May 29 2014

Brogdon, Leigh

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Professional Goal:  To obtain a job in a hospital rehabilitation setting  that will allow me to develop my skills as a clinician, provide meaningful and quality care to patients, and collaborate with a mentor to further my clinical knowledge.

Self Assessment:


  • Good general knowledge and understanding of the U.S. Healthcare system, and about the interplay of cost, quality and access to healthcare (BSPH degree)
  • Clinical rotation experience working with a wide array of patient populations and diagnoses; completed rotations in acute care at a small regional hospital; pediatrics inpatient rehab,  outpatient orthopedics and inpatient rehab at large hospitals.
  • Developed strong relationships with previous clinical instructors and physical therapists in the Charlotte/triangle/triad area.
  •  Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Leadership experience with large organizations


  • No work experience as a physical therapist.
  • Need more experience with orthopedic and neurological clinical cases
  • Need more experience with differential diagnosis
  • Limited knowledge/experience with manual therapy

Career Plan & Goals

Past history:

  •  BSPH in Health Policy and Management, 2011

3rd Year and Current Goals:

  • DPT program (Aug. 2011-Aug. 2014)
  • Become an advocate for the PT profession—increase participation in APTA
  • Gain more clinical experience by observing with neuro and ortho specialty clinicians
  • Attend CSM for networking, professional experience
  • Participate in Guatemala service trip
  • Boards examination preparation-develop a detailed study plan
  • July 2014: Boards/Licensure exam

Future Plan/Goals:

  • Obtain PT full time job, likely in a hospital setting—fall 2014
  • Continuing Education— possible options include Brain injury specialist, manual therapy, kinesiotape, LSVT BIG
  • Switch to private outpatient clinic –fall 2019
  •  Investigate any specialty licensure I may need/be interested in—2017/2018
  •  Possibly get involved in management/ administration of clinic—fall 2019

Specific Strategies

  1. Choose elective courses in both of my interested settings (orthopedic and neurological) in order to guide me in my decision making in terms of my capstone project and future career
  2. Explore projects/case studies in ortho/neuro that will increase my knowledge in these two settings.
  3. Get involved in out of class experiences that will progress my clinical skills (i.e. volunteer opportunities at health fairs/ clinics).
  4. Attend APTA capital district meetings, conferences, the 2014 CSM conference, and any other opportunities for students in order to become an advocate for PT profession
  5. Create a study guide/calendar detailing a break down of all the material and deadlines for when each unit should be finished                          i.      Identify other long distance students (who aren’t living in CH area) that may want to collaborate in studying via an                              online community

ii.  Obtain study guide review book/notecards, etc.

6. Collaborate with my advisor or other identified mentor to help guide me in my capstone project and professional preparation

Electives, Advanced Clinical Practice  and Doctoral Project

Elective #1, PHYT 875, Advanced Orthopedic Assessment: I took this class in fall 2013 to advance my skills in the orthopedic setting, in order to provide a comprehensive and efficient examination and evaluation to future patients.

Elective #2, PHYT 885, Advanced Neuromuscular Intervention: This class allowed me to progress my knowledge and skills related to neurological conditions and treatments. I was also able to hone in on pediatric diagnoses in preparation for my summer clinical at Levine Children’s Hospital.

Advanced Clinical Practice: I chose to focus my research and assignments on the efficacy of hip strengthening programs in the treatment of patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS).

Doctoral Project: The synthesized results of my research in Advanced Clinical Practice, as well as exploratory interviews with women’s basketball coaches, aided in the creation of an educational brochure for coaches.  The brochure detailed basic information regarding PFPS, as well as how to implement a strength training program. [Doctoral Project Website Link]

Product Samples

I have been able to explore many areas of interest during my 3 years in the program. My capstone project allowed me to develop a hip strengthening program to help prevent patellofemoral pain syndrome in female, adolescent athletes [Doctoral Project-PFPS brochure].  I was able to delve further into the literature regarding myelomeningocele and appropriate treatment in my Neuro elective course [MMC paper]. During my inpatient rehabilitation rotation at UNC, I presented an inservice on Parkinson’s Disease (PD) based on my experience with treating a patient who had PD.[Rehab Inservice_PT for PD]

Reflective Statement

It’s hard to believe that my 3 years in the UNC DPT program are coming to a close…it seems like just yesterday that I was sitting in my epidemiology class, excitedly opening my acceptance letter, and literally jumping out of my seat to alert my entire class of the good news.

The DPT program has given me so much more than I ever anticipated.  I have spent the past 3 years surrounded by a dedicated, passionate, determined group of classmates—who have pushed me to always think outside the box, and have also provided me with countless nights of stress relief on 007 and the TOPO dance floor.  I am excited to see where we all end up, and how we will continue to learn from each other.  But perhaps the best kept secret about our program is our faculty. I am so grateful for their time, talent, and dedication.  Their approachable attitude, combined with their passion for knowledge and learning, has been influential in making things “click” for me.   I will never forget Dr. K’s  innervation rhymes, or Mike Lewek’s gait demonstration atop the treatment mat. Thank you for always doing whatever it takes to help us on our journey to becoming physical therapists!

Progress Towards Goals

Looking back at my goals and assessment from a year ago, I feel I have come a long way. I was able to take both electives (Neuro and Ortho) during my 3rd year, to further advance my clinical knowledge and to better prepare me for my first PT job.  I used a calendar to help keep me organized throughout my online year of classes. I followed through with my original idea for my capstone project, and created a hip strengthening program to prevent patellofemoral pain syndrome in adolescent, female athletes while collaborating with my advisor. I was also able to attend the Guatemala service trip, and got more involved in the APTA and advocating for our profession by attending CSM, organizing the Student Legislative Day, and attending 2 capital district meetings.

But perhaps the most important, but often the hardest lesson, that I have learned in PT school is that –it depends!  There isn’t one specific way to treat a certain patient, and nothing is black and white. Don’t be afraid to try out new things—the worst that will happen is that it doesn’t work, and you try something else.  It pays off to take “cautious” risks with patients—they are often capable of much more than what you originally expect. I have learned so much about advocating for our profession, and the ongoing need to be a knowledge seeker in order to provide the most effective patient care.



3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Brogdon, Leigh”

  1.   KMacon 02 Jul 2014 at 2:24 am

    What a great reflection, Leigh –
    Please be in touch if your leaning more toward the neuro side of things and you think I can help with advice re: NCS preparation, Section connections, etc. You have real strengths in the neuro area, so I’m hoping that is the direction that you decide to go!!!!


  2.   Lisa Johnstonon 24 Jul 2014 at 1:03 am


    Great job on your portfolio! Thanks for sharing all your info. It was a pleasure to have you with us in Guatemala. Keep up all your positive energy, and keep dancing!



  3.   Katieon 24 Jul 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Congratulations! What a wonderful start to a great career – best wishes!


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