Humans of CUOT: Derek Douglas, Class of 2018


Hometown: Maryland

What brought you to OT?

There was something about OT that naturally drew me to the field, but I wasn’t able to fully understand it until my shadowing experience. The therapists I shadowed addressed more than just the injury, disease, or illness. These clinicians examined the person’s physical and emotional well-being, the environment the client lived in, and many others factors in order reengage the patient in activities they yearned to do. If I had to put my shadowing experience into one word, it would be “AMAZING.” Witnessing OTs in action inspired me to become an occupational therapist. And I am incredible grateful to be now studying occupational therapy at Columbia University.

Which OT area of practice are you interested in? 

This is a tough one to answer. I know that I’m interested in physical disabilities, but I’m keeping an open-mind as I progress through the program.

What are your favorite occupations to engage in?

Weighting lifting, Tai Chi, and playing sports.

What do you think is mankind’s greatest invention? 


If you could have a superpower, what would it be? 

Super strength so that I can be like Thor

What is your favorite thing about New York City? 

Feeling like I am at the center of the world with access to virtually any occupation I could fathom from running along the Hudson to exploring historical sites.

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