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Stony Brook Launches Occupational Therapy Doctorate Program

Otpracticeroom

STONY BROOK, NY, April 11, 2024 – The Stony Brook University School of Health Professions is converting its Occupational Therapy (OT) educational offerings to a new doctoral program that begins with its first students in June. This will be the first State University of New York (SUNY) Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program on Long Island and in the NYC Metro Region, and only the second one on Long Island.

Occupational Therapy is a growing profession in the field of health sciences. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, OT jobs in various sectors of healthcare are expected to increase by 12 percent or more from 2022 to 2032. Occupational therapists work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, senior centers, academic environments and other settings in order to evaluate and treat people who have injuries, disabilities,  diseases and mental health issues. They provide a plan for these individuals to help them recover and improve physically and mentally to learn or re-learn how to complete tasks necessary for daily and productive living.

“Doctoral programs are designed to enhance the knowledge of occupational therapists to its highest level and help them be best prepared for applying evidence-based healthcare and for engaging in research,” says Dale A. Coffin, EdD, OTR/L, Clinical Associate Professor and Chair of Stony Brook’s OT Program.

Otpracticeroom
The School of Health Professions’ OT practice room where students learn how to use equipment designed for the rehabilitation process.
Credit: Stony Brook University School of Health Professions

She explains the importance to address physical rehabilitation and mental health during an era of advancing health procedures for many conditions, long-term health issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, and emerging settings for populations with limited mobility and abilities, such as “aging in place” living quarters for the elderly, as leading reasons to maximize OT education and services.

The School of Health Professions’ OTD program is three-years and follows a hybrid model, which limits the amount of class time on campus. It also offers students the opportunity to learn via simulation modules, new technologies, and how to conduct telehealth. The School’s existing Master of Science OT program is being phased out.

Currently there are 167 OTD programs nationwide, of which 65 are in pre-accreditation status similar to Stony Brook.

The School of Health Professions is now accepting applications for the 2024-2025 academic year.

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