George Tomlin

Professor Emeritus, Occupational Therapy

Professor Tomlin taught biomechanics (the science of human movement), clinical measurement, activity analysis and performance adaptation, and a three-course sequence in research. He has over 25 years of college teaching experience. His clinical background includes pediatric mental health, adult physical rehabilitation, work rehabilitation programs, and ergonomics. His research has focused on clinical outcomes, statistical properties of clinical measures, clinical reasoning, and evidence-based practice. He has given lectures, seminars, and led discussions in German at three occupational therapy programs in the BRD. He is the co-author, along with Professor Bernhard Borgetto, of the Research Pyramid Model of Evidence. An article about the Research Pyramid was published in the March 2011 issue of American Journal of Occupational Therapy and can be accessed online.

Download a pdf of the Research Pyramid Model of Evidence

"There are many positives about the teaching/learning community at Puget Sound. Among the best are the collegiality among faculty, and the freedom we have to maximize each student's growth in the program. Within the boundary of teaching all requirements in an accredited occupational therapy curriculum, faculty have room to enhance the learning of a student with a particular interest in the field. Also since this is a small liberal arts university campus we are able to readily enlist the help of faculty from other departments when a student's project calls for their expertise. Finally, the campus is gorgeous, and our new building, the Weyerhaeuser Center for Health Sciences, is architecturally the crown jewel."

What Makes Puget Sound Occupational Therapy Unique

From our beginning in the tuberculosis epidemic of 1944, through the SARS-2 pandemic of today, occupational therapy at the University of Puget Sound has always had a core component of applying new knowledge to address the occupational and health needs of the community. Three curricular examples are the 4th semester on-campus clinic, the 3rd semester mental health community clinical experience, and the ongoing collaborative evidence projects, serving the knowledge needs of local occupational therapy practitioners. Our curriculum is not just practice, though! It is deeply grounded in the sciences of human health, in the theories of the therapeutic use of occupation, and in the rigors of careful assessment and strategic intervention planning. What is most distinctive about our program is how this deeper knowledge is discussed, and then students immediately are called upon to apply it in the ways that an occupational therapist would carry out professional duties. Therefore, it stands to reason that our students have a reputation for clinical readiness and confidence when they proceed to full-time fieldwork.

Occupational Therapy- Rooted in the Liberal Arts

The most skillful occupational therapists are prepared to work effectively with people from all backgrounds and walks of life. The faculty at Puget Sound seek to instill the best possible foundation among our students for this high future expectation. Conveying the content and ideals of a liberal arts education is one of the best ways to build this foundation. Therefore, in occupational therapy courses at Puget Sound, students will be challenged to become acute observers and interpreters of human behavior in occupation, sharp critical thinkers, excellent concise and accurate writers, and future therapists with an understanding of the full spectrum of human experience, values, and goals. Whether it is in the ergonomics course, the research and evidence course, or during the evidence project, I seek to instill in students these deeper insights, so valuable for the kind of skilled, resourceful, and confident occupational therapist we strive to have our graduates become. Our program at this liberal arts university finds itself living on fruitful ground.

Research Interests

  • Theoretical underpinnings of knowledge as used in professional practice
  • Categorization of empirical research designs
  • Translation of new knowledge to decision-making of practitioners
  • Various descriptive aspects of professional practice

Personal Interests

Gardening, hiking, and international detective stories

BS Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MA Boston University
MS University of Puget Sound
PhD University of Washington

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