Meet Audra Koopman

A Q&A with Master of Prosthetics & Orthotics graduate student, Audra Koopman

What specialty are you pursuing and what year are you in your program? 

I’m pursuing a Master’s in Prosthetics and Orthotics, and I’m a second-year graduate student.

Why did you choose this specialty? 

I chose this specialty due to familial ties to adaptive sports and massage therapy for children with special needs, as well as my passion for helping others achieve their goals. I have seen firsthand how important prosthetic and orthotic care can be to family and friends and I wanted to become a holistic clinician to give back to my community. 

Where are you from and where did you go to school for your undergraduate degree?

I was born in Seattle, and raised in Fort Collins, Colorado. I attended Penn State University, competed in Track and Field for 4 years and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Movement Science. 

 What are you doing for research/research interests?

For my Capstone, I am creating a research proposal with an end goal to improve the prosthetic and orthotic (P&O) care, as well as health outcomes, for Black and Brown communities. Marginalized groups have poor health outcomes due to many social determinants of health often out of our control, so I am interested in using personal experiences of P&O patients and feedback from P&O clinicians to propose outreach efforts to mitigate this large disparity!

What are your plans after completing your current program?

After completing my Master’s of Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics, I will go on to complete a residency in each discipline before sitting for my board exams to become a Certified Prosthetist Orthotist. I am currently in the process of the residency search, but wouldn’t mind taking some time off to travel, take a breath, and celebrate the conclusion of my academic career!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my (limited) spare time I enjoy being active outdoors, roller skating, adventuring around Seattle, practicing yoga, playing pickleball and card games with my friends, drawing/painting, and sitting by the beautiful water!

Is there anything else you’d like to share? 

I was recently selected to participate in the AOPA (American Prosthetic and Orthotic Association) Policy Forum where we lobbied for the Medicare Orthotics and Prosthetics Patient-Centered Care Act with our Washington Representatives in the house and senate. This was a great opportunity to advance my advocacy skills and expand my activism experience!

Thank you for letting me share my story!