Richard O Schuster, DPM was a pioneer in podiatric biomechanical research and foot orthotics prescription. He first graduated from the First Institute of Podiatry (which later became the New York College of Podiatric Medicine) in 1937. He later served in many different capacities at the College: Professor and Chairman of the Department of Orthopedics, Acting Dean and President of NYCPM, Member of the Board of Trustees and later, as a Visiting Professor.
Dr. Schuster was widely published in both the professional and lay literature, frequently writing for Runner’s World magazine. In 1970, Runners world listed the 25 most significant developments in running in the previous quarter-century of running. Number 4 was:
He served as President of the American College of Foot Orthopedists and The American Society of Podiatric Medicine. Dr Schuster was a diplomate and former President of the American Board of Podiatric Orthopedists. He also served on the Council on Podiatric Education and the National Board of Podiatric Examiners and received the William J Stickel First Award for Research from the American Podiatry Association.
His father, Otto Frederick Schuster was a well-known orthopaedic brace maker and he followed in his footsteps. He owned Schuster Labs (later to become Schuster & Richard Labs) in College Point, NY from 1937-1978.
Dr Schuster’s contribution to podiatric biomechanics and foot orthoses:
Podiatric Biomechanics: Was Schuster Right After All? Podiatry Management; Sep 2007, Vol. 26 Issue 7, p149
The article looks at some of the studies that support the biomechanical philosophy taught by Richard O. Schuster, a clinician from the University of California Biomechanics Laboratory (UCBL) who altered the philosophy of foot mechanical therapy. It highlights some of the articles that appeared in the late 1970s-1980s relating to the effects of foot dysfunction and lower extremity injuries. Information on researches which suggest that the concept of clinician Merton Root via rear foot posting is incorrect are presented, as well.
Dr Schuster was part of what become known as the ‘East Coast school‘ of clinical biomechanics. He was more keen on con-compressible flexible orthotics rather than rigid plastic-type foot orthotics.
One of his common quotes that many cite is paraphrased as “If you are continuing to have problems with an orthotic, then raise the heel“.
Key Publications of Richard O Schuster, DPM:
Schuster RO: A history of orthopedics in podiatry. JAPA, 64(5):332-345, 1974