6 of the Best Occupational Therapy Forums
From the first time we enter class as aspiring occupational therapists, we find ourselves surrounded by a community of peers sharing a similar experience. The best occupational therapy forums have the ability to extend that environment beyond physical encounters into online spaces, even well after graduation.
That camaraderie provides a support network through which experience and perspective can filter down all the way from accomplished veterans to new grads eager to build their skillset.
No one expects a newly grad to leave their institution with all of the answers. The best OT forums allow for faster learning curves and more confident new professionals.
Obviously, not everything on the internet that says “OT” is a reputable or helpful source of information. That being said, here are some of our favorite helpful occupational therapy forums on the internet for you to bookmark.
The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has been around since the official recognition of occupational therapy as a discipline, and currently boasts over 65,000 members.
AOTA is interested in improving and supporting the interests of occupational therapists, which is why they created their official CommunOT forum to allow members to interact and participate in their vast online network.
The CommunOT forum is a great place to ask occupational therapy questions that you can assume will be exposed to peer review with more professionalism than can be found on various social media OT groups.
You will have to be a member of AOTA to use this forum, but along with access to the forum, you’ll also get these perks as an AOTA member.
Cost: $155 per year for Occupational Therapists, $130 per year for Occupational Therapy Assistants, and $75 per year for OT/OTA students. These prices also include the basic AOTA membership.
Reddit’s Occupational Therapy Forum
You’ve probably heard of Reddit, and you may have used it with various internet searches in the past, but did you know it has a thriving Occupational Therapy Subreddit (r/OccupationalTherapy) of over 26,000 members?
Occupational therapy and Reddit are two of my favorite things, so I’m always quick recommend the Occupational Therapy Reddit Forum as a great community resource of OTs, especially if you’re not using social media.
In the Reddit Occupational Therapy forum, you can get lost in pretty much any OT-related topic, ranging from interventions, pay questions, setting information/tips to transition, as well as OT school advice and everything in between. This is one of my personal favorite forums due to how active and cost-effective it is.
The Student Doctor Network
While the Student Doctor Network’s core focus is professional doctors providing information and guidance for active students, this expansive set of forums contains so much information that it’s difficult to imagine that anyone in a medical field may not be able to benefit from it or contribute to it in some way.
The site is broken down into dozens of forums specific to a wide array of individual disciplines. While this site is not restricted to the occupational therapy doctorate, it provides an especially great source of information for those questions which might lie on the periphery of occupational therapy and which therefore may not be as easily answered on other OT forums.
State-Specific Occupational Therapy Association Forums
Many states (and even some geographical regions within states) have their own occupational therapy associations which in turn have their own forums.
These forums offer a special element of local camaraderie and specialized information not available in the national or international forums. There are discussions of local events, as well as news about laws, policies, and regulations specific to one’s state or region.
These are great places to network with people you can also meet in person from time to time. They may also be a good place to discover job opportunities, whether you want to stay in your current area or move elsewhere.
Cost: Generally the cost of your state’s yearly membership dues.
WFOT’s Occupational Therapy International Online Network
The Occupational Therapy International Online Network forum is run by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT). Occupational therapists using this forum will be exposed to a diverse population of occupational therapy professionals all around the world.
This gives it an advantage over some of the other forums in that it offers a wide variety of in-depth discussions about occupational therapy everywhere. WFOT’s OTION also includes sub-forums that include Education, Practice, Research, Students, Working in another country, Studying in another country and Evidence Based Practice and Research.
It’s a great forum for keeping up with current events in the occupational therapy world, including breakthrough research, trending practices, and international perspectives on our field.
Individual University OT Program Forums
There are many great college and university forums dedicated to their own occupational therapy programs and research. If the program you attended has a solid occupational therapy forum, that’s a perfect option to continue utilizing.
If you’re interested in discussing occupational therapy online, you’ll no doubt gain recommendations from your peers regarding other helpful university forums to follow.
While this is a valuable option after you first enter the job market, the revolving audiences in the forums can result in a repetition of information.
Cost: Dependent on the school. Usually, once you’re enrolled in or graduated from an OT program, schools will provide free access.
Join and Jump In!
Regardless of the occupational therapy forum you choose, remember that nobody is on a professional island. Lots of helpful input will only help you grow and improve as an occupational therapist.
Coworkers are an important in-person support network and should not be undervalued, but it is valuable to seek an outside perspective as well.
Join in any of these forums and become an active part of the larger occupational therapy world.
Do you have a favorite occupational therapy forum that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!
This post was originally published on December 20, 2019 and updated on February 21, 2023.