Nathan Sutti, B.S.

Nathan Sutti, Alumnus of the Prosthetics-Orthotics Program
“Not only can you work with your hands … but you’re able to share something with the patient, and to provide them with a device that’s going to help them in their day-to-day lives.”

B.S., Prosthetics-Orthotics
UT Southwestern Medical Center ’09

Instructor, UTSW Department of Health Care Services

Getting Started

“I got into [prosthetics-orthotics] after I lost my leg in a motorcycle accident. I was 17 years old at the time. I originally thought, growing up on a farm, that I was going to be a farmer, some type of mechanic, something along those lines. But after losing my leg, my perspective kind of changed … Knowing that I went through what I went through, I just felt that I wanted to help other people who had gone through the same situation.”

Changing Lives

“There’s no better feeling than having someone who comes into your department who hasn’t walked in maybe six to eight months after an accident, maybe they’re in a wheelchair, they may have had cancer or some other pathology that resulted in the situation they’re in, and then to watch them go from where they were and have them go to where you take them and have them get up, put the prosthesis on, and then walk right out your door … that really can’t be put into words.”

Beyond the Classroom

“Because I enjoyed working with my hands, I moved up to Spokane, Washington, and went into the technician aspect of prosthetics and orthotics. I wanted to know if it was something I wanted to get into…. I really liked making the legs and arms, and braces for that matter, but I wanted to be able to share that and work with patients as well, so I continued on with my education. UT Southwestern really drew me there, just because of the faculty, the small class size, and the understanding that I was going to do more clinical rotations than just what I was going to get in the classroom.”

Rotations and Residencies

“While I was there, I got to see what a private practice was like, what a corporate office was like, and [also] a non-profit organization, like the [Veterans Affairs Medical Center] or Scottish Rite Hospital. I spent my first prosthetic residency year at UT Southwestern with Mike Mojica. It was just a great experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor. I wanted to have a solid pediatric foundation, so that’s why the second year, I decided to come to Scottish Rite and build that foundation, and thus build my career from there.”

Handiwork is Transformational

“It’s a great aspect of the field that not only can you work with your hands and get that mechanical aspect of it, but you’re able to share something with the patient and to provide them with a device that’s going to help them in their day-to-day lives. Being able to design the prosthesis, work with your hands, build it, then watch that transform into somebody’s day-to-day living device, to get them through—there are no words.”

The Last Word

“I wanted to be able to share my story, and to share my strengths and adversities that I have gone through in order to help other people.”