May 29 2014

Duclos, Chenin

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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Doctoral Portfolio for Chenin D. Duclos

“The miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you’re going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.” C. Joybell C.


Professional Goal Statement

My professional goals are continuously developing.  At this point, I am hoping to work in a practice that approaches physical therapy intervention from a holistic perspective – treating the whole person by taking into account mental, emotional and social factors, as well as physical.  My goal is to work in a clinic that allows each therapist ample time with their patients (45-60 min) and provides individualized one-on-one therapy in order to create trusting, meaningful patient-therapist relationships.  When treating patients, I hope to utilize my manual therapy skills and apply movement interventions that draw from my yoga education background.  The professional environment I strive to work in will promote compassion and teamwork and provide patients with ample privacy, comfort and support to heal.  I am hoping to focus on women’s health at all ages and provide pre- and postnatal care as well.  Lastly, in addition to practicing as a physical therapist, other goals include: teaching yoga again, a style that promotes relaxation, self-awareness, alignment and healthy movement patterns, and continuing to practice relaxation massage on a weekly basis.

Career Plan

Accomplished Experiences

2002: BS in Communication Sciences & Disorders

2007: Licensed Massage & Bodywork Therapist

2007: 200-hr Certified Yoga Instructor

2008-2011: Private practice for massage therapy

2008- 2011: Yoga teacher – gentle yoga

2014 Spring: Herman & Wallace Pelvic Floor Dysfunction & Rehabilitation I

Anticipated Experiences

2014 Aug – Sept: Final 8-week clinical rotation  – Women’s Health PT

2014 Aug – Oct: DPT graduation and licensure

2014 Fall/Winter: Potential hip surgery (hopefully last – for awhile) and rehabilitation

2015: First PT job once back on my feet

2015:  Become a Peer Visitor for Trauma Survivor’s Network

2015 Fall/Winter: Finish 500-hr Registered Yoga Teacher Training

2015/2016: Herman & Wallace Pelvic Floor Dysfunction & Rehabilitation II, III and/or consideration for Women’s Health Residency

2017 and beyond: Pursue path to Certified Lymphedema Therapist, continue to take PT during pregnancy continuing education

2025: Pursue path to teaching

2045: Retire! phew…

Self Assessment

Areas of Professional Strength

  • Good communication skills
  • Committed to learning
  • Takes responsibility
  • Reliable and professional
  • Builds rapport and trust with patients
  • Calm demeanor
  • Works well with others
  • Seeks support and advice when needed
  • Takes initiative
  • Detail-oriented and thorough documentation skills
  • Well-prepared
  • Experience teaching and massage therapy

Areas of Professional Growth

  • Using time and resources effectively and efficiently
  • Increase confidence and trust in self
  • Problem–solving skills
  • Social responsibility and involvement in professional activities
  • Treatment planning in a timely, efficient manner
  • Performing initial evaluations (specifically in outpatient setting)
  • Building variety of interventions ideas
  • Understanding details of insurance coverage and billing
  • Comfort and knowledge of supervision for PTAs and PT aides
  • Utilizing evidence based research


1. Continue to develop my clinical skills and knowledge in preparation for taking national boards and licensure to practice physical therapy in North Carolina (October 2014).

2.  Continue to participate in observation and exposure to a variety of physical therapy settings and therapists in order to design more specific professional goals and feel more confident in what setting of physical therapy I wish to practice and what population I desire to work with following graduation and licensure (October 2014).

3. Investigate clinical residencies in women’s health PT and inquire with local therapists in order to decide if pursuing this type of residency is a fitting path, and if so, take the appropriate steps for application and grant support for the application process (December 2015).

4. Continue to investigate solutions to be pain-free within my own body (that ol’ hip issue). Line up consultations with surgeons to problem-solve and take the next step. Eventually, have a clearer understanding of what my performance as a physical therapist will be like and be able to navigate the physical demands of the profession as necessary (ongoing….).

Strategies for Career Development

  • Identify projects for clinical course requirements (final two rotations) that will increase my knowledge of interest areas
  • Gain more observation hours and hands-on experience in the clinic setting (women’s health, inpatient, acute care, burn unit, SCI, vestibular rehab, sports medicine, etc.)
  • Frequently check-in with current mentor on progress and/or identify another mentor with knowledge and skills that will provide needed guidance.
  • Secure materials about clinical residency in women’s health PT and review requirements.
  • Inquire with women’s health PT about their experiences in regard to residency.
  • Identify a peer group or individual colleague interested in preparing for national exam together in order to promote discipline and support.
  • Develop a plan of study for exam and be well-prepared.
  • Maintain balance with my own hip rehabilitation and be mindful of capabilities. Have patience.

Electives, Clinical Courses, Doctoral Project,

& Samples of Academic Work


  • PHYT 885 Advanced Neurology Assessment – An opportunity to expand my knowledge of assessment and treatment of neurological issues. My interest in working with women has exposed me to the challenging path that many breast cancer patients endure and the impact that chemotherapy drugs has on their nervous systems.  I opted to create a resource for PT’s working with this population: An Assessment Toolbox_Neurological Symptoms In Patients With Cancer

(Clinical Coursework)

  • PHYT 705 Managing Contemporary Practice – In light of missing time in the classroom during my 2nd year (secondary to personal health issues), I completed my business plan last fall.  The theme here again is women’s health. Here it is combined with a dash of entrepreneurship! OneSelf Therapy_Women’s Physical Therapy & Wellness Center

(Doctoral Project)

  • Did you know that during pregnancy only 11-17% of women follow the recommended exercise guidelines established by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) according to several studies? This fact was the catalyst for my capstone. I desired to learn more about adherence rates, barriers to participation, motivators to participation, and how healthcare providers can work together to breakthrough these barriers.  Additionally, I was eager to educate women during pregnancy about the benefits of exercise, what the ACOG guidelines are, and how they can get started or stay active. Visit the capstone site,, and check out the patient education brochure, handout and PPT presentation I created for the folks at Women’s Birth & Wellness Center.

(Clinical Rotation)

  • Acute Neuro PT – I am currently completing my third clinical rotation at UNC Hospital on the acute neurology team. My clinical instructor, April Xayavong (formerly Fay – UNC alumni!), has been an asset to my learning experience. She has helped me build confidence and increase my independence treating patients in the hospital, in particular complex patients in the Neuro ICU.
  • Women’s Health PT – I will embark on my final rotation in mid-July with Jennifer Harrington, another UNC alumni! I am particularly excited about this rotation because it will mainly be working in women’s health.

Reflective Statement & Progress Toward Goals

“Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many –not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some.” Charles Dickens

I meet this required component of the portfolio with a variety of emotions. As many of you reading this know, my experience in PT school was quite different than I had ever imagined. Like so many of our future patients, I am in a healing process that is complex, challenging to understand, wavers between good days and many bad days, impacts my quality of life and most of all takes time and support. I have uncovered many lessons while traveling this path. One that stands out the most is that our eyes do not tell us a complete story. We really have no idea what goes on in our patients’ worlds; we must meet patients and their families just where they are, and nowhere else.  I understand more fully that pain, injury, and illness impact many layers of one’s being deeply and their caregivers as well.  Pain wears many faces. It nags. It distracts. It frustrates. It prevents. It saddens, and it is often is so hard to describe and live with. The reflection, the realization in all this is that pain and injury are also opportunities; they are the exact reasons why patients come to see us. It is an opportunity for them to get to know themselves better, self-discovery and self-awareness, and PT’s have an opportunity to help them on that journey. Our role is to use our honed clinical skills, in-depth knowledge of the body, encouragement and open hearts to simply help patients feel better and enjoy life more. We are the ones that help bring meaning back to their lives by working together to improve function, mobility and participation.  I feel fortunate to be a part of this opportunity and the physical therapy field.

I must say I could not be here without you, my classmates and faculty. The past two years have been the most challenging set of years I have ever experienced personally. They say things happen for a reason. Oye…I’ve had a hard time believing that one; however, when I think what it might be like if I had experienced the same turn of events at a different time in my life (not while in PT school), then I know that statement must be true. Things do happen for reasons we can’t explain and you all prove it.  You  have been right there beside me, at all the moments when I’ve needed you most, at every step, supporting, listening, checking in, accommodating, believing in me.  I am lucky to have you and my gratitude runs deeper than you realize.

I look forward to seeing where our paths take us and know I will be inspired. I am truly honored to be a part of such a smart, creative, driven, disciplined, thoughtful, compassionate group of colleagues! You are my “present blessings”.

(And although this is a roundabout way…I think I am progressing towards my goals quite well!)

Be well.



5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Duclos, Chenin”

  1.   Lorraine Arboreon 15 Jul 2014 at 11:59 am

    There are no words to express how deeply moved I am; the steps you have taken in pursuit of your goals, the challenges faced, the wonderful, caring, friends, the support you have been given from staff and students, the lives that have touched you and that you have touched. Any parent would be so proud. The knowledge you have gained from your work, your studies and your own personal “experiences” will truly provide you with all the ingredients that will soon contribute to your being one of the best in your field and every patient fortunate to have you working with them. CONGRATULATIONS to you dear daughter and the rest of the class.


  2.   Carol DeFazioon 16 Jul 2014 at 1:58 pm

    I agree with your Mom that it is difficult to find the right words to convey the pride that we all feel for this unbelievable accomplishment in your life! I’ve watched you learn, struggle, live, love, and share all of your amazing qualities as you have gone down this very challenging, yet rewarding path. It has been such a pleasure to witness your dedication and perseverance over the past few years – especially the last two. I honestly cannot fathom how you’ve managed to do all that you have, but I can see that you have a truly wonderful support system at UNC and I also want to thank them for being there for you. You will be the very best at everything you do, as you always have been. Congratulations, my dear Niece. I love you to the moon!


  3.   Debbieon 17 Jul 2014 at 7:11 pm

    I too believe that there is a reason that things happen….even hard to live with things. You will be not a “good” PT, but a “great” PT who will not only successful provide intervention for your patients’ varying physical abilities, but also provide empathy and understanding for all of those “hidden” emotions that few service providers understand if they have not been through injury themselves.
    I had the pleasure of doing a pediatric mock clinical with you that was one of the best examples of a student “getting it” that I have experienced in my 26 years of practice! You have a gift.

    Remember to treat yourself like you treated the pediatric patient you had for your mock … focus on the “abilities” …not on the disabilities. 🙂

    I am so proud of you!! I will be here.


  4.   Lisa Johnstonon 24 Jul 2014 at 1:19 am


    I cannot express how happy I am to see how you have progressed over these few years. I know your road has been really difficult in so many ways. You have always approached your challenges with careful thought and the utmost professionalism. It has truly been a pleasure to see you reach your goals.

    Good luck



  5.   monique sullivanon 28 Jul 2014 at 12:22 pm

    My dear precious neice, Chenin.
    I am the proudest aunt from the North honey! You are an amazing young woman and an inspiration to me and to so many. The past few years, but even before that have always left such an impression on me and others of who and what you are…..a strong dedicated person with incredible goals and aspirations. Continue as you are doing and I know we will be continuing as well to be more and more inspired by you, my precious neice.
    You are and have always been in my constant prayers. I love you so much. aunt Mo


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