LEND Occupational Therapy Fellowship

About the program

Diversity is a core value of the Institute on Development and Disability at OHSU. We believe that the educational environment is enhanced when diverse groups of people with diverse ideas come together to learn. The Institute on Development and Disability Occupational Therapy (IDD-OT) Program designed a fellowship for occupational therapists who aspire to be leaders in the field of pediatric occupational therapy. The IDD-OT Fellow will gain advanced clinical skills in interprofessional collaborative evaluation and treatment of children, adolescents and young adults with neurodevelopmental disabilities. The Fellowship program also encompasses education, leadership and research.

The IDD-OT program is now an AOTA-Accredited Fellowship Site!

Program details

The IDD-OT Fellowship program functions within the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental & Related Disabilities Program (LEND) at OHSU. LEND programs are funded throughout the country by a grant by the Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The LEND program at the CDRC is recognized as one of the premier training programs in the country for training medical professionals in clinical care, research, community outreach and advocacy for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Oregon Health & Science University hires the IDD-OT fellow within the School of Medicine. The IDD-OT fellow spends time in clinical care, research, program development and education. The IDD-OT fellow spends at least 40% of their time mentored by faculty in clinical care, teaching, scholarship and leadership promotion. There are four learning tracks:

  1. Neurodevelopmental feeding
  2. Neonatal and early childhood development
  3. Autism
  4. Transition through the lifespan

The IDD-OT Fellow will spend two-four months in each rotation, working on an interdisciplinary clinical team and providing intervention services that are culturally and linguistically appropriate.

How to apply

  • Applicants for the fellowship program must complete an accredited program in occupational therapy before the start date. Applicants must be eligible for licensure in Oregon and have obtained licensure within one month of starting the program (by September 1st).
  • Extensive experience in pediatrics (including work experience, fieldwork experience or other experience outside of the OT profession).
  • Applicants whose work incorporates a global perspective, and a demonstrated commitment to issues of diversity, equity and inclusion or multicultural competency.

Applications must include:

  • Current CV
  • Formal letter of intent. Please include answers to the following questions:
    • How does this fellowship program fit with your career goals?
    • What leadership experience do you bring to the fellowship?
    • Please share any experience you have in working with individuals from backgrounds different from yours. How would this experience translate into working within a health care environment?
  • 3 letters of reference:
    • Please email letters directly to Erin Cochran, M.A., OTR/L at cochraer@ohsu.edu 
    • Letters should be from individuals who can comment on your candidacy for the fellowship 
    • Please provide contact information for each reference you provide

Important dates

  • Applications for 2023 will open in January 2023
  • Applications for Summer 2023 will be open until February 20, 2023
  • Interviews will be completed virtually on March 15, 2023
  • Start date will be Summer 2023 and the fellowship will run through Summer 2024

Please contact Erin Cochran, M.A., O.T.R./L., Fellowship Director at 503-418-2039 or cochraer@ohsu.edu with any additional questions.

Q&A with our OT Fellow

A woman standing outside at Portland's Waterfront park beneath the "Portland Oregon" sign on an autumn day.
Michaella Tran, O.T.D., OTR/L

Q: Why did you decide to do a fellowship?

I was always interested in working in the pediatric setting, even before OT school. There are so many domains that an OT can work in when entering a peds job, and I wanted the chance to gain experience in some of the specialized settings. The LEND OHSU fellowship was an opportunity to gain invaluable experience and mentorship in working with these specialized populations of patients and their families. In addition, the LEND piece of the fellowship provides me with leadership and service opportunities that I was also excited to be involved with.  This fellowship was the perfect way for me to spend my first year out of school exponentially furthering my learning and honing my skillsets in these practice settings.

Q: Can you describe a typical week for you during the fellowship?

The weekly schedule changes throughout the year as designated treatment days change based on the rotation you are currently in. Each week I have 2 days that I see patients in an outpatient setting(Treatment days). A full case load for these days consists of 8 patients, so 8am-5pm schedule. 2 other days in the week are dedicated to being in clinic of whichever rotation my schedule falls in (Feeding, Early Infancy, Autism, Neurodevelopment) and those days are also an 8am-5pm schedule. As a note, Thursday afternoons are reserved for 2 hours of LEND interdisciplinary seminars with all the other fellows, interns, externs, and residents. Lastly, one day of the week is an administration day which allows time for documentation, LEND projects, research, and any other related tasks.

Q: What has surprised you most about this fellowship?

I am very (and pleasantly might I add) surprised by the number of opportunities for additional learning in the interprofessional realm. The OT staff that serve as mentors for this fellowship are wonderful and provide such great and insightful learning, but in addition to this clinicians from other specialties are always happy to have me observe and learn from them. I’ve been able to collaborate with speech pathologists, psychologists, dieticians, medical doctors, and nurse practitioners just to name a few. There are so many opportunities to grow my learning within the bounds of OT and expanding past them in interprofessional collaboration. I can’t begin to emphasize how valuable it is!

Q: How do you think this fellowship matches with your future career goals?

When entering the pediatric world of OT, I wanted to feel prepared to work in various settings and with various populations of patients. I believe that this fellowship is providing me with the experience to develop specific skills and knowledge in a variety of specialized settings so that I will feel comfortable working in any pediatric setting in my future career. I’m also having invaluable mentorship opportunities throughout this year with amazing OT’s that  would not be available to me in one setting otherwise. Through this fellowship, I am also being provided the opportunity to work on a research project about pediatric feeding disorders in the school setting. All of these experiences are furthering my growth as an OT and better equipping me to provide the best patient centered care that I can in the future.