Wendell Nakamura

Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Occupational Therapy



Dr. Nakamura began working as an occupational therapist in 1999, primarily working with adult populations in physical rehabilitation. He has worked in acute care hospitals, subacute inpatient rehab, home-based care, and outpatient services. He has worked with a wide variety of clients with acute and chronic conditions, including diagnoses in orthopedics, neurology, medical/surgical, cardiology, and pulmonology. Dr. Nakamura began teaching as Adjunct Professor at Puget Sound in 2012 and made the transition to full time teaching in 2016. He has taught content in a diverse range of areas related to clinical anatomy, adaptive and restorative approaches to treatment, community mobility and driving, leadership and management, and gerontology. He also serves on the Diversity Committee for the Academy of Communication in Healthcare.

“What I love most about teaching at Puget Sound is the supportive, tight-knit community of learners we have here! It’s what drew me to the university when pursuing both my entry-level master’s degree and my post-professional clinical doctorate. We approach occupational therapy education with a strong emphasis on students’ experiences and the contextual application of knowledge. We build long-standing relationships with many of our graduates, who come back to campus to mentor our students. It feels like being part of a family! It’s the Puget Sound way!”


Research Interests

  • Client adherence with treatment recommendations in the management of chronic diseases.
  • The impact of client-centered communication on the therapeutic relationship.


Personal Interests

Dr. Nakamura is a total foodie! With a previous life in the culinary arts, he enjoys samplings from all over the world. He is also a self-described “geek,” with an interest in all things tech and its influence on our lives.