May 29 2014

Lawson, Stephanie

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Portfolio for Stephanie Lawson


Professional Goal Statement

My goal is to open up an Outpatient Orthopedic Physical Therapy Clinic specializing in Women’s Health in a rural area of Virginia. The clinic will be up to date on current Evidence Based and Physical Therapy Practice.


Career Plan

  • Graduate from UNC with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy (2014)
  • Pass Boards
  • Begin working in either general outpatient physical therapy or acute setting
  • In 3-5 years begin a Residency in Women’s Health
  • Will become Board Certified in Women’s Health
  • Work in Women’s Health Field and gain more experience in the field
  • Establish and create a Private Practice

Self Assessment


Strengths Areas for Professional Development
  • Communication Skills
  • Open Personality
  • Patient Education
  • I show Initiative and Motivated to seek what I need to help me succeed
  • Organized
  • Math background and held many office jobs to help facilitate a new business


  • Continued practice in Outpatient Orthopedics, refreshing my knowledge and clinical skills
  • Create a stronger background in Women’s Health
  • Expand knowledge of business practices
  • Continue to stay up to date on current EBP in PT and issues facing the profession




  1. Study and pass PT board certification.
  2. Gain acceptance into Women’s Health Physical Therapy Residency Program
  3. Prepare and sit for the exam for Board Certification in Women’s Health Physical Therapy.

Specific Strategies

  • Select two elective courses that will help address my learning needs.
  • Identify projects for clinical course requirements that will increase my knowledge in women’s health and orthopedics
  • Seek out class at Duke for Women’s Health Special Topics class (completed)
  • Shadow many Physical Therapists in Women’s Health field
  • Attend the service learning trip for community service and increase awareness for community health
  • Final Clinical as Women’s Health specialty
  • Develop a doctoral project around a Women’s Health topic
  • Identify a mentor with the knowledge, skills, and professional values I wish to emulate, as well as business mentor.
  • Become a Women’s Health Section member
  • Study and pass PT Boards
  • Get into a residency program, and pass Women’s Health Boards


Course plan for Clinical Core, Electives and Doctoral Project


Women’s Health Elective at Duke

I actively sought the class out and made arrangements to take it. A special topics paper was required. Nursing After Breast Surgery



Take the Ortho Elective offered by the program.  Refresh and continue to add to my knowledge of Orthopedics. A final paper was required. Athletic Pubalgia



Go on the International Service Learning Trip to increase knowledge and awareness of health in other countries.

Capstone Project was completed here.


Doctoral Project

Capstone project was titled “Standard of Care through Pregnancy.” I presented to my fellow travelers in Guatemala about the standard of care through pregnancy that typically occurs in the United States and the difference between the care in Guatemala. There was a focus on typical physical therapy needs during pregnancy as well. I presented to the women of Guatemala about health during pregnancy as well as red flags to look out for.

IMG_5193 IMG_5194


 Other Assignments

Evidence Based Practice  II Final Paper – Pelvic Floor Muscle Training During Pregnancy (Shortened overview of Research Paper)

Inservice completed for Moses Cone Hospital on Gait Belt Safety – Video was used as CBL for entire Nursing Staff. [youtube][/youtube]

My last clinical is Women’s Health physical therapy focused. I am split between two therapists, one specializing in pelvic floor dysfunction and the other focusing on lymphedema. It has been a great opportunity for further development and growth as a PT student. I am also taking Pelvic Floor 1 during the clinical to help further add to my knowledge and skills as a Women’s Health Physical Therapist.

Reflective Statement

Has it been 3 years since I started PT school?! What an awesome, tiring, and wonderful experience. I remember as a first year thinking “I’ll never know all that those 3rd years know.” They were so impressive when we met them at rounds. I hope they can say the same about us! Coming into PT school, I just knew I wanted to be a physical therapist, and did not know exactly what setting I wanted to practice in. Nothing had really grabbed my attention, until rounds 1st year and we heard about Women’s Health Physical Therapy. Interestingly enough, one of the speakers is now my Clinical Instructor for my last clinical! All of a sudden I had such a drive to learn all I could to help this population of people. I attended CSM courses on Women’s Health, sought out an extra course at Duke PT School in Women’s Health, chose topics related to pelvic floor for as many assignments as possible, researched pelvic floor muscle exercises during pregnancy, and finally am doing my last rotation doing Pelvic Floor PT as well as Lymphedema. I am really working towards my goals of becoming a Women’s Health Physical Therapist. It has been such a rewarding experience here at UNC, working with amazing faculty who really helped me harvest my dream. Gooo HEELS!


2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Lawson, Stephanie”

  1.   Beverly Knighton 30 Jun 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Great portfolio! Your career plan is very exciting! I think it is great that you have identified a need for PT services among women in rural Virginia. By providing a needed service and making a difference in the lives of others will surely make your career meaningful. Through your already completed coursework and research/projects you are well on your way to accomplishing your objective goals. I wish you the absolute best!


  2.   Lisa Johnstonon 24 Jul 2014 at 2:09 am


    It is great to see all your progress. I am so excited to see you have found your passion. Good luck!



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