Why continue 2 points of entry education for occupational therapists?

Brenda Coppard, Michael Berthelette, Diane Gaffney, Sherry Muir, S. Maggie Reitz, Deborah Yarett Slater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Several professions (e.g., physical therapy, audiology, pharmacy) have transitioned to a doctorate as the entry-level degree. Such transitions led to concern that occupational therapy should also mandate one degree for entry into the profession. However, with occupational therapy maintaining two points of entry, the profession may attract students who are not willing or able to absorb the additional time and financial obligation of an entry-level doctorate, but who are interested in entering the profession. Although both degree programs prepare graduates to be entry-level practitioners, the doctoral degree offers additional curricular content focusing on research skills, leadership, program and policy development, and advocacy, as well as "the doctoral experiential component with the goal of developing occupational therapists with advanced skills (those that are beyond a generalist level)" (Standard B.11.0) (p. 651).3 The projected demand for an increased number of occupational therapists who are more representative of the diverse global population and who have a variety of skill levels supports continuing the option of two paths of entry into the profession as an occupational therapist. This Committee's research clearly indicated that there will be an increasing need for qualified occupational therapists as clinicians, faculty members, researchers, policy advocates, scientists, and innovative developers of services in urban and rural areas. Maintaining two points of entry will facilitate the profession's ability to meet-this need. By supporting both master's- and doctoral-level programs, incoming students have the option to choose which level of education best meets their needs and resources. Enhancing options for students will better allow us to recruit the practitioners for tomorrow who will serve our clients and profession well after the Centennial Vision has been achieved and becomes an important historical milestone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-17
Number of pages8
JournalOT Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 9 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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