In previous blogs I discussed how the EKU Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree benefits occupational therapists through advanced leadership training and the ability to obtain full-time faculty positions in occupational therapy education programs. This blog about the benefits of the OTD degree will focus on career advancement and personal fulfillment.
I’ve always been the type to ask a lot of questions, but after working as a bachelor’s trained occupational therapist for a couple of years my questions became more frequent. “Does this intervention really work for this client?” “Is this the best approach to use with this family?” “How can I develop a program that will address this client’s needs?” It was these questions that propelled me into pursuing my master’s degree in occupational therapy. Graduate school enhanced my ability to think critically and increased my confidence as an occupational therapist in a medically dominated setting. Through attainment of a graduate degree I increased my understanding of practice and research, feeling more confident in advocating for occupational therapy on medical teams and in the community. With a graduate degree I had more opportunities in my career. I left my hospital-based position to work for a developmental pediatrician and in a private practice. Then I was asked to teach part-time for an occupational therapy educational program—a position that lead to a full-time job in academia and my eventual pursuit of a PhD.
When reflecting on how my career has unfolded, I believe that my post-professional graduate degree has opened many doors. Occupational therapists with a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree who pursue doctoral education have the opportunity to increase their capacity as a clinician and leader. As a terminal degree in occupational therapy, the OTD has the potential to support career aspirations in any number of potential directions such as clinical program development and coordination, leadership and management, participation on research teams, and teaching in an occupational therapy education program. For occupational therapists searching for a way to enhance their career and make their work life more fulfilling, the possibilities are truly endless!
By: Dr. Christine Myers
Interested in a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy?
Earn your online bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university that has been an online education leader for more than 15 years. EKU offers one of the top post professional doctor of occupational therapy programs in the nation. Our challenging doctorate degree options prepare practitioners to take on leadership roles and our flexible, online format provides students the ability to complete coursework and assignments according to their schedule.