<img style="float: right;" src="https:\/\/opedge.com\/Content\/OldArticles\/images\/2003-11_09\/rob_kistenberg.jpg" hspace="4" vspace="4" \/>\r\n\r\n<b>Have you ever really thought about\r\nit?<\/b> As orthotists and prosthetists, we construct and\r\ncreate. In addition, we possess something that differentiates us\r\nfrom architects and engineers--those who fall under the overarching\r\nheading of "builders." We possess a desire to serve the\r\nextraordinary populations who have either lost or were born missing\r\nlimbs or who suffer from the broad range of diseases that leave\r\nthem in need of an external appliance for support or correction.\r\nBecause our "buildings" are designed to heal, we are healthcare\r\npractitioners too.\r\n\r\nAt some point in our mutual histories, we decided that just\r\nworking in healthcare or being a builder alone would not\r\nsuffice--we needed to be both. The profession of orthotics and\r\nprosthetics afforded an outlet for that unique combination. We\r\nrealized that we could help people recover from their disability\r\none brace or limb at a time. Perhaps upon this realization you\r\nchose, as your mission in life, to utilize your skills and talents\r\ntowards creating devices that would make people's lives better. A\r\nprosthetist\/orthotist was born.\r\n\r\n<i>"\u00a0 <b>Make your life a mission --not an intermission."\r\n--Arnold Glasgow<\/b><\/i>\r\n\r\nA mission, as defined by Merriam-Webster is: "a specific task\r\nwith which a person or group is charged." Another definition\r\ndepicts the religious aspect of a mission: "a ministry commissioned\r\nby a religious organization to propagate its faith or carry on\r\nhumanitarian work." While a mission may refer to a specific task,\r\n("We're on a mission from God." --Elwood Blues from <i>The Blues\r\nBrothers<\/i> movie), one's calling goes beyond this: "the vocation\r\nor profession in which one customarily engages" or from a spiritual\r\ncore: "a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action,\r\nespecially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence."\r\n\r\nWhether you are a prosthetist, orthotist, or both, consider how\r\nand why you became interested in our profession. Was it because you\r\nenjoy the challenge of being charged with the task of solving\r\npeople's problems as they relate to orthopedic insufficiencies? Was\r\nthere a defining moment when you recognized prosthetics and\r\northotics as the occupation for you and you never looked back? Did\r\nyou have an influential uncle, aunt, or grandparent who impacted\r\nyou as a child? Perhaps it was because you decided at some point\r\nthat you were called to help people however you could and making\r\nlimbs and braces was a profound way to do so? Amid the harsh\r\nrealities of insurance battles for authorizations and payment,\r\nshriveling reimbursements, endless paperwork, and encroaching\r\ncompetition, it is a good time to reflect upon that initial\r\nmotivation or inspiration that brought you to this point.\r\n\r\nWe are part of a vital network of medical professionals\r\ndedicated to healing, uplifting, and nurturing. We do it because we\r\ngenuinely care. We do it because we can. As with the fit of any\r\ndevice, situations and circumstances change, resulting in necessary\r\nadjustments. Ask yourself if are you continuing to be true to your\r\nmission or calling. Ask yourself, "Is it time for an\r\nadjustment?"\r\n\r\nRemember that we can touch the lives of human beings in need in\r\nmany different ways. It can be through mission work in war-torn,\r\nlandmine-laced countries or by volunteering in developing nations\r\nwith limited or no access to services. Your contributions to our\r\nprofessional organizations further the evolution of our profession,\r\nwhich in turn reaches out around the globe. Teaching or being a\r\npositive mentor to students creates a legacy of excellence.\r\nWhatever your fingerprint upon our profession may be, your service\r\nis invaluable.\r\n\r\nAnd never forget that something as simple as taking the extra\r\ntime to really get to know the persons sitting on your examination\r\ntable beyond their diagnoses can change their lives and affect\r\ntheir perspective on their disability.