Ergonomics, Occupational and Vocational Rehabilitation
Specific expertise, large reach: She can establish the person’s functional capacities and restrictions and compare them to a current job requirements or a potential vocational rehabilitation choice. She can also establish a range of those potential future occupational choices based on the person’s experience, capacities and aptitudes.
She has spent the last 25+ years working an equal amount of time and energy with the “patient” (worker) and with the workplace. A “fit” necessitates an evaluation of both. This experience is a rare commodity.
She is the professional to whom medical doctors (orthopedist, physiatrist, pain management specialist) refer to establish permanent or temporary functional work restrictions or accommodation needs prior to an IME or return to work (or after).
She is a solo provider: She knows when she is available. She decides upon her own methods for the accomplishment of the goals. She has freedom on her methodology and techniques.
Her reports are accurate and thorough: litigation usually settles before trial.
She has a mixture of credentials that is not usual, which bestows her a unique set of skills and expertise. Besides having a doctorate in occupational therapy, she is also certified as a professional ergonomist (one of the < than 5% of health professionals who are) and as a vocational expert (the only occupational therapist who is also a diplomate).
She has a very strong activity analysis background, both in her occupational therapy and ergonomics training, which is invaluable when it comes to evaluating job demands and interaction between a person and their task.
Her doctorate degree was obtained through a very strong evidence-based practice curriculum, which helps her appraise research results before she weighs how it applies to the case she is working on. Teaching requires her to keep her research appraisal skills updated, which transfers into her practice.
Most of all: She works with workers and their workplaces all the time. And she loves it.