Occupational Therapy

Considering a Career in Occupational Therapy?

The developing OTD at Duke University may be for you if you are inspired by any of the following descriptions:

Occupational Therapy is based on the belief that people improve their health and well-being when they are able to occupy time with activities they find meaningful. In other words, the things we do each day, our occupations, are vital mechanisms in our health.

Occupational Therapists, therefore, contribute to the health of society by helping people, organizations, and communities optimally engage in their desired and necessary everyday activities. These include learning, playing, taking care of oneself and others, working, relaxing, connecting with others, participating in civic and political activities, engaging in spiritual practices, creating, and many more.

Occupational Therapists provide this service in medical and community settings, including hospitals and rehabilitation centers, primary care, residential care facilities, schools, homes, work settings, non-profits, private practice, mental health facilities, adult and child day care facilities, and more.

While the OTD at Duke University is only in the developing stage, we know the primary aim of the program will be to advance the health of individuals, organizations and communities by skillfully enabling the occupations of everyday life.

We also know that the Duke OTD will be built on these core beliefs:

  • How people occupy time is a key ingredient in optimum health for everyone,
  • Enabling engagement in occupation is the distinctive contribution occupational therapy makes to health and social care,
  • Engagement in occupation supports health by fostering basic human needs of survival, capacities, meaning, identity, social connection, competence, and autonomy.
  • Successfully engaging in occupations requires a just-right transaction of skills, capacities, experience, motivation, interest, meaning, social support, environmental press, cultural relevance, political legislation, economics, technology, and other factors.
  • Occupational therapists optimize these transactions through assessing, adapting, advocating, collaborating, consulting, designing/building, educating, engaging and applying specialty skills.