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Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OT-D)

Doctor of Occupational Therapy

Division Chief and Program Director: Barb Hooper, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Capstone Coordinator: Cambey Mikush, OTD, OTR/L
Faculty: Antoine Bailliard, PhD, MS, OTR/L, Sarah Jean Barton, ThD, MS, OTR/L, BCP, Emily M. D’Agostino, DPH, MS, MEd, MA, Tomeico Faison, OTD, OTR/L, MaryBeth Gallagher PhD, OTR/L, BCMH, Kimberly Hreha, EdD, OTR/L, Michael Iwama, PhD, MSc, BScOT, Denise Nepveux, PhD, OTR/L


The Profession of Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy improves the ability of individuals, communities and populations to access and participate in the activities they want, need, and are expected to do each day. In contemporary occupational therapy, the activities with which people occupy time referred to as occupations. Examples of occupations include obtaining food; preparing, eating and sharing meals; bathing, grooming, obtaining clothing, and getting dressed; taking care of others; preparing for and engaging in work; socializing; participating in education; participating in recreation, leisure, and hobbies; meditating; engaging in religious activities; volunteering; and sleeping.

Through doing occupations, people meet survival needs, use and develop their capacities, engage with others, discover and express their identities, contribute to their families and communities, and shape the world physically, aesthetically, socially, culturally, and politically. In other words, the occupations people do each day contribute to their health, well-being, and development. When everyday activities of living are disrupted or not available, even temporarily, people are separated from a key source of health and flourishing and thus can experience ill or poor health and diminishment of quality of life.

Vision Statement for the Occupational Therapy Doctorate Division (OTD)

We envision an inclusive world where all people flourish through access to and participation in meaningful, health-supporting occupations, the activities of everyday life.

Mission Statement of the Occupational Therapy Doctorate Division

Duke OTD affirms the vital role of occupation in human flourishing and health through innovative education, research, and collaborations. 

Program Objectives

To be a learning community whose members (students, graduates, staff, faculty, working partners, and community collaborators)

  • authentically integrate who they are as persons with what they do as professionals.

  • collaboratively address, through skillful practice and scholarship, the complex transactions that limit and enable peoples’ access to and participation in everyday, health-supporting occupations.

  • serve as compassionate, ethical, visionary leaders who anticipate the evolving occupational needs of diverse populations, communities, and individuals, who proactively and creatively address those needs through collaboration, innovation, and scholarship.

  • contribute in diverse ways to the growth of occupational therapy locally and globally.

  • advocate with marginalized populations for inclusive, equitable systems that promote access to occupation.


The entry-level occupational therapy doctoral degree program has been granted Candidacy Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. ACOTE’s telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA and its web address is