Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Degree | Meet the Students
Rebecca Cunningham OTD ‘16, MA ‘15
Hometown: Newbury Park, CA
Program: OTD, Class of 2016
Track: Advanced Clinical Practice
Why did you choose to pursue the OTD?
In addition to the benefits of mentorship during my first year as a practitioner and a personal desire to have a terminal degree, I pursued the OTD due to my interest in teaching. I feel that having the OTD will help to facilitate the eventual achievement of that goal.
Where are you located for your residency and what do you do there?
I am completing my residency at the USC Occupational Faculty Practice (OTFP), which provides Lifestyle Redesign® and behavioral health based occupational therapy services to a number of populations, including weight management, Multiple Sclerosis, college student, young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and chronic pain.
What did you gain from the OTD thus far?
What I have gained thus far, is really two-fold. First, the support from the OTFP staff and the facilitated space for autonomy and independence allowed me to cultivate my clinical reasoning, documentation, and therapeutic use of self skills, which has resulted in increased confidence when working with clients. Second, and arguably more meaningful, is the improved engagement in and prioritization of self-care, which has facilitated a more balanced daily routine. As I was diagnosed with a rheumatological autoimmune condition at the start of the OTD program, this has been an invaluable asset in managing my symptoms and enabling continued participation in the pursuit of my degree and goals. With the support of OTFP staff and mentors within the division, I feel I am making the transition from surviving to thriving.
Note: Rebecca is now Assistant Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy in the Chan Division.