Five Questions for David Moe, CP(c)

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David Moe was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and at the age of 14 he started sweeping floors and pouring plaster at Northern Alberta Prosthetic & Orthotic Services Ltd., his family's business in Edmonton. For Moe, that was all it took—he had discovered a job that he loved, and soon he couldn't even figure out why he was getting a paycheck for doing something so enjoyable. "It was one of those things where I had no reason to look elsewhere." After spending 26 years in the family business, Moe moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, and opened Barber Prosthetics Clinic with Lorne Winder CP(c) in 2005. Involved with "everything I can get my fingers on," Moe recently joined the faculty at his alma mater, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), Burnaby, British Columbia. Married for 21 years, Moe and his wife spend a good amount of time shuffling between their two children's sporting events. "Family life keeps me pretty busy," Moe says.

1. What advice would you give to someone just entering the O&P/rehab profession or starting a business?

In spite of the fact that I love all the new technology, I find myself much more driven by the personal connections I make with the patients. That is what drives me personally and professionally. In a business sense, you have to be aware of the bottom line. But you can't lose sight of what you're doing and why you're doing it, and that is working for your patients.

2. What do you see in the future for O&P?

If technology keeps moving at the rate it is going, we may see the profession of prosthetics become far more specialized. With so many technological advances happening so quickly, it's difficult to keep up with everything.

3. How do you set yourself apart from competing businesses or practitioners in your area?

I hope that there are a number of things we do differently, but the first thing is that Barber Prosthetics is very patient focused. We look at it like it is not right until the patient tells us it's right. Though building prosthetics is one role we play, we don't make it about the prosthesis. We make it about the patient.

4. How has your career progressed?

I started way back and became certified when I was 24. I was the president of the regional prosthetics and orthotics association as well as the Canadian Association for Prosthetics and Orthotics (CAPO) from 2000 to 2002. I've been an examiner for certification exams, proctored technical exams, and I was a negotiator for Alberta for the fee structure. I've pretty much been involved with everything I can get my fingers on since being certified in 1992.

5. What are your personal and/or professional goals?

Down the road, I would like to get to a point where I can travel to all kinds of prosthetics and orthotics schools and do some guest lecturing and guest teaching. It would be especially nice if I could do that in such a way that I didn't have to get paid so that no one could tell me what to do. As soon as they start paying you, they start putting demands on your time.

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