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School of Health Sciences

Academic Advising
3070 Human Health Building
433 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4452
(location map)
(248) 370-2369
shs@oakland.edu

Dean's Office
Human Health Building
(248) 370-3562
inhealth@oakland.edu

School of Health Sciences

Academic Advising
3070 Human Health Building
433 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4452
(location map)
(248) 370-2369
shs@oakland.edu

Dean's Office
Human Health Building
(248) 370-3562
inhealth@oakland.edu

image of a young woman holding an orthotic foot and ankle brace

Orthotist and Prosthetist Assistant Studies

Within the Department of Human Movement Science, the Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science offers an Orthotist and Prosthetist Assistant Studies (OPA) specialization. Students will develop the skills needed for face-to-face patient care under the direction of a certified orthotist or prosthetist. Clinically, the OPA is a professionally accredited profession requiring successful post-graduate completion of both a clinical residency and a professional licensing exam to enter practice.

The foci of this challenging field includes providing multiple levels of patient care, through appropriate orthotic/orthosis (bracing) and prosthetic (partial limb replacement) interventions, based upon the knowledge of pathologies and injuries, the physical assessment of impacts and compensations on gait and functional movement, and the selection/refinement of patient solutions.

Oakland University is pursuing national accreditation of the OPA specialization through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the National Commission on Orthotic and Prosthetic Education (NCOPE). A site visit is planned for 2021.

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Curriculum

For information regarding specific course requirements, please contact Dr. Dan Goble, director of the Exercise Science program, at dgoble@oakland.edu.

Orthotist and Prosthetist Assistant Studies Minor

An 18-credit minor in Orthotist and Prosthetist Assistant Studies is available to students in any major. Students in the minor will take courses from the Orthotist and Prosthetist Assistant Studies (OPA) specialization, which is part of the Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science degree program. The OPA specialization provides preparation for a career as an Orthotist or Prosthetist Assistant. These individuals perform orthotic and prosthetic procedures and related tasks associated with patient care. Specifically, an Orthotist and Prosthetist Assistant will 1) Assist with delegated evaluation procedures, 2) Assist with the implementation of established orthotic or prosthetic treatment plans, 3) Assist with follow-up treatment plans, 4) Comply with organizational policies and procedures and 5) Promote competency and enhancement of the Orthotic and Prosthetic profession. For specific course requirements, visit the Undergraduate Catalog.

Career Information

An Orthotic and/or Prosthetic Assistant performs patient management tasks under the supervision of a certified practitioner as well as fabricating, repairing and maintaining devices. Assistants play an important role on the healthcare team. They often work in patient care facilities, such as hospitals, physical therapy clinics or privately-owned orthotics and prosthetics offices, where they fit, customize and modify orthotic and prosthetic devices to make sure they fit the patients' unique needs.

Job Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there is above-average job growth expected for Orthotist and/or Prosthetist Assistants (and all medical appliance technician jobs) over the next decade. Increased limb loss caused by cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as technological advancements leading to the updates of existing orthotic and prosthetic devices are expected to create job growth in the field.

Average Salary
The BLS reports that the median annual wage for medical appliance technicians, such as orthotist and prosthetist assistants was $40,690 in May 2019.

Contact Us

Dr. Daniel Goble
Associate Professor and Director
Exercise Science
1015 Human Health Building
dgoble@oakland.edu

Academic Advising

Michelle Love
Office Assistant III
3105 Human Health Building
mlove@oakland.edu
(248) 364-8855