and Idealism: Alive and Well

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By Miki Fairley

Amazingly, despite all the current restraints hobbling the O&P field, progress continues to be made. What could be justly called a transfemoral revolution--the M.A.S.® (Marlo Anatomical Socket) design, developed by Marlo Ortiz, a prosthetist and engineer from Mexico, is described in the Cutting Edge article "M.A.S. Socket: A Transfemoral Revolution". Besides comfort, considerably increased range of motion, and a more natural gait, the socket provides much better cosmesis: it has been described as "simply disappearing underneath clothes."

Ortiz has lectured on his design internationally, including presenting one of the Thranhardt lectures during the 2004 Academy meeting. Ortiz's lecture was voted tops by his peers.

Idealism vs. Realism

Young people are often full of enthusiasm, fresh ideas, and energy when they first burst on the scene of their chosen careers after completing their education. But what happens when cold reality hits?

Many do keep hold of their passion for their chosen field, even if it is tempered by experience and coping with the unavoidable hassles of the current scene. How do they do it? Some professionals share their thoughts in the Feature article, "Idealism vs Realism: Balancing the Scales in O&P Practice".

Helping people to help themselves--this is giving to others in one of the best ways possible. It's a gift that will go far beyond the O&P devices provided for patients in developing nations. Training local people, who can then perhaps train others, will help provide sustainable services even after medical mission teams have left. Healing Hands for Haiti Foundation (HHHF) provides a great opportunity to give to others, gain exposure in your community, and work as a team with other medical and allied health professionals. Read more about the Foundation's work--and how you can be a part of it--" Healing Hands for Haiti Foundation".

Hanger's Linkia: Just what is it? An in-depth interview (" Hangers MCO: Where Is It Going?") reveals its several faces--both current and future.

How does a group of dedicated O&P professionals remain true to their mission of promoting continuing education while adapting to changed qualifications for ABC certification? The Academy's mission is "to promote high standards in patient care through advocacy, education, literature, and research" ( www.oandp.org). Find out (Read, " Academy Urges Bylaw Changes") how the Academy is proposing to continue fulfilling its mission while opening its doors to more professionals who can benefit from what it has to offer. Some food for thought: "An idealist believes the short run doesn't count. A cynic believes the long run doesn't matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run."