In this series, we’ll get to know more about what inspired the Richie Brace, and how its inventor became a leader in the brace industry.
Getting into medicine was in Dr. Doug Richie’s DNA. Born in the Philadelphia, Pa. area, he comes from a lineage of doctors and nurses. His mother was a nurse and his sister also became a nurse. His grandfather practiced family medicine in Brewster, NY for 40 years and his family includes uncles and cousins who are doctors. “I guess we all have a calling for that field,” said Dr. Richie.
But his road to becoming a recognized name in podiatry and orthotic braces took many twists and turns. In high school, his love for sports inspired him to become an athletic trainer. However, life on the playing field was not as glamorous as he expected. He changed course and began to study physical therapy. He was successful in this new field of study and decided to take on the additional challenge of going to medical school.
While working as an orderly in the operating room, Dr. Richie had an encounter that changed his life. He met a podiatry student who introduced him to podiatric medicine and then realized podiatrists had a place in sports medicine. From there, he was hooked.
After 36 years in practice, Dr. Richie finds it just as rewarding as he did in the early part of his career. “Much of what we do in podiatric medicine changes people’s lives forever. Nothing could be more gratifying,” he said. For some, it may have been surgery to correct a deformity or eliminate pain. For many, it was a simple orthotic intervention that enabled them to return to an active lifestyle, such as running and completing a marathon or something else that they continue to find fulfilling. “It is extremely rewarding to see patients come back to me after being treated 20-30 years ago and they tell me how much they appreciate what I did for them at that time.”
In our next segment of this series, Dr. Richie will talk about his inspiration to invent.
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