OT as a guy / Guy OTs

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Comments (23)

OTprospect in Saint Louis, Missouri

45 months ago

I am currently accepted into a very good school which would allow me to go straight into their MOT program right after I get my bachelor's. I have been researching OT & PT and still need to do some shadowing but I think I would really enjoy the work as an OT.

MY only thing is I am coming to find out that OT is a very female heavy profession.

I would like to hear from some GUY OTs on how this affects their outlook on the profession etc. Is it hard to find coworkers to relate to and such in the different settings you've worked in? Is it similar to being a male nurse where people kinda say "oh that's nice, a guy nurse" and do patients know any better than to always expect a woman OT?

What are some general thoughts after going to school and then working with mostly females. Is the field starting to even out. I'd just like to know some real life scenarios or numbers in the workforce today.

Thanks!

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Suzie Que in Hawaii

45 months ago

My class was 100% women. The class above mine had 1 guy (out of 40 students) and the class below me has 3. I have worked with several male OT's in my fieldwork, however. The male OT in the hospital setting was wonderful as was the one in the hand therapy clinic. I never asked either of them if they would have preferred PT, but I think they seemed happy with their jobs. Just ask yourself, how comfortable are you with helping a 95 year old woman in the shower? If you think you'd be comfortable, you'll be fine.

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me in Lakebay, Washington

45 months ago

Unfortunatley, there is a flip side to that scenario. Is the 95 yr old lady comfortable with you? I've had to step in and do ADLs for the male OT because the answer has been no. It can lead to an unfair distribution of the work load (especially in a SNF where a 95 yr old lady is the average pt. you'll be treating). Although, you could also find yourself, as a male, being asked to do the heavier transfers. It probably all balances itself out at the end of the day.

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BigRoy in San Jose, California

45 months ago

I think it depends on where you are... there are a good amount of male OT's here in Cali. My cohort alone has around 9/42 males that were accepted into the program. It does vary a lot though. Honestly I could really care less about being in a female dominated field. I want to work in hand therapy anyway where it would probably be easier for me to do most of the physical work.

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Buddy in Collinsville, Illinois

45 months ago

I would like to hear from some guys in OT too. Any other insight to the original post guys? Or even some more girls views on working with a guy at some point...

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suddhano in Eureka, California

45 months ago

I'll be starting a MOT program next month. As a guy I've thought a bit about going into a female dominant field and I've concluded that it's not a big deal. About half of the patients I worked with as a volunteer where male (so it's not like I won't have contact with guys at work), and at the hand therapy center where I shadowed there were two male and two female therapists. It felt like a very balanced situation. I'm also considering working in hand therapy, so issues around patient privacy shouldn't be much of a problem. In the end, I'm more interested in the work itself and making a decent living than if my coworkers are male or female.

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BR in Sacramento, California

44 months ago

Im glad you asked this question. I graduated 2 years ago and was one of the 5 males out of 40 of my cohort. To be honest, it's different being with predominantly females for sure. There are a lot more gossiping and talking about other classmates, which i thought was really sad. Also, as a man, you have to be more sensitive about jokes and other things that males typically talk about (if you're a normal guy, you know what i'm referring to). Additionally, there was also a lot of group work and i noticed that a lot of them work with the same people. I thought this defeated the purpose as the idea is for students to work with different personalities. Please don't take this as female bashing. This is ALL based on experience as a male student and an HONEST opinion being in a female dominated profession. I hope this helps.

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BR in Sacramento, California

44 months ago

Im glad you asked this question. I graduated 2 years ago and was one of the 5 males out of 40 of my cohort. To be honest, it's different being with predominantly females for sure. There are a lot more gossiping and talking about other classmates, which i thought was really sad. Also, as a man, you have to be more sensitive about jokes and other things that males typically talk about (if you're a normal guy, you know what i'm referring to). Additionally, there was also a lot of group work and i noticed that a lot of them work with the same people. I thought this defeated the purpose as the idea is for students to work with different personalities. Please don't take this as female bashing. This is ALL based on experience as a male student and an HONEST opinion being in a female dominated profession. I hope this helps.

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suddhano in Eureka, California

44 months ago

BR in Sacramento, California said: Im glad you asked this question. I graduated 2 years ago and was one of the 5 males out of 40 of my cohort. To be honest, it's different being with predominantly females for sure. There are a lot more gossiping and talking about other classmates, which i thought was really sad. Also, as a man, you have to be more sensitive about jokes and other things that males typically talk about (if you're a normal guy, you know what i'm referring to). Additionally, there was also a lot of group work and i noticed that a lot of them work with the same people. I thought this defeated the purpose as the idea is for students to work with different personalities. Please don't take this as female bashing. This is ALL based on experience as a male student and an HONEST opinion being in a female dominated profession. I hope this helps.

Where did you graduate from?

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BR in Sacramento, California

44 months ago

suddhano in Eureka, California said: Where did you graduate from?

SJSU MOT.

By the way, i did not want to give a politically correct answer. As I've mentioned, my answer is based on my personal experience. If you're able to tolerate those behaviors, then you should be fine.

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suddhano in Eureka, California

44 months ago

I'll be starting the Pattern 2 program at SJSU in a few weeks. I appreciate your honesty and I do understand your experience. The gossiping thing can get annoying after a while, though I can usually brush it off (though I've also seen men do plenty of gossiping too!). I think all the group work will be more of a challenge for me. By nature I like to work alone and often feel that group work somehow slows me down. I'll adapt.

Thanks for you comments.

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vc15 in Oradell, New Jersey

44 months ago

ill be starting my program in a month, and will be one of 6 guys out of 34 students (split into 2 tracks, so 1 out of 3 guys in 17). i do get the feeling i have to be pretty careful with stuff i say, and how i act.

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WannabeCHT in Los Angeles, California

44 months ago

Yeah man I'm going into my 3rd n last year at SJSU and the cliques are pretty intense lol. I'm kind of a floater, always in a different group with different people. But the girls really do seem to stick to a certain bunch for all of the group projects! and I'm one of about 9 dudes out of 42

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BR in Union City, California

44 months ago

I totally agree with "WannabeCHT" that girls do tend to find cliques.
At first, i didn't wanna think that way, but after 2 years in the program, i certainly noticed that issue. As one of the few guys in the program, i also noticed that one can't or shouldn't be as vocal as the ladies in the program are much more sensitive to constructive criticism. Like i said, i tried my best to not stereotype, but after 2 years in the program, i had a very different opinion, trust me. It's no secret that OT is s female dominated field. My advice:

1. Dont be so vocal
2. Be VERY (extra) sensitive
3. Get used to being left out in discussions
4. Get used to hearing gossips

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Recent Graduate in San Jose, California

44 months ago

BR, I totally agree with everything you said! I had the same EXACT experience a few years ago. LOL. I'm just glad I'm finally done with the program. Being in a female dominated field is something else. OMG. Gentleman, be prepared....

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alex in Levittown, New York

38 months ago

Hello,i have put my fist application to OT school. I was wondering if me being male would give me an advantage over the rest of the applicants? I applied to CUNY York i have a cumulative 3.0 and a 3.366 science GPA Currently workas a CNA at a hospital. Thank you

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nita in Manassas, Virginia

36 months ago

I've worked w/several male OT's and one male COTA in a snf. The patients loved them. Yes like someone said, occasionally there has been a switch by a lady who wanted a female therapist/caregiver. And a couple times we've had male patients who act inappropriately so it is helpful to be able to switch them to a male therapist. Our male therapists are wonderful professionals and helpful in providing suggestions, mentoring when needed as well. And the patients- male and female- enjoyed and appreciated them as well.

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kacoates in Monrovia, California

34 months ago

I am a female student preparing to start my first year in the MOT program, and even though I'm a woman, I've been very concerned about it being a female-dominated field. I went to an all-girls high school, and it was anything but a positive experience. Girls form cliques from the very first day they come into contact, while at the same time developing prejudices against those not in their immediate clique. It's catty, gossipy, and just plain unnecessary, but it's the truth! However, to be quite honest, if you are a guy entering the OT field, I wouldn't be too concerned with the large female population. Most likely, women tend to target other women for catty behavior, and if they try to drag you in, just ignore it. I can't imagine they would do anything about it. And if you feel the need to be "extra sensitive," don't be! If there are any girls like me in your class, they would appreciate the honesty! Plus, you probably don't want to be sparking up friendships with the gossiping women anyways! My only advice: DO NOT DATE any of the women in your class. It's bound for sure devastation!

Anyways, I hope my "feminine" perspective was a bit helpful! I wish you all the best of luck in OT, and in the end, if you are working in a career you love, who cares about the drama anyways :)

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simon in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

34 months ago

Do male OT's have trouble with female patients refusing to work on bathing, dressing, and toileting because you are male? This is something that concerns me since I applied to a university. I don't want to get a degree and then find out that 1/2 the patients I see refuse to work with me because of this issue.

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kacoates in Monrovia, California

34 months ago

simon in Milwaukee, Wisconsin said: Do male OT's have trouble with female patients refusing to work on bathing, dressing, and toileting because you are male? This is something that concerns me since I applied to a university. I don't want to get a degree and then find out that 1/2 the patients I see refuse to work with me because of this issue.

Well then, if that were the case, wouldn't the same be the case for female OT's working with male patients? I don't think that's something to consider, unless you're planning on working in an all-female patient facility. Plus there are plenty of subcategories within OT where who won't have to be doing shower assists, etc.

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simon in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

34 months ago

I was thinking that most males would be fine working with a female, but female patients I'd imagine are more reserved with undressing in front of a male. You're right that these adl's are only one task among many. I am hoping to eventually work in home health.

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OTDUDE in Brooklyn, New York

34 months ago

It depends on your setting. I have not had any issues. I am happy with my decision and would not do PT if I had to do it all over again. On the practical side, you should also look at what makes more sense in terms of projected rate of growth etc. Settings like schools etc..there is no major difference in OT/PT..If you work in a had clinic, you probably would not have to deal with dressing issues etc..

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hfklvein in San Francisco, Botswana

2 months ago

1

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