Document Type (Journals)

Educational Innovations


Occupational therapy (OT) students are likely to experience generational differences when interacting with faculty and clients. Each generational group has a shared culture and unique set of experiences that influence their behavior, expectations, and perceptions surrounding professionalism. When teaching professionalism to OT students, the cultural underpinnings and influences related to generational groups and their differences become important considerations. This manuscript explores the relationship between culture and professionalism and describes how generational culture influences professional behaviors. It presents a reflective process and guide developed by the authors to enhance professionalism and cultural effectiveness among OT students and guide them in meeting generational expectations related to professionalism.


Kate Reiter, OTD, MAOT, OTR/L, CLT is an assistant professor in the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program at Allen College. Dr. Reiter earned her clinical doctorate from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions and her Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy degree from the College of St. Catherine.

Loriann Helgeson, OTD, OTR/L, CLA is the founding program director at Ameritech College of Healthcare. She earned her clinical doctorate from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, where she later served as program director. She is an AOTA Credentialed Leader in Academia.

Supawadee Cindy Lee, PhD, MS, MA, OTR/L is founding director and assistant professor of the Occupational Therapy Program at Pace University. Dr. Lee earned her doctorate in Advanced Occupational Therapy from New York University. She has 20 years of experience in a full-time academic appointment.

Declaration of Interest

The authors report no declarations of interest.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.