Feb 25 2013

Laper, Carly

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Doctoral Portfolio

Carly Laper


Professional Goal Statement

My goal is to become a leading practitioner in neuromuscular rehabilitation and falls prevention in the older adult population.  I plan to eventually open my own practice that aims to serve the needs of the geriatric population, as well as provide community based exercise and education programs to improve quality of life, encourage active aging and help keep older adults independent as long as possible.


Career Plan

Beginning my DPT coursework and future career, I had large aspirations.  I was going to graduate from the eDPT program and go straight into the PhD. program for human movement science.  While I continue to have a real interest in research and that is something I hope to come back to in a few years, my priorities and motivators have changed significantly.  My current plan is to pass the PT boards in July and begin working.  I have completed the Certificate in Aging program would like to work in an area related to geriatrics to utilize my new skills and knowledge.  Ideally, I would like to work in either stroke rehab or in an outpatient geriatric clinic related to falls prevention and intervention.  In many years down the road, I would like to open my own practice for the older adult population and have a focus on falls prevention and chronic stroke rehab.  As things pan out, I would also like to be able to implement community based exercise programs or a wellness program at my clinic that would be accessible and beneficial for people in the community.



  • Caring and compassionate
  • Self-motivated, hard working
  • Organization and multitasking skills
  • Responsible and reliable
  • Intelligent
  • Patient and persistent

Areas for Professional Development

  • Initially introverted
  • Easily frustrated
  • Too detailed oriented
  • Resistant to change


  1. Become knowledgeable in concerns of the aging adult and develop clinical skills related to best serving their needs by completing the Aging Certificate.
  2. Develop clinical skills required for general PT practice to be able to provide excellent care according to “best practice” for each patient I will treat.
  3. Prepare for and pass NCPT Board Certification.


Specific Strategies

  • Complete the Certificate in Aging.
  • Create and complete a doctoral project specific to my interests that will have serve the community.
  • Develop a relationship with a mentor who shares common interests and values in PT practice.
  • Plan study strategies for the board exam with and without study partners to enhance learning and preparation.


Course Plan/ Electives

All of the courses listed below were related to the Certificate in Aging and were all taken outside of the PT department and were interdisciplinary.  Disciplines include PT, OT, pharmacy, social work and public health.

  • Aging and Health:  This class provided a good foundation for what is considered to be “normal” aging and common health concerns associated with aging.  I enjoyed how this class went beyond the normal PT content area and focused on global health concerns.  We also had the opportunity to discuss how each condition applied to our profession.  Here is an a paper I wrote about falls and falls prevention from a multidisciplinary framework.

Falls Paper

  • Older Adults: Theory and Practice:  This class had more of a social work approach to working with older adults. It include general approaches for discussing more psychosocial issues related to aging such as death, dying and bereavement, concerns related to depression and anxiety and issues related to role changes.  All of these areas influence PT practice and were beneficial to learn more about.  Here is an example of a biopsychosocial evaluation and care plan I developed as part of a case study.

Biopsychosocial Paper

  • Aging and Policy:  This was a really great class that opened my eyes to policy issues affecting older adults in either positive or negative ways.  It was a really nice parallel to our practice issues class that discussed a great deal about policy and being advocates for our patients and profession.
  • Guatemala Service LearningI had the fortunate opportunity to attend the service learning trip to Guatemala.  I learned a great deal about the culture and PT practice down there.  I spent a large portion of time in the older adults section and had the opportunity to present on depression and long term care for my classmates as well as the Guatemalan PTs and SPTs.

Doctoral Project

For my doctoral project, I chose to develop and implement a research study for people with chronic stroke.  I utilized the Walk With Ease (WWE) program as a foundation for the study.  The WWE was originally designed for people with arthritis as either a group or self-directed walking program to improve mobility and ease pain and stiffness.  It had good results with this population and I believe that it can be transferred to other populations, as well.  I wanted to look at the impact of a group walking program on mobility and quality of life in people with chronic stroke.  I am currently working on submitting it to GeriNotes.  For more information about my project, visit my capstone website.

Reflective Statement

Overall, my experience in the eDPT program has ultimately shaped my perceptions of the PT profession and my values in providing appropriate patient care.  I have learned the value of evidence based practice and best practice.  I believe I have made substantial strides to achieving my stated objectives.  Completion of the certificate of Aging has provided me with considerable additional knowledge that will be very beneficial to my future practice in geriatric PT and much of it can be applied to numerous populations that I will likely encounter throughout my career.  All the classes combined provide me a good foundation for providing quality care for any patient that I may interact with.  I realize that I still have a significant amount to learn and gain from experience and collaboration with co-workers, but I feel like I am ready to begin treating patients with confidence.  Lastly, I will continue to study intensively for the licensure exam.  I have determined my strengths and weaknesses and will continue to use these to guide my studying process.  All in all, I am excited to begin my career as a PT and will look fondly back on my memories and experiences throughout my coursework.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Laper, Carly”

  1.   Michael Lewekon 25 Jun 2013 at 1:29 pm

    You’ve done a great job here. I am impressed with your capstone project and think that you will continue to do great things in the future.


  2.   Lisa Johnstonon 27 Jun 2013 at 7:22 pm


    It is truly impressive that you have been able to work on the Certificate in aging while also completing the rest of the program. You really have to be committed to take on both. Congratulations to you for all your hard work and for your accomplishments.


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