Editor's Note - March 2020

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By Andrea Spridgen

As many of you gather at the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists' (the Academy's) Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium to enhance your clinical skills through educational sessions and learn about new technologies, we are pleased to offer a special issue of The O&P EDGE with a dual focus on pediatric O&P and professional development of new practitioners as they prepare to enter the profession.

"Compliance in Pediatric O&P Care" explores an essential element for successful outcomes in this population. Unlike interventions for adults, compliance in pediatric care is a family affair; young children may be unable to make choices about wear, or to express whether a device is causing pain or whether they simply prefer not to wear it, and older children may be reluctant to use an intervention due to peer influence about the aesthetic appearance.

This issue's contribution from the Academy's Spinal Orthotics Society, "Influencing Compliance in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis," provides further insight into the complexity of positive treatment outcomes with patients who are young enough to be under parental influence, yet old enough to have a great deal of control over their own decision-making. This article gives several tips on ways to get patients and parents alike onboard with wear schedules using sensors, communication strategies, and presentation of clear information.

Our second focus of the issue points to O&P career preparation beyond the classroom. While formal education is essential for new practitioners to enter the profession, there are other intangible aspects of their professional development that provide an important role in shaping their burgeoning careers. We explore two of these areas in "Tomorrow's O&P: Fueled by Student Energy, Driven by Student Organizations," and "What Are Clinical Supervisors Looking for in Residents?" In the first article, faculty advisors and current and former student participants share their stories about how the experience gained by participating in student O&P organizations enhances student learning, leadership, and extracurricular hands-on opportunities. The second probes the characteristics of effective clinical learners that will help residents make the most of the final step in their educational experience as they prepare to become self-reliant clinicians.

I hope you enjoy the dual-focused issue, and if you are at the Academy meeting, please stop by booth 24 and say hello to the EDGE and Amplitude staff.

Happy reading.