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Tony Gutierrez: Growing with Bionic

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

By Tony Gutierrez, the National Clinical Specialist for Bionic Prosthetics & Orthotics. Ready to take the next steps? Find out how you could jumpstart your O&P career with Bionic.

Career Growth & Personal Development

I joined Bionic in 2014 and started in the office in Tinley Park, Illinois. I came to Bionic from a local competitor that only focused on revenue at the expense of the patient and a growth path full of empty promises. I wanted to join a team that could help me develop my ideal practice. I was hopeful that I would find that in Bionic.

I was given a yearly revenue goal with a plan to reach salary bonuses and an open path to reach it, but it was up to me to develop my referral sources. I had room to succeed, if I was willing to rise to the challenge.

At the beginning I struggled with marketing myself. It didn't take me long to realize that marketing was simply being an advocate for my patients' best interests in their clinical care and discussing this openly with as many members of their clinical team as possible. This understanding opened the door to so many opportunities and relationships with multiple members of the care team, which have improved my life and the lives of so many others.

I embraced the challenge and worked tirelessly with other clinicians in the Chicago area to grow and expand our practice (Initially 1 practice, now 5). I then took the challenge one step further and was the first to open a practice in a remote, or non-connected, area. This was quite a challenge as entering a new small community with established care providers was difficult, but we have managed to create a thriving practice in the Lafayette area that has now expanded to Terre Haute and Indianapolis.

Our team was able to accomplish our growth goals because we worked hard to integrate our clinical team into the surrounding medical community and show our value to patient care.

The growth of our clinical teams was due to our focus on quality patient-driven outcome goals and impeccable clinical and follow-up care. Our referral sources soon realized that Bionic was truly doing something different from other practices in the area.

I am very proud of these accomplishments, and it was not done alone. There was a lot of hard work, rejection, determination, rejection, and more determination before ultimately reaching success and gaining the trust required to become a preferred provider of care for these medical communities.

Opportunities to Grow as A Certified Prosthetist & Orthotist

Community Education & Empowerment

Prior to joining the field of Prosthetics and Orthotics, I was an educator. This has been a central part of my clinical care and my involvement in the medical community. Bionic has continually encouraged me to expand my efforts within the community and to focus on education.

We currently work with a local medical magnet high school in in Indiana to provide a day-long seminar on entrance into the field of prosthetics and orthotics. This is a truly rewarding experience and we have already had some of these students trickle into our clinics as interns.

Commitment to Research

In 2019 I was asked to collaborate with Rosalind Franklin University and the University of Michigan for Bionic to participate in a Department of Defense prosthetic research study focused on the implementation of adjustable above knee socket solutions and the effect on patient preference, comfort, mobility, and balance.

To date, we are about halfway through the study with a recruitment goal of 15 participants at our centers. This research will lead to several key publications to advance the field as a whole and the improve our understanding of above knee socket design, particularly concerning patient adjustability.

This opportunity led to further partnership with Rosalind Franklin University as we are currently underway with several other projects including strength comparison of 3D printed sockets to standard fabrication, a survey to assess clinical use and effectiveness of subischial sockets, and evaluation of subischial sockets in a K2-level population.

We continue to expand our research partnerships and have worked with Valparaiso University on variations in design of Reciprocating Gait Orthosis (RGO) for a pediatric population.

Opportunities for Outreach Around the World

In the spring of 2019, I was offered an opportunity to go and assist one of our 10 clinics in India for some complex clinical cases. We were able to partner with a local rehabilitation hospital in Ghaziabad to offer clinical care to an underserved community.

In 4 days, we were able to partner with our local clinicians to evaluate, treat, and design prosthetic solutions for over 30 patients. This was such a magical opportunity where we were able to provide care for some patients who either had nothing or a homemade prosthesis.

We were able to design and deliver several prostheses for these patients and give them a chance at increased mobility and bilateral hand use. This was truly a life changing experience, and I am thankful I was given the opportunity to go and serve this patient population, as well as work with prosthetists on a global level to help improve their care.

I am still friends with these dedicated clinicians on social media and often share ideas and solutions amongst ourselves to improve our clinical care on a global network.

Unlimited Opportunity, Key Support

Bionic has given me an open path to grow into a role that best suits my strengths. This freedom means the world to me and the opportunity I have been given to choose my own path is the best thing about being with Bionic.

In 2022, I began my transition to a new role as a National Clinical Specialist for Advanced Prosthetics Solutions. This role developed due to my continued pursuit of understanding the best and most unique applications of our available technologies, my commitment to education of myself and community, and my willingness to travel and assist any clinician in Bionic with their most difficult cases.

Bionic has supported me in all of these efforts as they are my passions, and they are all focused on integrating Bionic into its surrounding medical communities.

Bionic has presented itself to me as an open canvas where I can set my own course and change it along the way. I have been able to design my practice and my role to best utilize my strengths and this is the best opportunity anyone can give you!

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