Inspired to act
By Natasha Emmons
Published in Today in OT Magazine
Monday March 26, 2012
Kurt Hubbard, OTR/L, OTD, PhD (c)
Assistant professor, University of St. Augustine (Fla.)
When Hubbard sees a need, he’s driven to do his best to answer it. “We need more OTs. There are just not enough of us,” he said in explaining the reasons he launched a new psychology-to-occupational-therapy internship three years ago.
Hubbard’s first love was clinical psychology, but as he was closing in on his PhD, he met an OT working in an anxiety treatment program where he was interning, and his eyes were opened to an expanded way to use his psychology background. He took a left turn into occupational therapy and never looked back. And he’s betting some psychology students at Flagler College, a small liberal arts college in St. Augustine where he teaches part time, will have the same epiphany.
“A lot of OT practice is based on psychology,” he said. “You look at individuals from a unique perspective and holistic perspective that has to take into account the psychosocial issues involved.”
USA enrolls 75 master’s level occupational therapy students each year, making it one of the largest such programs in the country.
In addition to his full-time position at the USA, Hubbard owns a small residential treatment facility, a home-care business, and works with the local council on aging and a homeless shelter. He accepts three interns annually. Each completes a literature review in his or her area of interest, then shadows Hubbard at clinical sites.
“I’m hoping this program will start to spread across the country,” Hubbard said. “At job fairs you spend an hour, maybe two, passing out brochures. You can’t give them the whole flavor of the field.”