Knowing our value with Dr. Amy Lamb, AOTA President


By: Occupational Therapy Program

PHOTO: Amy Lamb Visit

“Occupational Therapy is a valuable investment as a result of the impact YOU make in the everyday lives of the people YOU serve”.  These were the concluding words from Dr. Amy Lamb’s presentation entitled, “Know Your Value” where she challenged the occupational therapy students of James Madison University and Murphy Deming and local practitioners to recognize his/her own values as occupational therapists, as well as knowing the value of occupational therapy as a whole.

Dr. Amy Lamb, OTD, OT/L, FAOTA, the president of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) came to speak at James Madison University on November 3. She spoke with local occupational therapy students and practitioners about how to address the gender wage gap that exists within the profession of occupation therapy and how knowing your value will reduce that gap.

With a comprehensive background in health care policy and advocacy as well as clinical practice, Dr. Lamb was able to bring together the importance of knowledge and passion in order to promote the value and necessity of occupational therapy in our world today.  Dr. Lamb explained why knowing one’s own personal strengths and the strengths of the profession is a key example of the power of knowledge. The number one strength of occupational therapy is the occupation-based approach to healthcare. This is the one exclusive aspect of occupational therapy that no other healthcare provider can offer. This is what truly sets occupational therapy apart as necessary and valuable within the ever-changing healthcare system.  Utilizing meaningful activities that clients are engaging in each and every day is where occupational therapists should be anchoring practice. Dr. Lamb continued to explain that occupational therapists should help clients engage in any occupation that they need to do, want to do, or have to do in any setting which can be accomplished by knowing one’s own personal strengths. By knowing who we are as effective practitioners and what we bring to the table, we can in turn ensure our clients are receiving the best care possible.

In addition to talking about the importance of knowing occupational therapy’s value as a profession, Dr. Lamb also spoke about effective leadership as an occupational therapist. She explained that effective leadership is also rooted in knowing your own personal strengths and weaknesses. As practitioners, occupational therapists must be confident in order to provide quality care and advocate to policy makers in producing legislation that is supportive of occupational therapy and occupational therapy services. Occupational therapists must be willing to talk with people who can make a difference. Dr. Lamb discussed how she valued authentic and strategic leadership which is how she chooses to lead as a clinician, professor, and as AOTA President.

After Dr. Amy Lamb spoke to students, faculty, and local practitioners, she joined her audience for a reception in the new College of Health and Behavioral Studies building. Her sincere and authentic interactions exemplified her candid and transparent leadership style. Dr. Lamb left the students of James Madison University and Murphy Deming enthusiastic and inspired. Not only was Dr. Lamb able to educate and inform about ways to combat the gender wage gap within the occupational therapy profession, she was also able to emphasize how valuable each individual practitioner is to the profession and to past, present, and future clients.

AOTA’s Centennial Vision states, “"We envision that occupational therapy is a powerful, widely recognized, science-driven, and evidence-based profession with a globally connected and diverse workforce meeting society's occupational needs." Knowing our value as occupational therapists and the profession of occupational therapy as a whole will allow us to continue moving forward as a powerful and widely recognized profession as stated in the AOTA ‘s Centennial Vision. Under the leadership of Dr. Amy Lamb, we will push forward as a profession that uses occupation-based practice to enhance the quality of life for clients around the world. 

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Published: Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 17, 2020

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