The Occupational Therapy Program offers a choice of several types of clinics as a practicum course for senior occupational therapy students. Clinic choices include: mental health[pdf], gerontology, physical disabilities, and pediatric clinics[pdf]. The clinics are designed to provide O.T students with an opportunity to further develop their clinical skills under the supervision of a faculty member. Although on-campus clinics (originally called senior clinic) have existed at SJSU since 1944 (Pedretti, 1993), a clinic solely for people with serious mental illness was not introduced into the O.T. curriculum until 1982 (Klasson and MacRae, 1985). In all of the SJSU clinics, each student therapist is assigned one client for the semester for whom the student has primary responsibility for evaluation and the development of a treatment plan. However, a student therapist may actually treat two or even three clients during the course of the semester because the clinic often over enrolls clients to compensate for a relatively high rate of absenteeism and recidivism. Group activity is one intervention tool that is used in the clinics to help familiarize the students with every client in the clinic.
Concurrent with each clinic is a seminar facilitated by a faculty member and usually a graduate assistant. This seminar is for instruction, support and supervision. The seminar operates like a team meeting, with the faculty member filling the dual roles of student instructor and clinical supervisor. By conducting the seminar as a team meeting, the clinic supervisor invokes privileges of confidentiality. This means that participants are not to discuss any aspect of client evaluation or treatment outside of the seminar or clinic without expressed written consent of the client.