May 29 2014

Haigh, Meredith

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Professional Goal Statement:

My professional goals include providing the best possible care for patients of all ages by implementing evidence-based practice, participating in active life-long learning, and being a good steward of my skills and knowledge. I would love to experience providing care to patients in both acute care and inpatient rehabilitation with a focus on either neurological or cardiopulmonary physical therapy potentially leading to pursuit of acceptance into a neurology or cardiopulmonary residency program and/or achievement of a neurology or cardiopulmonary specialty certification. Furthermore, I wish to maintain and strengthen my knowledge of current evidence and practice by attending and potentially teaching continuing education courses, leading journal clubs, and attending relevant annual conferences.

Career Plan:

Career Plan

Self Assessment:


Areas for Professional Development

-Experience in variety of settings including outpatient orthopedics, acute care, long term acute care, inpatient rehab, home healthcare, skilled nursing, neurology, and cardiopulmonary rehab

-Active listener

-Skill in effective communication regarding patient care in an interdisciplinary setting

-Strong network among staff and clinicians in the Raleigh/Durham area

-Increased comfort in specifics of billing, coding, and insurance reimbursement-Increased experience in practicing clinical judgment skills in complex patient cases

-Further experience in orthopedic examination techniques such as special tests, reflex testing, accurate manual muscle testing and goniometer use.

-Increased skills of management of prosthetic and orthotic devices-Increase ability to understand and speak Spanish


Personal Objectives:

1. Become licensed to practice physical therapy by the Board of North Carolina

2. Maintain and improve ability to efficiently search and interpret the current literature to incorporate evidence-based practice in daily practice.

3. Enter employment in a setting that provides a mentorship program for recent DPT graduates.

4. Achieve certification in neurology or cardiopulmonary specialty.

Specific Strategies:

-Maintain current study strategies, follow study plan, and sit for Board exam July 23, 2014.

-Attend numerous continuing education courses related to acute care and cardiopulmonary- related treatment to maintain knowledge of current evidence.

-Participate or create a journal club at location of employment to encourage continued practice in literature searching and interpretation.

-Locate settings that offer mentorship and pursue employment via application, resume, and cover letter.

-Identify requirements for obtaining a neurology or cardiopulmonary specialty certification, develop a plan of study for the specialty exam, and sit for exam.

Relevant Courses and Product Samples:

PHYT 822- Advanced Patient Management. In this course, I chose to focus on a patient case of a 56 year old male with severe COPD and his course of pulmonary rehabilitation pre- and post- bilateral lung transplant. My final project in this course was to write a paper outlining the outcome instruments and any other functional outcome measures that measure the success of a pulmonary rehabilitation program.

PHYT 820- Advanced Patient Cases. I enjoyed the TBI module of this course because I was able to explore the anatomy behind brain injuries, the wide range of presentations, and a variety of treatment strategies to decrease impairments and increase functional abilities. More specifically, I wrote a review on Body-weight supported treadmill training for patients post-TBI, outlining a summary of the literature’s findings on its efficacy compared with over-ground conventional gait training.

PHYT 885- Advanced Neurology Elective– I chose this elective to expand my toolbox for treatment of patients with neurologic injury. I had the opportunity to research several aspects of neurologic pathology such as loss of executive function, vision, motor control, spasticity, and cerebellar ataxia. We then looked into the process of healing including exercises’ effect on neuroplasticity and treatment strategies such as aquatic therapy, body-weight supported treadmill training, and virtual reality gait training. I looked further and wrote a paper on Pusher Syndrome in Stroke, Huntington’s Disease, and Aquatic Therapy for Patients Post Stroke

PHYT 768– Clinical Affilitaiton #3 at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. During this clinical, I had the opportunity to participate in treatment of a few patients with severe TBI during their stay in an inpatient rehabilitation facility. During this time, several gait training methods were used such as conventional over-ground walking with handrail and therapist support, partial body-weight supported gait training over ground and treadmill, and aquatic therapy. This birthed both a love for treatment of this patient population as well as a desire to explore the current literature regarding best practice standards for gait training.

PHYT 752- Evidence Based Practice II. During this course, I had the opportunity to translate my new-found passion and curiosity into a research project that answered the following PICO question: “For patients with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury under the age of 40 and without previous neurological occurrence, is over-ground manually-assisted gait training and handrail support or a body weight-supported device more beneficial for improving functional abilities as measured by over-ground walking speeds?” This research paper can be accessed here.

PHYT 854- Doctoral Capstone Project. In my previous work in EBP II, my focus during this research was narrow, only addressing two types of locomotor training for patients with TBI. For my Capstone project, I sought to broaden this topic to include a more expansive range of gait training techniques as well as to address the benefits of task-specific practice and the most reliable and valid outcome measures for measuring improvement. My literature review that I completed as part of my Capstone project can be seen here.


The past three years have been a blessing beyond what I could have ever imagined. I’m so thankful for the DPT faculty at UNC. Their commitment to their patients in the clinic coupled with their commitment to us, their students, has been evident in their long hours and open doors. I have been equipped with the priceless gift of passion for this profession and my future patients and cannot wait to begin sharing this blessing with others via excellent patient care and purposeful mentorship for future students like me. I’m thankful for the memories and knowledge that will never leave me.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Haigh, Meredith”

  1.   KMacon 02 Jul 2014 at 2:12 am

    Nice work Meredith.
    I’m putting in a plug for you to go the NCS route in terms of specialization – it looks like you all could have a study group in your class 🙂 Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help in preparation for that – I’m happy to guide you toward Section activities that might interest you too – its a really fun group.
    Take care,


  2.   Debbieon 17 Jul 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Great job Meredith
    It sounds like you really thrived in acute care and inpt rehab! Tough settings but you have what it takes to be successful. I like that one of your goals is to look for settings that can provide you with mentorship. Very good plan.
    Good luck and congratulations!


  3.   Lisa Johnstonon 24 Jul 2014 at 1:45 am


    It has truly been a pleasure to have you in class. I know are an excellent PT and I certainly wish you the best of luck. Please keep in touch.



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