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Doctor of Occupational Therapy program in development at LMU

HARROGATE, TENN. — Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) is developing a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program at its LMU-Knoxville location (9737 Cogdill Road). The program will begin taking applications for its inaugural class in July for an anticipated May 2021 start date.

Occupational therapy is an evidence-based, rehabilitation profession dedicated to getting individuals back to performing daily living skills and meaningful activities. Occupational therapists (OTs) incorporate client-centered care through collaboration with the client to increase their independence and quality of life. OTs practice in a variety of settings including hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, outpatient clinics, school systems, skilled nursing facilities, mental health facilities and community-based settings.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 18 percent increase in employment from 2018-28 for occupational therapists. The rapidly growing profession of occupational therapy was also ranked as No. 11 in U.S. News and World Report’s list of Best Health Care Jobs for 2019.

“With health care needs growing at an exponential rate, it is imperative that we provide a pathway to students seeking to advance their career in the industry,” said Dr. Jason Hughes, OTD program director at LMU. “LMU has become a leader in educating the health care professionals of tomorrow, which makes us uniquely positioned to offer an innovative curriculum and inter-professional education designed and taught by experienced OT educators and other health care professionals.”

The OTD program will prepare graduates to be entry-level occupational therapists. The curriculum is taught by experienced occupational therapists, who hold a wide range of specialties and interests. The program is primarily delivered in a traditional face-to-face format, allowing students to build relationships with faculty and peers that often last a lifetime. Students will have the opportunity to train in LMU-DCOM’s state-of-the-art facilities with anatomy and medical simulation laboratories that rival resources found at larger universities.

“This exciting new program provides us another excellent way for LMU to continue to meet its mission of providing educational, service and research opportunities to students while enriching the lives of people and communities in the Appalachian region and beyond,” said LMU President Clayton Hess.

LMU has applied for professional accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). The OTD program is a full-time 36-month curriculum that includes didactic and clinical training as well as a capstone project. Upon earning the Doctorate of Occupational Therapy, students are given the opportunity to meet eligibility requirements for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).

For more information on the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program at LMU visit www.LMUnet.edu/OTD