Final Edition of John Michael's Corner

This Corner began in 2000 as an experiment on the fledgling OANDP.COM web site to see if there would be interest within the P&O community in a monthly e-zine containing short, conversational articles and editorials on a variety of field-related topics. Since then, OANDP.COM has blossomed into the pre-eminent source for prosthetic and orthotic information and links, and many things have evolved as well.

The original Digital Reference Library from this Corner has been superseded by the far more useful DRFOP Virtual Library containing tens of thousands of pages of word-searchable files, as well as PDF images, of a growing collection of classic works in the field.
The original Digital Reference Library from this Corner has been superseded by the far more useful DRFOP Virtual Library containing tens of thousands of pages of word-searchable files, as well as PDF images, of a growing collection of classic works in the field.

  • The Digital Reference Library was a novel experiment, funded by CPO Services, Inc., to convert key historic P&O texts in PDF files that were available without cost 24-7 to anyone willing to download the files. The Spanish language texts, in particular, have been widely read and downloaded across the globe. By 2008, this concept had been implemented with far more elegance by the O&P Virtual Library, which is a project of the Digital Resource Foundation for O&P. The DRFOP Virtual Library is not limited to PDF images. This growing collection of historic P&O literature, available without charge, also has word-searchable texts, peer reviewed journals, and classic publications.
  • Summaries from various national and international meetings provided timely overviews of new ideas and emerging technologies. This function has largely been assumed by the proliferation of glossy P&O news magazines, whose staff of professional writers do a far more thorough job of covering the Academy and AOPA annual meetings, usually with dozens of color photos, than any single author could hope to do.
  • Brief technical articles and clinical tips provided a forum for concise summaries of some of the clever ideas developed by innovative clinicians and technicians that were not suitable for publication in peer-reviewed journals. This too is now done very well by the professionals who work for our industry magazines.
  • The monthly format provided a "bully pulpit" for editorials on heartfelt topics, and the Comments section let readers query, clarify, and challenge the ideas expressed. Spam bots that flood every open forum with advertisements for male enhancement herbs and get-rich-quick schemes eventually ground this interaction to a halt. Today's P&O magazines regularly discuss issues of interest to the field, and typically several experts are interviewed to offer balanced coverage. So, this need too is largely being met in today's world.

The challenge of generating sufficient time to generate new, and hopefully interesting, articles month after month and year after year also gradually took its toll. In 2005, bimonthly posting started but the content was then less timely. By 2007, quarterly issues were being considered but final factor was being elected to serve as the Honorary Secretary of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics for the next three years.

Constitutionally, the HS is an ex officio member of most of the standing committees and has customarily prepared the minutes for not only the Board meetings but also for several committees. Historically, meetings have been held twice per year, and I planned my schedule accordingly. After taking office in July, however, the new Board agreed that the many important activities ISPO is undertaking worldwide necessitate monthly e-meetings. The time commitment required to take, distribute, and correct minutes each month from several hours of internet meetings, on top of minuting week-long face-to-face meetings twice each year, meant that there would be almost no time for future Corners.

So, this effort is now coming to an end. The old Corners will remain archived online for future reference, and all chapters from the Spanish language textbooks on Lower Limb Prosthetics remain available for downloading, along with the classic text from UCLA on Upper Limb Prostheses. Best wishes to everyone for a healthy, happy and productive New Year.



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