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OTD Hmmm....

Discussion in 'Occupational Therapy [ O.T.D ]' started by paris6, May 11, 2008.

  1. paris6

    2+ Year Member

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    Just curious... I am looking at grad. schools for OT, and found one that offers an OTD. Anyone know if this is the direction the field of OT is going in? Should I really try to get into that school, or do you think a Master's is all I will need for awhile?
     
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  3. msakira

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    If you're young, go for the OTD. The profession is heading in that direction. Top tier schools are very competitive. I've hear applicants with high GPA and GRE scores have been turned down at the top schools such as USC & Boston.
     
  4. ibasaren

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    i've been emailing some OTs i know, and i post their responses on my OT blog. i've asked the same questions you ask. i've gotten three perspectives. one of them is a USC alumnus, the other a CSU dominguez hills alumnus, and the other received her MOT from the university of sydney. they're all different posts, but under "letters from OT friends". Here you go:

    http://heart-n-hands.blogspot.com/2008/05/letter-from-ot-friend-iii.html
     
  5. fridaynights

    fridaynights MOT Student
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    i'll be starting a mot program this year and i hope to attain an otd degree in a few years as well. after long talks and questions with previous volunteer supervisors (otd grads from usc) they've said it really puts you ahead of everyone who has a masters degree. it will help you coordinate programs, specialize in various areas, especially in hiring employees. not to mention you will be far knowledgeable when it comes to consultation and referrals. in 2000, i was planning on becoming a pt and went to various conferences pertaining to health sciences and allied health professions. i always asked the head lecturer if i should apply to programs with entry level doctorate programs for pt .. and one snide professional told me (in front of 400+ undergrads) that's useless b/c the profession works well at a master's level and it's a waste of money. the next year it turned out that many many universities began implementing entry level doctorate programs (which are now the new standard for pt's i believe). i say this b/c unfortunately, the ot discipline is always a step behind. however, it too will hopefully raise the standard and make phd/otd as the new professional standard.

    as my supervisor told me, she mentioned that yes, the first year after getting her otd was the hardest b/c she didnt have much practical experience (except fieldwork) and that she couldn't compete with her fellow practitioners (ba degrees and masters who practiced 10+ years). she mentioned that her educational background and exposure to many many theories at usc gave her a strong foundation as to how she could approach unique clients. in her 2-3 years, the practical experience was easy to attain and, in comparison to her peers, her theoretical knowledge and specialization put her above all her peers.

    basically getting a masters will provide you with a foundation, but once in the workforce, you gain only so much experience and begin to plateau in your knowledge.

    having an otd will cause you to start slowly in your career, but the practical experience will always come to you in time. however, the knowledge you have inpostprofessional studies will continue to push your techniques past your peers who have already plateaued in their ability to treat individuals.

    go for an otd.

    good luck!
     
  6. caduceus27

    caduceus27 Junior Member
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    hi
    I echo "fridaynights", it would be great to go for OTD now, but a question does arise, if the OTD/PHD becomes a standard for practice, how would anyone be different from the group? If in the upcoming years an OTD would be a minimum to practice as an occupational therapist who would stand out? I think it pays to go for an OTD right away, but if the standards change would studying an extra couple of years pay off? I hope the standards dont change it would give more passionate and competitive therapists a chance to stand out. So I would say go for OTD but hope they would not make the standard OTD.
     
  7. exrx

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    If I understand your questions correctly within context, here are my thoughts:

    As I'm sure you know, OTD is clinical in nature as opposed to research based as the PhD is. Therefore, historically, the main reason to earn a PhD is to conduct research or teach. That is the difference between the group. It amounts to the same difference in physical therapy or any field that offers a clinical or research based education for that matter.

    In my opinion, the answer to your second question is skill set. If you want to stand out, become a master practitioner in your chosen area of specialization. It doesn't matter what acronyms you have behind your name if your more proficient than anybody else. I believe it's just like any other profession. Those with better skills stand apart from those who don't. Just because someone has a doctorate doesn't necessarily mean they have better skills or are more passionate about a field than someone who doesn't.

    I've contacted that AOTA about the future of OT education concerning minimum standards. The response I was given was basically they have no official position on the matter as of yet. However, I have a feeling it will eventually mimic the physical therapy profession making the minimum standard an OTD.

    In my opinion, the main reason to go for an entry level OTD would be to get it out of the way now. However, I think it will be several years at least, before an OTD will be required. Therefore, I would just get the MS and have your employer pay for your tuition for the OTD. It makes more fiscal sense that way.
     
  8. superCOTA

    superCOTA MS, OT by 2011 !!!
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    I agree w/ exrx.

    Once the BS was enough... Then to stand out you needed the masters...
    this was only 4 years ago!
    Now an OTD is what you need because you only learn so much in the MS program? What secrets do you think they are holding back on?


    Specializations exist, but not just through another degree...
    Examples of this would be the Certified Hand Therapist, or Board Certificate in Neurology or Pediatrics. Assistive tech is an ever growing field, especially if you can fabricate items well.

    Until OTD's can write an Rx order to start Tx like DPTs can... it's not cost-effective to spend this tuition when you could acquire certifications in myofacial release, Neuro-developmental treatment, Sensory Integration to name a few more and really make a difference in those you treat every day.
     
  9. caduceus27

    caduceus27 Junior Member
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    hi
    I was trying to address the point of competivness. It is always important to be ahead of the game in any profession that you are in. So I was asking if they make the minimum requirement an OTD how is someone getting an OTD now compete with others that have OTDs, but I guess it doesn't mater what degree you earn its what reputation that you make for yourself as a professional.
     
  10. fridaynights

    fridaynights MOT Student
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    i agree with the posts previous. yes, money is a BIG concern especially when you have to spend several years paying off loans. my question is who wants to wait for the OTD/PHD to become standard? i felt the same way when i first heard of the DPT.

    When you think about uniqueness, i think the ability to write Rx's shouldn't drive one not to consider a doctoral degree. it's like saying psychiatrists vs psychologists. some want both to have Rx ability and some would rather keep each area of treatment distinct in their natures. like a blurred gray area such as MD, PA, NP. resemble various similarities, but who is better?

    about competiveness, yes i've heard you can get certified in many areas through time, but certifications still do not = doctoral degrees, am i right? in my example of MD,PA, NP they all work in the same area of medicine, but who is more qualified to treat, diagnose, etc? it could be subjective, but your education should be the objective influence behind it all. so, what if the OTD became standard? would that mean MA/MS backgrounds missed out? probably not- the BA/BS backgrounds are still practicing. and important thing to consider is, in order to be the best, u ought to know the best - in theory, research, application etc. i say this not to downplay certifications, costs, what if's, etc., but in order to help keep the field strong, unique, and practical we need to pursue degrees that enable individuals to raise the bar and keep other disciplines from taking OT positions. from a brief conversation with my supervisors... they mentioned OTs compete with speech tx, recreation tx, psych's, APE, MD's, PT's, etc. so why not compete in the field of OT?:idea:

    as some professionals and family members put it... u usually get one shot at your education... as time goes by... u lose motivation and your resources wont allow you to meet the new standard (whatever it may be in the future).:thumbup:
     
  11. exrx

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    Fridaynights...................interesting, you make some statements as if they are objective or are factual in nature. I definitely disagree with some of your assertions. Incidentally, where are you attending OT school?
     
  12. marinagirl OT

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    Truth is that, you improve your skills with continuing ed. courses and application - practice. I don't think that at ODT will put anyone ahead in the skill level- maybe just the b. s. level and more OT intimidation practices. OTD is all about trying to keep up with PT - who have the real therapy-skills anyway. So glad to be out of OT for good - have had enough of all the fluff and b.s./crap.
     
  13. marinagirl OT

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    You people think that you're really doing something - following the OTD trail to nowhere. If health-care reform is passed, all of your OT waste will be done away with and you'll have to get a real job in the real job -not just ripping off Medicare and private insurance. Grow up.
     
  14. superCOTA

    superCOTA MS, OT by 2011 !!!
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    Marina, there are OT's and there are OT's ...

    If you feel you weren't making a difference, you're probably right.

    But there are areas that you see a difference in a client's life in 2, 3, 6 months... even areas PT doesn't cover.

    Or, work in the nursing home banging out max units, and wonder what it's all about.

    All in all, I'm glad you're out too. :smuggrin:
     
  15. Karina12

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    Marinachka if you think OT's dont make a diff then dont post here, the OT profession is one of the fastest growing out there so go suck it
     

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