John Reynolds, CPO

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Reynolds and a patient.

Reynolds and a patient.

John Reynolds, CPO, started his O&P career in 1973, graduated from Clayton State University, and earned certificates in orthotics and prosthetics from Northwestern University. He served on the board of directors of the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics (ABC) as president and as a member of the ABC Clinical Patient Management examination team. He also served on the board of directors of the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) for seven years.

While succeeding in many professional roles, Reynolds says that his personal goals have always been seeing his son and daughter succeed in whatever they choose to do. He also participates in humanitarian trips to Mexico each year. He says of his mentors, "I have been very lucky in that so many have helped me in so many ways."

1. How did you become involved with O&P?

After high school, my mother suggested that I set up an interview at Southeast Hanger, Atlanta. I interviewed there with Howard Thranhardt, CP, and began in fall 1973. I had no clue what I was getting into. I started working in a basement making brace parts. In 2001, I opened my own facility, Reynolds Prosthetics & Orthotics, Maryville, Tennessee, before feeling the devastating effects of the Recovery Audit Contractor audits.

2. Please describe what your work entails.

I'm the prosthetics clinical director for Active Life, Los Angeles. I see patients at five Active Life facilities in the greater Los Angeles area. I have the opportunity to share all that I have seen and learned with younger practitioners, just as my mentors did with me. My work includes educating practitioners about the latest technology, developing prostheses to meet the needs of our patients, and developing and marketing the Active Life brand.

3. How do you set yourself apart from competing practitioners in your area?

Experience sets me apart-there aren't as many of us older guys around. I have learned from my own mistakes, and at the end of the day, I make sure my patients are cared for.

4. What do you see in the future for O&P?

O&P businesses will need to figure out how to provide state-of-the-art prosthetic care and survive financially, and it's going to be a challenge. Insurance companies and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are trying to take away what we have established as a profession that helps to restore lives.

5. What advice would you give to someone just entering the O&P profession or starting his or her own business?

Regarding patient care, listen to the patient, watch his or her body language, include the family when you can, and always be positive and honest. Professionally, learn as much as you can from others, listen to the mistakes others have made, and have a friend in the banking business.