The Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center (NUPOC) is located on the 11th floor of the historic 680 N. Lakeshore Drive Building in the heart of the Northwestern University Medical Center. Our facility is located three blocks away from the Lakeside Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) of the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. We also collaborate with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, particularly with the Departments of Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinical Services, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy. NUPOC is composed of two parts: an education program and a research program.
The Education Program, formed in 1958, has the longest history of any other school, and it remains the largest program of its kind. Because of its proximity to the NU Medical Center, the school is ideally situated to provide its students with unique educational opportunities. In cooperation with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and the NUPOC Research Program, the school benefits from the synergy of education, clinical services, and research.
Accredited by the National Commission on Orthotics and Prosthetics Education (NCOPE), Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center offers separate certificate programs for persons interested in pursuing careers as prosthetists or orthotists.
Our blended learning programs provide a strong theoretical and clinical practicum to prepare an individual for the American Board for Certification (ABC) practitioner-level certification exam. The programs consist of didactic and laboratory instruction: anatomy, kinesiology, pathology, normal and pathological gait, biomechanics, material science, evaluation, measurement, impression procedures, components, alignment, fitting, and fabrication.
The Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center offers intensive continuing education and postgraduate courses to professional personnel serving physically challenged persons. Classes are open to orthopaedists, physiatrists, general and vascular surgeons, and other physicians, and to physical, occupational and kinesiotherapists, orthotists, prosthetists, pedorthists, and other professional rehabilitation personnel. The courses are designed to train qualified personnel in the fundamental and advanced techniques of managing the amputee or the person requiring orthotics management. Instruction in new techniques of measuring, fabricating, and fitting prostheses and orthoses, as well as current concepts of treatment, are emphasized.
The Research Program's funding is provided by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The goal of our research is to improve the quality of life for persons who use prostheses (limb replacements) and orthoses (assistive systems) through creative applications of science and engineering to the Prosthetics & Orthotics (P&O) field.
Research training and education in P&O are unique at NUPOC where clinical facilities, education facilities, and research facilities are united within one medical setting. NUPOC is involved with education and training opportunities through two formal programs of higher education: the Biomedical Engineering (BME) Department at Northwestern University (NU), and the Northwestern University Prosthetic-Orthotic Center (NUPOC) Education Program. Graduate students working on their M.S. and Ph.D. degree contribute significantly to our research and development efforts.