This article presents a student-led special interest group within a doctorate of occupational therapy (OTD) program as a model to supplement the core curriculum for inclusion of specialty content related to hand therapy. Consisting of advanced educational modules, research article review and discussion, as well as related service projects, the group provides ancillary benefits as well as networking opportunities for student participants. An initial program evaluation demonstrates efficacy as students reported a positive impact on various areas of professional and clinical skills to support specialization in hand therapy upon graduation. The student-driven nature of this experiential learning approach provides more robust content without taxing often limited financial and faculty resources of occupational therapy programs. This model may be generalizable to other areas of occupational therapy practice to provide specialty content for various student interest areas at the academic level, encouraging specialization for new graduates to continue to provide advanced care to diverse populations.
Dr. Nathan Short, OTD, CHT is an assistant professor of occupational therapy at Huntington University in Fort Wayne, IN. Jennifer Bain, OTDS; Courtney Barker, OTDS; Zack Bolton, OTDS; Kristina Dammeyer, OTDS; Ethan Fahrney, OTDS; Kalin Hale, OTDS; and Carter Maples, OTDS, are all students in the Huntington University OTD Program.
Declaration of Interest
The authors report no declarations of interest.
Short, N., Bain, J., Barker, C., Bolton, Z., Dammeyer, K., Fahrney, E., Hale, K., & Maples, C. (2017). Student-led Special Interest Groups as a Model for Inclusion of Specialty Hand Content in OTD Curriculum. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 1 (3). https://doi.org/10.26681/jote.2017.010306