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UBC, in partnership with UNBC, expands occupational therapy program in North

Students in the UBC Master of Occupational Therapy program at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) campus in Prince George.

Based out of Prince George, the UBC Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program was expanded last fall with the goal of inspiring more occupational therapy (OT) graduates to stay and practice in northern, rural and remote communities across B.C., as well as increase access to occupational therapy services for patients.

Created with funding from the B.C. Government, the program is delivered in partnership with the University of Northern British Columbia.

“We know that students are more likely to practice in their home communities or where their training took place,” says Dr. Susan Forwell, head of UBC’s department of occupational science and occupational therapy. “This expansion provides students with the exposure they need to build deep connections with the communities, as well as learn about all the career possibilities that are in these areas.”

As integral members of healthcare teams, occupational therapists help people get back to doing what they need and want most — whether that’s teaching people how to live independently after a stroke; providing vehicle modifications so that people can drive safely; helping children with cognitive or physical disabilities participate in play with their peers; or leading group counselling sessions for people living with mental health challenges.

“I’m from northern B.C., so I’m really excited to be learning and training here,” says Miranda Doerksen, a first-year student in the UBC MOT program based at UNBC. “There’s such a need for occupational therapy services here and now I’m able to get the practical skills and experience I need to best serve our communities.”

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