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What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy (OT) is a health care profession that helps people with or without disability to improve their skills so that they can perform and participate in daily activities. OT education is a 4- or 5-year degree obtained from a college or university. After passing the national licensure examination, an OT student will become a registered/licensed occupational therapist who can work as a clinician, manager or administrator, entrepreneur, educator, researcher, advocate, and many others. Registered OTs can work in a wide spectrum of work places including hospitals, clinics, schools, universities, industries, communities, research institutions, government office, non-government organizations.

According to the Philippine Academy of Occupational Therapists Inc (formely known as Occuptional Therapy Association of the Philippines Inc) (2013), OT is the art of caring, science of living (original translation in Filipino language, "Sining ng pagkalinga, agham ng pamumuhay").

For more information about OT and its difference to physical therapy and speech pathology, please go to the Infographics tab and view Breaking Myths: The Case for Therapists.

What is it like when you do a PhD?

Doing a PhD is not just about studying again. Taking the narrow road towards a PhD is actually a job where you are expected to conduct research, as well as write, present, and publish your ideas in an academic stand-point. At least in my experience, doing a research-focused PhD track will give you less course work (because course works are more appropriate for master's students) so that you will have more time to engage in independent learning. When you decide to do a PhD like me, you are expected to be a self-directed learner which means that you are to set your own goals, tailor your learning activities (and study trips), and assess your own academic performance. And more than staying in the library and laboratory for my research work, you get the perks of traveling to different places to attend and present in conferences, meeting and collaborating with international experts, and publishing your ideas to make a life legacy.

So if you are in the crossroad in deciding whether you will pursue a PhD or stay in the industry, I am recommending an additional reading for you entitled 7 Advantages PhDs Have Over Other Job Candidates.

What is your research all about?

My research is about substance use and addiction as related to occupational therapy. To put it simply, here are my research objectives throughout my three-year scholarship:

  1. To identify the role of Filipino occupational therapists in substance addiction and rehabilitation (SAR) settings.

  2. To examine the lived experiences of Filipino drug recoverees in terms of their occupational participation, occupational justice, and occupational rights before and during rehabilitation;

  3. To identify the meaning, form, and function of illicit substance use and abuse in the Philippine context;

  4. To elucidate the use of illicit substances from the Protestant Work Ethics perspective;

  5. To develop the Occupational Justice Health Questionnaire as a tool that will connect occupational science and occupational therapy.

If you have more questions, I would be glad to hear from you so that I can improve my research work. Kindly send me a short message. Thank you.

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