Feb 25 2013

Toomey, Erin

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Professional Goal Statement

My ensuing goal is to provide therapeutic services in the Charlotte area, with an emphasis in geriatric clinical care, specifically focusing on orthopedic intervention and fall management. I will strive to provide the highest quality of care by embracing the highest standards of evidence-based practice.

Career Plan

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  • Strengths
    • Knowledge of basic aging principles, specifically the pathology and physiology of aging throughout the lifespan
    • Familiarity with the special needs of the geriatric patient
    • Passion for serving the elderly population
    • Interpersonal communication needed to facilitate patient/family education
    • Interpreting and using research in clinical practice
    • Experience serving as a research assistant in exploring the feasibility of expanding the focus of Cardiac Rehabilitation programs to address falls and improve balance
  • Areas for growth 
    • Increase knowledge and experience concerning Medicare Part B regulations and reimbursement guidelines
    • Need advanced understanding and management strategies for cognitive/psychiatric considerations present in the geriatric population
    • Require further clinical training to develop skills in the areas of balance intervention, treatment of neurological disorders, and general medical management of the complex geriatric patient



  1. Prepare for and pass the North Carolina licensure exam
  2. Pursue a job in an orthopedic setting with a strong mentor program
  3. Gain experience working with orthopedic population, increase familiarity of complex orthopedic cases
  4. Pursue continuing education opportunities to enhance my manual and diagnostic skills
  5. Become a clinical instructor and mentor to students
  6. Become Maitland certified
  7. Prepare and sit for the exam for Orthopedic Clinical Specialist exam
  8. Prepare and sit for the ABPTS Geriatric Certified Specialist exam


Specific Strategies

  • Select courses that will satisfy my current learning needs
  • Develop strategies to prepare for licensure exam and establish a study partner that will encourage accountability and serve as an additional resource during the preparatory period
  • Participate in community health fairs
  • Coordinate and conduct local fall prevention screening
  • Continue to be a part of and actively participate in the APTA Section on Orthopedics and Geriatrics
  • Identify and develop a professional relationship with a mentor that will enhance my clinical knowledge in my field of interest

Course Plan

1. Advanced Orthopedic Assessment

I selected this class to progress my knowledge of orthopedic management and further build my clinical reasoning skills in this area. To draw on my interest of both orthopedics and geriatrics I took advantage of the opportunity to explore the management of osteoarthritis for our final course paper. Articular cartilage: Influence of Aging on Joint Disease

2. Independent Study Elective

For this elective I had the opportunity to participate in a service-learning trip in Tyrrell County, NC. During this five day trip I had the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary services that addressed both the health care and environmental needs of this eastern North Carolina community.  My primary contribution during this trip was providing fall assessments and education to seniors in that area. As a reflection, I co-authored and published a news release in 2 local papers. You can read the news release here.

3. Research

As a research assistant under Carol Giuliani, I had a hand in implementing a pilot study focusing on fall risk reduction in cardiac rehab participants. Our poster was accepted and presented at the 26th Annual Meeting of American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) in Anaheim, California in September of 2011. Our poster can be viewed here.



Where do I even begin. These past 3 years have been filled with blessings, challenges, successes, and yes at time even failures. But all of these experiences, good and bad, have provided an opportunity for growth. I am thankful not only for the immense knowledge I have gained, but also for the lifelong friendships, connections and opportunities being a part of UNC DPT has provided me. As graduation draws near, I can’t help but feel excitement and eagerness for the new chapter ahead of me. I feel fortunate to have found something I love and a career that fulfills me beyond measure. Looking back over my doctoral work, I feel a sense of accomplishment but know there is so much more to learn.

One response so far

One Response to “Toomey, Erin”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 27 Jun 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Congrats on all of your accomplishments including getting married!! It is a beautiful picture above :-). It is nice to see more specifics of what you have learned and projects you have completed. You have a lot to be proud of. Good job and good luck.


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