6 Great 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.
That camaraderie, whether enjoyed in person or digitally, provides a support network through which experience and perspective can filter down from the field’s accomplished veterans to those eager to improve.
No one expects a newly graduated professional 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. Below are some of the most reliable occupational therapy forums on the internet for you to bookmark on your browser.
The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has been around since the official recognition of occupational therapy as a discipline, and currently boasts over 63,000 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: $225 per year for Occupational Therapists, $131 per year for Occupational Therapy Assistants, and $75 per year for OT students. These prices also include a full AOTA membership.
You’ve probably heard of Reddit, and may have used it with various internet searches in the past, but did you know it has a thriving Occupational Therapy Subreddit of over 8,900 members?
In this forum, you can get lost in pretty much any occupational therapy topic, ranging from interventions, pay questions, to OT school advice and everything in between. This is one of my personal favorite forums due to how active and cost-effective it is.
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, or even the OT/PT overlap, 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.
Many states (and 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 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.
This 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 perhaps gives it an advantage over some of the other forums in that it offers a wide variety of in-depth discussions about occupational therapy. 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 the field.
Individual University OT Program Forums
There are many quality 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 solid 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 repetition of content.
Cost: Dependent on the school. Usually, once you’re enrolled in or graduated from a program, schools will provide free access.
Join Up and Jump In!
Regardless of the forums 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 support network and should not be undervalued, but sometimes it is valuable to seek an outside perspective. Join in any of these forums and become an active part of the larger occupational therapy world.
What is your favorite OT forum? Let us know in the comments below!