Robyn Martinez OTD ’25
Hometown: Norwalk, CA
Program: Entry-Level Doctorate (OTD), Class of 2025
What brought you to occupational therapy?
My grandfather, passed away in 2017, was gravely ill and diagnosed with fungal meningitis. His brain was no longer able to comprehend who I was or where he was at. I would often spend nights at the hospital to keep him company regardless of him remembering that I was his granddaughter. After some time, he was sent to an inpatient facility where he had to participate in therapy. This was the first time I seen occupational therapy in action. I was in awe that you can help someone by reverting back to already perfected techniques that have been lost through translation over time. Currently, during the pandemic my father passed away from COVID in March 2021. I never imagined losing a parent at a young age, but I cannot change this fact. My father was the sole provider for my family and now I needed to step up and take care of them as he would. In the hospital my father was doing therapy to regain his mobility and breathing. I’m happy my father of the help he needed and I’m more grateful that the doctors did everything they could for him. Because of this new loss in my life, I am channeling my grandfather and father’s perseverance to make a difference and help those in a more innovated way that can positively impact a person’s life in a real-world perspective.
What area of practice are you interested in?
At first my choice was 100% geriatrics, but after volunteering with pediatrics . . . I simply can’t decide at the moment!
Describe your background before coming to occupational therapy.
Before coming to Occupational Therapy, I graduated from California State University of Los Angeles with a BS in Kinesiology: Rehabilitation and Therapeutic Exercise. While there I participated in the CSULA Wind Ensemble for 3 years as a Bassoonist (I have a secret musical life).
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Words of wisdom from my dad: “Let’s squash it”. There is no use hanging on to something that makes you upset . . . so squash it.
You have your own late night talk show, who do you invite as your first guest?
My first guest would be my little sister, Rylee, because she swears she’s going to be famous!