Motion Analysis and Pediatric Mobility: Fellowship in the United States
Christopher Constantino, MD
The outside temperature right now is -22° Celcius with windchills up to -50°. As winter is starting to make its presence felt after mild December weather here in Milwaukee, my stay in the Midwest has reached its halfway mark. I am Dr. Christopher Constantino, a graduate of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine of the Philippine General Hospital. I completed my residency training in December 31, 2017. Last July 1, 2018, I started a one-year fellowship under the Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training (ARRT) for Motion Analysis and Pediatric Mobility under the joint Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Research Center (OREC) of Marquette University and Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) with support from the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)/National Institute on Disability, Independent living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR).
As prerequisites, I underwent and passed several training courses on the conduct of research and data privacy in the United States (US). Early into the fellowship, I also completed didactics and attended monthly ARRT meetings. During meetings, I present before a panel composed of other fellows, my mentor, and an expert in a chosen field. The other fellows and the expert also present their work during those meetings. A weekly Spotlight on Science is also offered for fellows at the Medical College of Wisconsin which is a series of educational seminars aimed to equip fellows with skills they can use in their career. As part of the fellowship, I also joined the following national organizations: Orthopedic Research Society (ORS), Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society (GCMAS), and American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM).
Gait analysis is done at the Center of Motion Analysis (CMA) located at the Greenway Medical Complex, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Together with other doctors, I examine and run patients at the CMA several times a week. The usual patients we see are post-trauma and cerebral palsy patients who are referred from Froedtert hospital, the primary teaching affiliate of MCW. I also underwent and completed my formal motion analysis training and practical examination at the CMA.
In addition to my work in OREC, I go to Shriners Hospitals for Children Chicago in Illinois once a week to attend their weekly rounds together with a team of Orthopedic doctors, a Physiatrist, Physical therapists, and Engineers to review clinical histories, physical examinations, videos, and gait analysis results of patients as part of pre- and postoperative planning for each patient.
I am also fortunate to be able to continue my service and advocacy work as a comic book writer of Sinag Comics for children with cancer in the Philippines. I was commissioned by my mentor to write another comic book, this time about gait analysis, that we can distribute to pediatric patients who undergo gait analysis here in America. Together with the creative team I have been in collaboration with since 2016 is veteran artist Rico Rival (he drew comics for Marvel and DC comics in the 1970s and was part of the artistic team behind the Bravestarr cartoons and the Transformers animated movie), colorist Peejay Catacutan, and co-writer Ace Chin, we created the comic book Gaitkeeper.
Currently, the art is with the colorist and the 16-page comic book will be published here in the US as soon as the colors are done. The comic book was included in a scientific poster that will be presented in the 2019 annual meeting of the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America this coming April. This comic book is also made possible through the efforts of my fraternity from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine, the Phi Kappa Mu. /p>
I am very fortunate and appreciative of this fellowship thus far because I am learning so much, and I have more to look forward to. Not only am I equipping myself with skills to run and operate a gait laboratory and analyze patients, I have also learned a lot about conducting and writing research. I am looking forward to continuing collaborative work with the brilliant people I have met and worked with even beyond this fellowship in the years to come.