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Research Article  |   November 1991
An Emerging View of Mastery, Excellence, and Leadership in Occupational Therapy Practice
Author Affiliations
  • Janice Posatery Burke, MA, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Thomas Jefferson University, 130 South Ninth Street, Edison 820, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
  • Elizabeth DePoy, PhD, MSW, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, University of Maine, Orono, Maine
Article Information
Research
Research Article   |   November 1991
An Emerging View of Mastery, Excellence, and Leadership in Occupational Therapy Practice
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 1991, Vol. 45, 1027-1032. doi:10.5014/ajot.45.11.1027
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 1991, Vol. 45, 1027-1032. doi:10.5014/ajot.45.11.1027
Abstract

The recent focus on clinical reasoning in occupational therapy, specifically on how therapists solve complex problems, has stimulated interest in how master clinicians think in practice. By gaining insight into how clinicians think and what they think about when they identify and solve problems, we may be able to identify clinical reasoning patterns and processes that occupational therapy students and novice therapists need to experience in order to progress in their practice or to emerge as leaders in their field. Observation of the way in which clinical masters and leaders view challenges and solve problems as manifested in their clinical reasoning may provide new and potential therapists with clues as to how to best hone their skills and knowledge for future success in practice.

This paper describes a study that examined the relationship of mastery, excellence, and leadership in occupational therapy. Ten master clinicians were interviewed to determine the characteristics of their mastery and excellence in practice and to explore the degree to which they engaged in leadership behavior. The findings revealed that mastery, excellence, and leadership are independent of one another but that some characteristics are common to all of these phenomena.