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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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News and Events
News and Events

Embracing the Unknown
December 5, 2019

Student Ambassador Catherine interviews fellow OTD student Ana Sanchez about her decision to pursue the OTD and her residency at Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) bringing Lifestyle Redesign® services to college students.

Academics and Courses Lifestyle Redesign Students

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Photo courtesy of Ana Sanchez

Photo courtesy of Ana Sanchez

Why did you decide to pursue your OTD?
The reason was really simple. I wanted to have the option to teach in the future, and I knew that if I didn’t do the OTD now, I wouldn’t come back to school again.

How did you get into your residency?
During the summer, I looked up the contact information for a few local colleges and sent out an email. I got lucky when Mt. SAC responded immediately and we set up a meeting to discuss what Occupational Therapy is and how it could fit into a college campus. Dr. Camille Dieterle and Dr. Grace Ho were a huge help to me in preparing for this meeting. Going in, I didn’t know what to expect to come out of our meeting, but I figured at least I could set the stage for another student to start a residency there. With Dr. Dieterle’s help, the meeting went really well and I was offered the residency. I am excited to have the opportunity to start a program for Mt. SAC students that is completely new. I have already learned so much and I love it.

What is one thing that you wish you knew before beginning the OTD?
I entered my residency expecting to embrace the unknown, but I do wish I had known more about the courses we take during the OTD. I also wish I had known how to make the most out of a mentorship before starting the OTD. The Mentee’s Guide (Zachary, 2009) was incredibly helpful in helping me understand mentorships and what I need from a mentorship relationship, but I feel like I am still just figuring out what I need and how to get it.

What do you think is/are the most valuable aspect/s of USC Chan’s program?
I think USC is unique in that we have the opportunity to take the Lifestyle Redesign® elective. This semester has been dedicated to completing a needs assessment that will inform the basis for the pilot program I will be creating. And in talking to healthcare staff, departmental directors, and students, I have found that the content of the Lifestyle Redesign® course is directly applicable to students’ needs on a daily basis, not just for their success as students, but for being healthy, happy individuals.