Occupational Therapy Philosophy

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Occupational Therapy: Integrating Art and Science
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What is occupational therapy? How does one define the profession and validate its worth in the medical field? Since its conception as an established health care profession, occupational therapy’s philosophy has been defined, redefined, and refined. In their writings esteemed Occupational Therapists Mary Reilly and Susan Peloquin offer their own critical and revisionary ideas of occupational therapy’s worth, the basic need it fulfills, and its service to the healthcare profession. Both women ask their peers to refine what is uniquely inherent about occupational therapy and by doing so validate the profession’s contribution in serving the needs of man (Reilly, 1963; Peloquin,2002). * -------------------------------------------------

In her 1962 Eleanor Clarke Slagle address entitled, “Occupational Therapy Can Be One Of The Great Ideas of 20th Century Medicine” Mary Reilly (1962) challenges her fellow colleagues to critically define Occupational Therapy’s value within the medical field. She initiates this critique by first asking the provocative question, “Is Occupational Therapy a sufficiently vital and unique service for medicine to support and society to reward” (Reilly,1962, p.3)? Reilly suggests it is precisely these critical questions and line of discourse that we as practitioners need to be embracing to maintain our unique and vital contribution to the healthcare realm. * -------------------------------------------------

Drawing inspiration from Occupational therapy’s earliest visions Suzanne M. Peloquin also seeks to engage her audience by asking to consider and reflect upon a different but equally important component that makes occupational therapy unique and vital to the health of man. Quoting Ora Ruggles,an early contributor to...
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