Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

MAGH Seminar: Dr. Cody McDonald, “Access to Prosthetics and Orthotics in Low and Middle-Income Countires” (11/6/2019)

Posted: 11/3/2019 (Local Events)

Please join us next Wednesday when The Medical Anthropology and Global Health Seminar Series presents:

 Dr. Cody McDonald, Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington

“Access to Prosthetics and Orthotics in Low and Middle-Income Countries”

Date:  Wednesday November 6

Time:  3:30-4:50

Location:  Johnson 102


People around the world experience disability due to unaccommodated physical impairments. Prosthetic and orthotic devices serve to accommodate many physical disabilities, thereby restoring mobility, function and participation in society. Successful prosthetic and orthotic service provision relies upon a well-trained and accessible workforce of prosthetists/orthotists. Successful education of prosthetic and orthotic professionals requires a thorough understanding of the current personnel need and state of prosthetist/orthotist education. To date, the global need for and education of prosthetists/orthotists is largely undocumented. This body of work addresses three aims (1) estimate region specific prosthetist personnel need to serve the population of people with amputation based on estimates of global amputation prevalence due to trauma and diabetes, (2) examine the prosthetic and orthotic education, curriculum and teaching methods described in prosthetic and orthotic literature and (3) explore how prosthetic and orthotic faculty in Ghana and the U.S. access information.

Global Burden of Disease (GBD) amputation estimates were used in a secondary data analysis to provide descriptive interpretation for prosthetic and orthotic service provision and calculate estimates of prosthetist need globally. A systematic review of current prosthetic and orthotic education research was used to aggregate the body of literature and identify areas for development. Lastly, a social network analysis was conducted to explore information access and exchange among faculty at two prosthetic and orthotic professional preparation programs. Together this body of work explores the global prosthetic and orthotic workforce at three different levels.


Dr. McDonald is a certified and licensed prosthetist/orthotist with an MPH in Global Health and PhD in Rehabilitation Science. She graduated from the University of Washington prosthetics and orthotics program in 2006, completed both residencies at the University of California San Francisco and continued to work at UCSF in clinical practice until 2011. She then worked as an orthotist mentor at the Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE) in Vientiane, Laos. She has continued her international work with ongoing collaborations in Peru and Ghana. Dr. McDonald’s research explores amputation prevalence, prosthetist/orthotist education, prosthesis and orthosis user outcomes and building global workforce capacity. She currently serves on the executive board of the U.S. Chapter of the International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics and conducts research and teaches at the University of Washington. Dr. McDonald will move into an Acting Assistant Professor role in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine in January 2020.

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Date: 11/06/2019

Time: 3:30-4:50 PM

Location: Johnson 102