<img style="float: right;" src="https:\/\/opedge.com\/Content\/OldArticles\/images\/2008-06_11\/11-1.jpg" hspace="4" vspace="4" \/>\r\n\r\nMatthew B. Dobbs, MD, associate professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, has dedicated his career to surgery and the care for all pediatric orthopedic conditions, and his primary interest involves the treatment of clubfoot and other foot deformities. Dobbs' future looks a lot like his present. He said he plans to "continue to care for clubfoot children and continue training others around the world to use [a] non-operative approach." That non-operative approach is a pediatric clubfoot brace he helped develop called the Dobbs Bar, which has been called the first major enhancement in clubfoot bracing in more than 40 years. Dobbs completed his medical school education in 1991 at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. He was the recipient of the 2002 Hunterian Society Gold Medal Award for his research.\r\n<h1><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><strong style="color: #ce1429;">1.<\/strong><\/span><\/h1>\r\n<strong>Who has inspired you in your life and professional pursuits?<\/strong>\r\n\r\nI have had several mentors during my career, but one stands out. Ignacio Ponseti, MD, trained me at the University of Iowa during my orthopedic residency. He is the one who developed the non-operative treatment for clubfoot. Through him I learned the joy of taking care of children. He also inspired me to give of myself and travel to third-world countries teaching physicians how to treat clubfoot without surgery.\r\n<h1><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><strong style="color: #ce1429;">2.<\/strong><\/span><\/h1>\r\n<strong>How has your career progressed?<\/strong>\r\n\r\nMy clinical practice has evolved into caring for children with foot deformities such as clubfoot. I was involved in designing a new brace (the Dobbs Bar) for the maintenance of clubfoot correction that has dramatically increased compliance with brace wear and decreased the complications seen with traditional clubfoot bracing. I am also involved in trying to identify the genetic cause of clubfoot, which may lead to better treatments and perhaps prevention strategies.\r\n<h1><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><strong style="color: #ce1429;">3.<\/strong><\/span><\/h1>\r\n<strong>What have you tried to do with the Dobbs Bar?<\/strong>\r\n\r\nThere are two main features: a dynamic bar rather than a static bar; and a soft duraflex boot that fits inside of an AFO brace that then attaches to the bar. The dynamic bar allows independent leg movement that makes the patient more comfortable and therefore improves compliance. The soft boot greatly reduces skin sores commonly seen with traditional clubfoot bracing.\r\n<h1><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><strong style="color: #ce1429;">4.<\/strong><\/span><\/h1>\r\n<strong>What emerging trends or exciting advances do you see for your field?<\/strong>\r\n\r\nWith the completion of the human genome project, rapid advances in the understanding of the genetics of orthopedic disease will take place. This in turn will lead to improved treatments for many disorders and in some cases preventive strategies.\r\n<h1><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><strong style="color: #ce1429;">5.<\/strong><\/span><\/h1>\r\n<strong>What advice would you give to someone just entering the profession? What is your approach to patient care?<\/strong>\r\n\r\nFor someone just entering the field, find a niche-a problem that needs solving-and go out and solve that problem. This is the way to make a difference in the world. Providing the best care for patients is the best way to set yourself apart. To do that, my main goals are sensitivity, listening, compassion, and delivering the best care.