Megan Buckland and Deborah Dorsett Web
Megan Buckland and Deborah Dorsett

It’s never surprising to see Cabarrus College graduates achieve success and create lasting, positive impacts on the communities and people around them. But to have two students from the same graduating class become successful entrepreneurs isn’t something you see every day.  

Megan Buckland, MS, OTR/L, and Deborah Dorsett, MOT, OTR/L, CEIM, both 34 years old, graduated from the college’s Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program in 2014 and earned their master’s degrees in Occupational Therapy (OT) at Cabarrus College. The similarities don’t end there. The two were friends during their time in the OTA program and worked at the same pediatric clinic for a year or two after graduating.   

Both were inspired to pursue OT as a career because of family connections or experiences with the profession. Dorsett’s mother is an OT, and two of her children with medical needs have benefitted from OT services. 

For Buckland, it was a brother with special needs and her mom, who needed help regaining function after a complex wrist fracture. In fact, it was her mom’s OTA, a Cabarrus College alumna, who first encouraged Buckland to visit Cabarrus College (and never knew the impact she had).

Now, Buckland and Dorsett are building impressive legacies as founders of thriving occupational therapy practices. Buckland owns Lively Therapy Services in Concord, and Dorsett owns Circle Therapy, which serves clients in Greensboro, High Point and surrounding areas. Both employ multiple Cabarrus College OTA and OT alumni, offer fieldwork experiences to the college’s OTA students, and focus on serving children and families in their respective communities. 

Buckland and Dorsett both credit the independent, critical thinking encouraged in the college’s OTA and MOT programs – and the confidence that creates – for their success as entrepreneurs. “They instill in you how to be independent thinkers, but also work collaboratively as a team and think outside the box,” said Buckland. Adds Dorsett, “It forces you to develop some confidence in your skill sets as a leader and as a problem solver and that you can go into your community and find a need that’s not being served and figure out how to serve that.”

The two women also put into practice the collaboration that was part of their education. “Megan and I talk on the phone a few times a month to provide peer-level mentorship and support for each other as we navigate the structure of our practices and visions as owners,” said Dorsett. “We have similar interests about how we envision supporting families and therapists in our practices. We have developed a beautiful friendship over the years.” 

Although their paths have been parallel in many ways, Buckland and Dorsett also pursue their own interests within the OT field. Buckland’s passions revolve around early intervention and the impact that can have on children and families. “I really believe early intervention, working on these childhood milestones, is just so important in being able to empower and educate families,” she said. 

Dorsett has particular passions for creating a compassionate, collaborative work environment and occupational balance in the workplace, a philosophy she plans to promote as president-elect of the NC Occupational Therapy Association. “I’m excited to launch into impacting our state OT community with my vision of holistic, client-based services and occupationally balanced workplaces,” she said.