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Bernadette Mineo, PhD, OTR/L; Beth Hathaway, OTD, OTR/L; Monali Kadkade, MS, B.O.Th., OTR/L


Over the past decade a debate has ensued in the US regarding the clinical doctorate in occupational therapy (OT) and whether to require a doctorate to become an occupational therapist. Little discussion has occurred regarding the potential implications on the global community of occupational therapists, and there have been no attempts to ascertain the views of international OT faculty and practitioners. This study surveyed international OT faculty regarding their perceived need for and value of graduate education, particularly at the doctoral level, for OT faculty and practitioners in their countries. Fifty-three OT faculty from WFOT approved programs in eight countries participated. Most of the respondents felt that a doctorate should not be required to enter the profession and that it was unlikely their countries would follow suit if the entry-level in the US was a clinical doctorate. Some participants commented that the US would isolate itself with this requirement and that research doctorates, particularly in disciplines other than OT, are necessary for faculty development. While the results of this survey should be viewed as preliminary given the limited sample, further surveys of OT faculty and practitioners worldwide are recommended, especially in consideration of international occupational therapists who might immigrate to the US.


The authors report no conflicts of interest to disclose