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Acute and Critical Care Occupational Therapy Fellowship

Our Mission and Goals

The mission and philosophy of our Acute and Critical Care Occupational Therapy Fellowship in the Department of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy is to develop and graduate practitioners who by virtue of their critical thinking ability, clinical skills, diagnostic competence and ethical standards are committed to promoting the optimum health and function of their clients and who will serve the larger society and profession through teaching, administration and research.

To achieve this mission, our goal is to provide a post-professional, specialty-defined educational experience to occupational therapists to equip them with the following abilities:

  1. Utilize current evidence-based occupational therapy information to make accurate plans of care in the acute and critical care setting
  2. Apply advanced occupational therapy interventions during an episode of care for a variety of conditions treated in the acute and critical care setting
  3. Demonstrate the communication/collaboration skills with the members of the multidisciplinary team and the patient needed to care for a person with disorders of body structure or function, activity limitations or participation restriction
  4. Provide health and wellness or injury prevention programs and/or educational presentations for persons in the community as it relates to movement, development, activities of daily living and other related occupational therapy topics
  5. Participate in the development of new or innovative occupational therapy techniques and the collection of evidence to support the effectiveness of those techniques to enhance the practice of occupational therapy in the acute and critical care environment

What Makes Our Program Unique

Our fellowship is designed to include the many facets of acute and critical care. During your fellowship year, you will learn to care for the critical care patient with a systems-based approach focused on occupational performance as you rotate through each of our critical care units. Further, you will have the opportunity to understand how patients progress through the continuum of care as you observe acute rehab and outpatient clinics.

You will acquire the knowledge and skills to enable you to treat the most critical patients in the acute care setting. You will also develop your professional presentation skills through teaching at the Duke OTD program and the Durham Technical College COTA program. You will utilize weekly literature review and discussion with your mentors to translate evidence to practice followed by presentations to the clinical team at journal club. Additionally, you will develop a grand rounds presentation related to advancing occupational therapy in acute care.

Highlights of Our Program

Your fellowship year will include rotations through our Neurology/Neurosurgery, Cardiology, Medical, Trauma/General Surgery, and Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Units. Fellowship enrichment activities related to each clinical area are provided with autonomy for the fellow to schedule those opportunities throughout the program.

Professional advocacy is incorporated through participation with AOTA Grassroots Advocacy Learning Intensive and participation in an OT Month advocacy project. Interprofessional development occurs through participation in rounds and observations with members of the interdisciplinary team and at monthly meetings with all of Duke’s fellows and residents to discuss cases through narrative reasoning presentations.

How to Apply

All applicants must have graduated from an accredited OT program and be licensed or eligible for licensure in North Carolina.

Please send the following documents in a single Zip folder to Duke’s Residency and Fellowship Director Michael Schmidt by December 1, 2023.

  • 3 letters of reference
    • One from a clinical instructor
    • One from a professor or previous mentor
    • One from previous employer
  • CV or resume and cover letter
  • Academic transcripts
  • Essay on motivation for applying to the fellowship
  • Completed application –2024 – 2025 OT Acute and ICU Fellowship Application
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