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In this powerful video, we explore the financial struggles of occupational therapists and the emotional toll it takes on their lives. Occupational therapists have dedicated their lives to helping others, often at the expense of their own financial security. They struggle to pay off their student loan debt and feel guilty about wanting to earn a fair living and achieve financial independence.


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This video provides five compelling reasons why occupational therapists should prioritize paying off their student loan debt and taking control of their finances.

In this video, Doug Vestal, Ph.D, provides actionable tips and advice to help occupational therapists take control of their finances and achieve financial security without sacrificing their passion for helping others.

This video is not intended as professional or legal advice. Be sure to seek the services of a professional and understand the risks you are undertaking.


Are you an occupational therapist struggling with burnout and exhaustion? Does financial stress and debt make it even harder for you to provide quality care to your clients?

In this video, we'll explore why prioritizing your financial future can actually make you a better therapist and how you can achieve financial security without sacrificing your passion.

Hi, I’m Doug Vestal and I help OTs just like you start and grow thriving OT Private Pay Practices.  My wife and I founded our own OT private pay practice in 2014 and I make these videos so that you can achieve more treatment freedom, more time freedom and more money freedom as an OT.

And today, I am going to talk about money freedom.

And today’s video does come with a free resource.  Our money mindset and limiting beliefs about money can hold us back in ways that we aren’t even aware of.  So go to for my free money mindset training.

Now, as an occupational therapist, you're dedicated to helping others and improving their quality of life. However, you may not have realized that prioritizing your own financial future is just as important.

So I want to cover five reasons why prioritizing your financial future can make you a better OT:

1. Reduced Stress and Burnout

We know that occupational therapy is a demanding job that can cause high levels of stress and burnout. However, financial stress can exacerbate these feelings and make it even harder to provide quality care to your clients. When you're worried about paying off your student loans or making ends meet, it's difficult to focus on your clients' needs. Prioritizing your financial future can reduce your stress and improve your overall mental health, making you a more effective therapist.

Imagine how it would feel to have a financial safety net. You could focus on your clients' needs without worrying about your own financial situation. You could take time off when you need it, invest in continuing education, and pursue your passions. By reducing your financial stress, you'll be better equipped to handle the demands of your job and provide quality care to your clients.

2. Role Modeling

As an occupational therapist, you have the opportunity to serve as a positive role model for your clients. By prioritizing your own financial security, you can demonstrate responsible financial behavior and inspire your clients to make positive changes in their own financial lives.

Think about it: if you're struggling with debt and financial stress, your clients may pick up on your anxiety and uncertainty. On the other hand, if you're financially secure and have a positive attitude towards money, your clients may be more likely to adopt the same mindset. By modeling healthy financial habits, you can help your clients achieve greater financial stability and independence.

3. Better Decision Making

When you're financially secure, you can make better decisions for yourself and your clients. This can include investing in continuing education, implementing new treatment modalities, or simply having the resources to provide clients with the best care possible. Prioritizing your financial future can give you the financial flexibility you need to make these decisions.

Think about a time when you wanted to invest in continuing education but didn't have the financial resources to do so. Maybe you had to take on more clients or work longer hours to make ends meet. Now imagine being able to pursue your passions without worrying about the financial consequences. By prioritizing your financial future, you'll have more control over your career and be better able to provide the best care possible to your clients.

4. Enhanced Job Satisfaction

Occupational therapists who prioritize their own financial security are more likely to experience job satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment in their work. This can translate into greater enthusiasm for your job and improved outcomes for your clients. When you're not bogged down by financial stress, you can focus on your passion for helping others and provide better care.

Think about a time when you felt fulfilled and happy in your job. Maybe it was when you saw a client achieve a major breakthrough or when you felt appreciated by your coworkers.

Now imagine feeling that sense of fulfillment and happiness every day. By prioritizing your financial future, you can reduce your stress and focus on the aspects of your job that bring you joy. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and better outcomes for your clients.

5. Long-Term Financial Security

Finally, prioritizing your financial future as an occupational therapist can lead to long-term financial security and independence. By paying off your student loans and saving for retirement, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with financial stability. This can help you weather any unexpected financial storms and give you the freedom to pursue your passions, both in and outside of your career.

Think about your future goals and dreams. Maybe you want to travel, start your own business, or retire early. By prioritizing your financial future, you can take steps towards achieving these goals and living the life you want.

As an occupational therapist, you have a big heart and a passion for helping others. But it's important to remember that prioritizing your own financial future can actually make you a better occupational therapist. By reducing your stress, serving as a positive role model, making better decisions, experiencing greater job satisfaction, and achieving long-term financial security, you can provide the best care possible to your clients and live the life you want.

So don't be afraid to prioritize your financial future. It's not selfish or greedy – it's responsible and empowering. You can still be a caring and compassionate occupational therapist while taking control of your financial life. Remember, by investing in yourself, you're also investing in your clients and your future.

So, here are three easy tips you can start using today to take control of your personal finances:

1. Create a Budget

One of the easiest and most effective ways to take control of your finances is to create a budget. Start by tracking your expenses for a month, and then use that information to create a budget that fits your income and expenses. Be sure to include expenses like rent, utilities, groceries, and student loan payments, as well as any discretionary spending you may have. Once you have a budget in place, stick to it as closely as possible.

2. Pay Off High-Interest Debt First

If you have multiple debts, focus on paying off the ones with the highest interest rates first. This will help you save money on interest charges in the long run and reduce your overall debt load more quickly. Consider using a debt repayment strategy like the debt snowball or debt avalanche method to help you stay motivated and on track.

3. Save for Retirement

Even if you're just starting out in your career, it's never too early to start saving for retirement. Consider enrolling in your employer's retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), and contribute as much as you can afford. If your employer doesn't offer a retirement plan, consider opening an individual retirement account (IRA) on your own. By starting to save for retirement early, you can take advantage of compound interest and grow your savings over time.

By following these three tips, you can start taking control of your personal finances and prioritizing your financial future as an occupational therapist. Remember, the key is to start small and be consistent. Over time, these small steps can add up to big financial gains and a more secure future.

And be sure to check out my free resource on conquering your limiting beliefs when it comes to money.  Just head over to to get that exclusive and free training.