The development of occupational therapy was heavily influenced by an early evolved relationship between orthopedists and reconstruction aides during the first World War. Orthopedists were largely responsible for both the presence of occupational therapy in the war and the eventual acceptance (by army personnel) of women fulfilling this military function. As a result of gender issues of that time – characterized by a dearth of employment opportunities for women and by a general resistance to women in military roles – this affiliation with orthopedists in World War I served to promote occupational therapy within the military environment. This affiliation also marked an early Willingness by occupational therapists to accept the medical model as one guide for clinical practice.

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