Susan L. Kapp, CPO, FAAOP
Susan and her daughter, Sydney and husband, Phil at Glacier National Park
Susan L. Kapp, CPO, FAAOP has been in the prosthetics and orthotics profession for 30 years and is an Associate Professor and Director of the UT Southwestern Prosthetics and Orthotics program in Dallas, Texas.
She received her Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M, her Master's in Education in Educational Technology from the University of Texas at Brownsville, and her prosthetic and orthotic certificates from Northwestern.
When she's not teaching, seeing patients, or working on a professional committee or board, she enjoys traveling and photography. We recently caught up with Susan to ask a few questions.
Why did you choose this profession?
I was looking for a health related career and in college roomed with a girl who wore a prosthesis. I researched the field and was fascinated.
The combination of clinical and technical work was a good fit for me.
What has been most satisfying about your decision to go into the field?
I enjoy the variety of experiences my university position affords me. I have the pleasure of working with students and residents eager to learn.
My work with patients keeps everything in perspective and I get great satisfaction from the positive effect I have on their lives.
What has changed the most about the field since you became a practitioner?
Technology. I started at a time when thermoplastics were seldom used and PTB and quadrilateral sockets were the norm.
Since the introduction of the Seattle foot, in 1981, I have seen an abundance of new technologies and alternative designs.
I am happy to be practicing during such a dynamic time.
What has been the most frustrating about this field?
I get frustrated with the reimbursement process and its ever changing rules. I wish we could change that.
Finding and documenting the evidence with which to support clinical decisions is a slow process.
Of what professional accomplishment(s) are you most proud?
My five years on the NCOPE board and chapters in the last two Prosthetic Atlases and one in the new Textbook of Military Medicine, Care of the Combat Amputee.
If you were speaking to high school or college students, what would you say to encourage them to choose this field?
This is a wonderful profession with opportunity. We serve so many people with interesting problems and are able make a difference in their lives.
If you want patient care, like to problem-solve and enjoy working with your hands, then this a profession for you.
How has your Academy membership been of value to you?
Mel Stills, CO taught me that as a professional one has to be involved in one's profession to help move it forward.
I have had the opportunity to be involved in numerous Academy committees over the years and have gone through the executive committee of the Texas Chapter.
I enjoyed these experiences and made many friends in the process.