Jeremy Murray faced a challenge. When you make more than 125 face masks a year, how do you further expand your knowledge of the profession? By happy coincidence, he stumbled on a solution three years ago that has benefited him and ABC alike.
In 2014, Murray, a Michigan orthotist, found himself in New York City working on a special project for a patient and in need of an O&P facility that would let him use their office space. That’s when Murray met Michelle Yakaboski and John Rheinstein who welcomed him in at the NYC Hanger Clinic. During his time there, Murray happened to mention to Yakaboski that he didn’t have many opportunities to network with other practitioners, nor did he have a way to fully connect with professionals outside of his specific clinical focus. Yakaboski immediately connected him to ABC and encouraged him to volunteer.
“I was looking for a way to have an impact on people entering the profession, but also to network more and meet people,” said Murray. “As it happens, ABC has been the most rewarding, important contribution to my career.”
Currently serving as an auditor for ABC’s Clinical Patient Management (CPM) exam, Murray works behind the scenes in a role akin to a replay review official. Prior to this he worked with candidates as an examiner.
Murray explains how his small niche – upper extremity and sports medicine – means he doesn’t get to spend a lot of time on some orthotic topics outside of his ABC volunteer work. “For me, it’s a thirst for knowledge. Every time I’m there [at the ABC exams], I learn something new from the other practitioners. It’s created so many avenues that I’d otherwise not have.”
At his office, he fosters curiosity and passion for the profession with sports medicine students who don’t normally get exposure to orthotics and prosthetics. “These folks don’t know how to pronounce the terms, let alone know what we do.” Over the course of a year, Murray gives a glimpse of the profession to about 150 students by working closely with Eastern Michigan and Wayne State Universities to provide office visits as well as lecturing.
Murray takes inspiration from those who come to him seeking an avenue to perform to their best abilities. This could be a patient looking for a way to improve his golf swing…an Olympic hopeful with a fractured face who just wants to get back out there and move forward with her training…a kinesiology student in search of a career.
While Murray spends a great deal of time providing care for athletes (even some pretty famous ones like Kobe Bryant and Olympic Gold Medalist Reid Priddy), he particularly likes working with students. He calls the profession a creative science – “art and science rolled into one.” Students enjoy the patient care aspect as well as the creativity and hands-on nature of creating what he calls “artistic devices.”
Murray talks passionately about how his patients simply want to improve their lives and move forward. It inspires him, and he sums it up succinctly: “I create things so folks can go out and play.”