Two weekends ago I took my Orthotic Fitter Certification test. It took place in a computer testing center in a bank in Rochester NY. Other than the 2 of us taking tests and person administrating the exams the bank was empty and quiet on a Saturday afternoon. The other test taker was on her second attempt at some sort of counseling/ mental health examination. The test administrator asked me what in the world an Orthotic Fitter was. I gave her a brief explanation and she still looked puzzled. After the other test taker and I checked all our belongings into a locked cabinet, We were issued pieces of scrap paper and 2 pencils each and then marched into a tiny cubical of a room with cameras pointing at us from every angle.

I smiled at the camera over my computer monitor, clicked OK, and it took a dorky looking picture of me which was then posted to the top Right corner of the screen. Great. Then I had to answer a bunch of strangely worded multiple choice questions that were designed to trick me into answering incorrectly. Somewhere around question 75 I thought to myself that this sort of exam is really testing to see if you are good at test taking, not necessarily if you thoroughly understand your subject matter. Oh well.

I stuck to my usual test taking strategy, blowing through the easy questions quickly and then going back through to check my work and puzzle about the harder ones. I hadn’t really studied for this test like I usually do, it was hard because the subject matter was broad; how to brace any part of the body for any possible injury. How do you even study for that? I had settled for reading back through my notes from the Orthotic Fitter class I attended and flipping through an old text book that my boss lent me from his days in Orthotist School.

Thankfully I was able to piece together all this info and answer most of the questions without much trouble. After I was sure I had done my best I clicked the STOP button, waved good luck to my fellow test taker and walked out into the hallway. As I exited the room I could hear a little printer on top of the locked cabinet whirring. It spit out a single piece of paper and the test administrator picked it up. She glanced at it before giving it me, said “congratulations” and handed me my purse from inside the cabinet. That was it. Another test over with. No big deal.  Another certification under my belt. A couple more letters behind my name. (Now it is officially Angela Smalley MS, CES, BOCPD, COF).

Now I’m a Certified Orthotic Fitter, which means I can fit any type of prefabricated braces for any part of the body. Yay! So the shape and focus of this blog may change a little now. You might see me writing about knee injuries or elbow braces. But don’t worry. I won’t forget Pedorthics.

Walk well.

P.S. Sorry for the lack of pictures…Here is a link to the BOC’s website explaining what an Orthotic Fitter is in case you are interested: