Clinical Research Track Experiences: Sarah Adam, OTD/S '16

Sarah Adam, OTD/S ‘16
Clinical Research Track: Health Promotions and Well-being for At-risk Populations Laboratory

Why did you choose WUOT for your occupational therapy education?

I was drawn to the fact that WUOT has a strong academic reputation and emphasized opportunities to explore several specialized areas of practice. I was struck by the passion and expertise of the faculty. They genuinely enjoy what they do, strive for excellence and provide great resources for mentorship as I join the field of occupational therapy.

Why did you choose the clinical research track option for your degree?

I’ve always been drawn to the innovation that lies at the heart of research. I didn’t want to be the one just tightening bolts and following instructions. I wanted to be the one creating the instructions. WUOT uses a unique interdisciplinary and collaborative approach in which research is being done right alongside clinical programs, which helps with translating research into practice. 

Briefly describe the research lab you chose.

I worked with Dr. Kerri Morgan who specializes in research on disability, participation, physical activity, and assistive technology for individuals with lower limb impairments. Our lab primarily focused on the promotion of health and fitness for individuals with mobility impairments

What project/s are you involved within your lab?

For my project, I worked closely with the Paraquad Health and Wellness Center, a community-based accessible exercise facility, to revise their methods of evaluation. I also assisted with several projects on the development of training and exercise protocols for wheelchair users on a specialized wheelchair treadmill.

How does the clinical research experience contribute (beyond the rest of the set curriculum) to your overall skill and preparation as a generalist practitioner?

I was extremely fortunate to be involved in a research lab that was perfectly in line with my interests. It provided me with valuable, hands-on experience throughout the research process and an intimate knowledge of my area of practice. I also gained practical experience in working closely with our community partners.

What kind of guidance is provided by your faculty mentor?

My faculty mentor was able to connect me to numerous opportunities outside of school (volunteering, seminars, internships, etc.) that allowed me to gain practical experience, develop specialized professional skills, and gave me a chance to network with professionals in my field.

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