Clinical Methods in Orthotics & Prosthetics

About the Program

The Clinical Methods in Orthotics & Prosthetics Program is a post degree program. All applicants must have a 4-year B.Sc. degree from an accredited institution. A 4-year degree in Engineering or Kinesiology will be considered. The program accepts only 10 students per year.

The program's first class was selected in the Spring of 1979 and the program began the following September. The program's first two years were based out of the Casa Loma Campus at George Brown College with clinical sites at West Park Hospital, and the Ontario Crippled Children Centre (now the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital) in the Toronto region, and Chedoke-McMaster Hospitals (now the Hamilton Health Sciences Corp.) in Hamilton. Due to problems with the transportation of supplies, projects and students, lack of available space at the Casa Loma Campus and the lack of proximity to a patient care facility, the program moved to West Park Hospital (Weston) in the summer of 1981. In the summer of 1995 the programs moved to the Sunnybrook Health Science Centre and are currently located in the Sunnybrook Centre for Independent Living (SCIL). Over 8,000 square feet of space was renovated and allocated solely for the program's use.

The strength of the program is the structured clinical education provided by various clinical settings. In conjunction with many curriculum changes over the years, there are many clinical facilities and practitioners participating to deliver the various segments of the program.

PLEASE NOTE: Students are responsible to travel to the various hospitals and clinics in the program by either personal or public transportation.

Upon graduation from the program, the students enter a 3450 hour residency program (under the auspices of the Orthotics Prosthetics Canada - in either prosthetics or orthotics under the supervision of a certified practitioner. Upon completion of the residency program, graduates are then eligible to sit for CBCPO certification exams operated by OPC in the discipline in which they have completed a residency in. Graduates initially have the entry level skills as an orthotist or prosthetist, to be a functioning member of the clinical team and fulfill the needs of referred patients.

The program has an exemplary record in terms of attrition and graduates making significant contributions to the field. The program has a historical attrition rate of only 8% with 95% of the graduates still currently employed in the profession. Many graduates of the program now hold senior positions in the profession with many being Directors, Managers, or Owners of various facilities across Canada. Others are directly involved in education, research, and a few are employed by major manufacturers of Prosthetic and Orthotic components and/or supplies.

The program has many unique activities that have become fixtures in the operation of the program. Since the inception of the program it is mandatory for all students to present a related topic in a formal setting on a monthly basis. These "Grand Rounds" sessions occur once a month in the presence of faculty, students, and professionals from the field.

Program Goals & Objectives

The Clinical Methods in Orthotics and Prosthetics program at George Brown College prepares individuals in the clinical and technical aspects of Orthotic and Prosthetic management and develops problem solving skills necessary for the graduate to function as an integral part of the health care team.

Graduating students will have the entry level skills as an Orthotist or Prosthetist and allow them to proceed into the required 3450-hour Residency in either orthotics or prosthetics. This Residency period is under the supervision of a certified practitioner before the graduate qualifies to sit for professional certification exams in the discipline they are interning. For more details on the residency to become a certified clinician, please refer to Orthotics Prosthetics Canada.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Clinical Methods in Orthotics and Prosthetics program the graduate intern prosthetist or orthotist will be able to:

  1. Gather and assimilate information about a patient via medical records, prosthetic/orthotic history, patient's comments, clinical examination, etc., and be sensitive to the implications of the relevant information.
  2. To recognize patient conditions requiring medical/health care beyond the scope of Orthotic and Prosthetic practice.
  3. Based on the appropriate prescription, design and articulate a prosthetic/orthotic treatment plan based upon the prescription and assessment of the patient and, when necessary, inform various members of the health care team.
  4. Analyze information concerning the proposed prosthetic/orthotic treatment plan and forecast the success of the appliance in terms of clinical principles and the patient's disability/pathology and expectations.
  5. Obtain all appropriate measurements, casts, layouts etc., necessary to proceed with the prosthetic/orthotic treatment plan.
  6. Perform and prepare all the appropriate positive cast modifications, layout adjustments, etc., to proceed with the fabrication of the prosthetic/orthotic appliance.
  7. Formulate and fabricate prosthetic/orthotic appliances utilizing a knowledge of the appropriate prosthetic/orthotic materials and by employing prescribed and accepted laboratory procedures.
  8. Perform patient fittings of the appropriate prosthetic/orthotic devices, including static and dynamic alignments, evaluating the appliance on the patient, and instructing the patient in its use.
  9. Perform re-assessments, adjustments or replacements of the prosthetic/orthotic appliance, in consultation with the referring physician, as the patient's age, physical condition, or life-style change.
  10. Keep abreast of new developments concerning prosthetic and orthotic care.
  11. Maintain organized patient records, encompassing all pertinent information relating to the ongoing prosthetic/orthotic treatment.
  12. Identify and relate to the various health care resources that are available to the Prosthetist/Orthotist and his or her patients.
  13. Appreciate the roles relating to the supervision of support personnel and laboratory activities and also the administrative duties required in the management of a prosthetic/orthotic practice.
  14. Appreciate the roles that the Prosthetic/Orthotic professional bodies play in the maintenance of standards and the development of the profession and to be willing to contribute towards its advancement.

Course Listing

Semester 1

Clinical Techniques - Practical
Clinical Techniques - Theory
laboratory Techniques
Kinesiology & Biomechanics

Semester 2

Clinical Techniques - Practical Clinical Techniques - Theory
Laboratory Techniques

Semester 3

Clinical Techniques - Practical
Clinical Techniques - Theory
Laboratory Techniques
Clinical Case Studies
Powered Prosthetics

Semester 4

Clinical Techniques - Practical
Clinical Techniques - Theory
(25% of grade is towards an Independent Research Project)
Laboratory Techniques
Practice Management

Statistical Information

Students per Class: 10
Classes running per year: 2
Attrition (past five years): 0

Employment Record: 95% or better

2021 Clinical Methods Selection Process

The Clinical Methods in Orthotics and Prosthetics Program is a post-graduate program that is open to applicants with a specific degree, as outlined in the admission requirements.

The selection of students involves a two-step procedure:

i) Eligible applicants will be invited to take an online admissions test involving subjects covering Biology (anatomy, physiology, pathology), Biophysics and Biomechanics, Spatial Relations, and Prosthetics and Orthotics knowledge.

Testing will be available on Saturday, February 27th or Sunday, February 28th, 10a.m.-2p.m. (Eastern Standard Time), 2021. Scheduling and arrangements for this testing will be done via the email applicants submitted when registering with Ontario Colleges.

ii) The top 18 ranked students from the Admissions testing will be invited to an online video interview after Friday, March 5th, 2021. Every applicant that qualifies, will send two letters of reference to the Sunnybrook Campus address below no later than Wednesday, March 10th, 2021. Online interviews will run from Saturday, March 13th to Friday, March 19th.