Monday, 6 September 2010

End of an era

I am an occupational therapist. I do not talk about this specifically in my blog very often as I moved from clinical practice many years ago into teaching and did not want this to be a blog about occupational therapy as such.

When I did my training occupational therapy was a diploma and became an honours degree course in this country in 1991. It had already been a degree course for many years in the United States prior to this, and about that time a new breed of occupational therapy academics were emerging; helping us to back up our observations with science and developing theories to help us to understand what we were doing. One of these pioneers was Gary Kielhofner. In the early 1990s his youthful enthusiasm and ideas inspired us to think about our profession in a different way. His ideas were amongst those that guided me to towards my degree and PhD.

I met him on a couple of occasions. He became involved in some projects that were happening in my previous workplace and spent a few days with us. I didn't find him an easy person to work with at that time and I didn't always agree with him but found him interesting and charismatic as always!

He had just bought a farm with his new wife and it was rumoured that he was trying to cut down on his work commitments and spend more time there. Two weeks ago he became ill and was taken to intensive care. He was diagnosed with malignant lung cancer and died at the end of last week. He was 61 years old.

My profession is suffering from bereavement at the moment.


Michael House said...

oh my. I am quite shocked, I thought of him as young, and he was really, too young to die. I never really got to grips with his thinking, but was aware his ideas were influencing OT development in many ways.

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Oh my God, I am sorry to read about his passing. Doesn't it make you think about how important is to spend time with family and do things we can enjoy besides work? I have thought about it often. Since my recent 45th birthday... Life just goes by so fast.