Occupational TherapyWestern Health Sciences

Meet Laura


Laura's passions for clinical work and research collided in the combined MScOT/PhD program.

Program: Combined MScOT/PhD in Occupational Science

Degrees Held: Hons. BHSc (Western)

Next Steps: I plan to seek a clinical occupational therapy position and complete doctoral research

Why Western Occupational Therapy: Western has a sterling reputation for graduating high quality students, innovative scholarship, and a positive student experience. The personal attention in the research program, as well as the supportive atmosphere in both programs were enticing, and the small class size for the clinical program indicated more personal attention and opportunities for different types of involvement and growth towards clinical practice.

What inspired me to pursue an advanced degree: The idea of helping others through original research has always appealed to me. Once in the research world, I realized that a clinical understanding of people and issues, along with a supportive clinical network would allow me to uncover the needs of clinicians and clients alike and use my training to help give them a voice and help to seek solutions.

Favourite Western memory: My favourite memories were working in small peer groups throughout my OT and PhD programs. I always found myself amazed at the unique and innovative perspectives of my peers, and I love discussing, debating, and growing with them into well-rounded and visionary future clinicians!

Best thing about being a student at Western: The personal attention that students receive leads to a feeling of support from the faculty as well as support from one another as we worked towards our growth as professionals.

Advice to students considering Western: I think the program is fantastic, but I encourage potential students to ask a lot of questions about any program in order to determine if it fits with their style and personality. From the perspectives of their lifestyle, students should inquire about timelines, hours, placements, etc., and from the perspective of philosophy, they should consider course content, views on healthcare delivery, faculty involvement, types of evaluation, etc. Speak to administrators, faculty, and current/former students to get an accurate feel. Remember, while someone may describe an aspect as a negative, it may fit with your lifestyle and requirements for you to fit with a program!