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njurkovi

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My daughter is a sophomore this year. She is still not quite sure whether to go PT or OT route. If she goes for OT (MOT/MSOT), it means she will start her Masters in school year 25/26. Is this cutting it to close to July 1, 2027 date when only OTD degrees will be acceptable?

Thank you very much for your insight.

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There is no current mandate that says an OTD will be required to practice as an OT. Even if there was, if she started school before the mandate went into effect she would be grandfathered in and allowed to work/practice with a master's degree instead of a doctorate.
 
Thank you very much for the info; (that was my next question - whether she would be grandfathered if she were already in the program)
 
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I did a bit more research and found the following OT degrees offered in Tx (that is where we are located and would very much like for our daughter to attend school here - both because of cost and proximity); I assume that the trend is similar in other states.
It seems that mandate or no mandate a large number of institutions is already transitioning to OTD, and my assumption is that by year 25/26 there will be very few (if any) MSOT degrees offered.

My daughter's preference is 1. MSOT 2. DPT 3.OTD. The problem is that the decision should more or less be made now (so she accumulates the max shadowing hours in the correct discipline). The prudent thing to do seems to be the DPT route, as the MSOT's existence in a few years seems questionable. Please let me know if there is a fault in this logic.

Abilene Christian University MSOT
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor MSOT
University of Texas at Tyler MSOT
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center - Transition to OTD
Texas Woman’s University - Transition to OTD
University of Texas at El Paso Transition to OTD
University of Texas Medical Branch Transition to OTD
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Transition to OTD
Baylor University OTD
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio OTD
 
My daughter's preference is 1. MSOT 2. DPT 3.OTD. The problem is that the decision should more or less be made now (so she accumulates the max shadowing hours in the correct discipline). The prudent thing to do seems to be the DPT route, as the MSOT's existence in a few years seems questionable. Please let me know if there is a fault in this logic.

This logic really doesn't really make any sense to me. You really can't compare a DPT over a MSOT as those are two completely separate fields. Also the purpose of shadowing is for your daughter to figure out what she wants to do and to make sure this is the right field for her so it may look better if she has shadowing hours for different fields. That way she can say definitively if she wants to work in one field over another. She should honestly start shadowing as soon as she can in either field or even working as a physical therapy aide in an office where OT's also work would be great experience. Depending on the program, the amount of shadowing hours may not hold as much weight as grades or experience. Especially considering many offices still limit shadowing due to covid.
 
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HI! I'd very much agree with the previous person's response too about shadowing and not being able to compare an MSOT and DPT. Like someone said before, the transition to entry level OTD is not a requirement coming in 2027 anymore, AOTA voted against making that move in the summer of 2020 I believe. However, many programs had already started the transition to an entry level OTD, and decided to continue this route. By the time your daughter looks at applying, it seems feasible that there will not be many in state master's programs left. And yes, this is the trend across the country. That being said, there are still plenty of masters programs around currently that do not have plans to transition to an OTD. As well, many, many schools offer a post professional OTD. This would be a doctorate following completion of a master's and sitting for board certification. I'd recommend discussing with your daughter why she thinks a master's is preferable to a doctorate for OT, when the biggest difference is one year of schooling. the doctorate generally has a stronger focus on research and leadership than a masters, as well as the additional year lends itself to advancing deeper into advanced topics. In some programs this additional time allows for completion of a certificate program within the graduate program (such as a certificate in hand therapy- meaning those who earn the certificate are more knowledgable and advanced in hand therapy than those without the certificate. think similar to having a minor in undergrad).

Also, there is nothing to say that taking a gap year between undergrad and grad school is a downside. In fact, in my cohort within the OT program at USC, the # of students right out of undergrad is less than those who took a year or more off in between. Many of my peers had other careers between undergrad and grad school. They took time in between to work, start families, take prereqs, and get shadowing hours. If going straight through is important to your daughter thats great! but know that it is not the expectation. The reason I bring this up is that choosing which field and gaining shadowing hours is a big deal. Many schools I applied to did not accept hours if they were not specifically occupational therapy hours. Also, the prereqs are very different, as is the grad school curriculum. I'd recommend your daughter talk to students and professionals in both fields to help get a sense of which field she actually prefers. The scope of practice and the ideology behind OT and PT differs pretty greatly and affects how the professions are taught. If you're daughter doesn't have an idea of these differences, her decision will be relatively unguided, and she runs the risk of not having an answer to "why did you choose OT" in her applications and her life. Hope this helps you guys!
 
Thank you very much for your valuable comments. Since the initial posting, we have discussed this in much more detail and as a result she is pretty much set on DPT (currently doing her second "set" of observation hours).
 
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