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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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The OTD: It’s Happening! ⟩
January 23, 2014, by Kate


I recently got accepted into the OTD program here at USC and I couldn’t be more excited. Coming into the Master’s program, I was unsure if I wanted to extend my schooling at obtain the doctorate once I had completed my two years. I felt that I would be ready to get into the working world and become the best OT I could be. After hearing so much about how our profession is escalating towards the doctorate at entry-level, I had to re-think if I wanted to pursue the OTD now, or come back later. There were many thoughts that went through my head, and pros and cons that I had to weigh. In the end, however, I applied and thought, “Let the universe decide!” Well, the universe came back and said, “Do the OTD!”

As I have mentioned in the past, I am interested in occupational therapy in the primary care setting, as well as acute care/rehabilitation in hospitals. I am working with the director of the doctorate program to secure my residency at a primary care site in downtown Los Angeles. There are few opportunities for OT in primary care right now, but I have faith that I can advocate for a position where I can help patients live their best lives through lifestyle changes. I’m excited to take on the challenge of securing a residency and advocating for OT. I’m also excited to take this next step in my own education. I know that having a doctorate degree will elevate me in relation to my peers in the medical and therapeutic field (many physical therapists now have a doctorate degree).

I can’t wait to be Kate Holford, OTR/L, OTD! 2015 can’t come soon enough!


OTD Admitted Student Meeting ⟩
March 21, 2012, by Alix

Admissions Classes

This afternoon I finally got to see all of my fellow OTD classmates in the same room at the same time. :lol: The Division held a meeting to tell all of the admitted OT students about what to expect from the program (which starts in the fall), how to register for classes, and how to find a residency site. It was fun to see who I would be spending the next year and change with and to learn more about the amazing projects that OTD students have completed in the past. While I already know that I’ll be working in Lifestyle Redesign with the Faculty Practice here at USC, I’m not 100% sure yet what I will be doing as a project. I’m hoping that it will have something to do with bolstering OT’s presence in oncology and/or integrative medicine. Either way, it’s definitely starting to seem more real and imminent now that we’ve had our first official meeting. If you’re new to USC OT and want to learn more about the OTD program, you can find it here.


Staying for another year ⟩
March 30, 2010, by Myka

Admissions What are OS/OT?

I am having such a good time at USC that I am going on for a seventh year to pursue my clinical doctorate (OTD)! I completed my bachelor’s degree at USC and am almost done with the Master’s. Why leave now? The clinical doctorate is just one more year!

Actually, it is a hard decision — to go out in the working world now, or to stay on for one more year? As you likely know, a Master’s degree is all that is required to practice as an OT. So why am I staying on for the clinical doctorate?

I am really interested in teaching part-time and practicing part-time. Having a clinical doctorate will give me an edge in this regard and more opportunities should open up in teaching. Next year I am planning on being involved in teaching in the Master’s program and developing curriculum.

I also want to develop myself as a leader in the profession. I also feel we’ll be on more equal footing with other healthcare professionals who hold doctorates in their fields. I’ll be continuing on in Lifestyle Redesign® at our Faculty Practice and working to develop a lifestyle program. I’m still thinking about what type of program I want to develop, but I want to do something that hasn’t been done before. Doing the clinical doctorate will allow me to broaden the horizons of the profession while being mentored by expert faculty.

I love learning and being a student. I know that even after another year at USC, I won’t be finished with my education. As OTs, we are constantly learning and in fact must attain continuing education each year to keep our licenses. We will all be engaged in the pursuit of expanding our profession as the nature of healthcare changes and as our society’s needs change. I want to be at the forefront of that change!

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