Mar 18 2015

Bui, Khiem

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Professional Goal Statement
• Become a licensed PT and work in an interdisciplinary team of health providers
• Use evidence-based interventions to provide skilled and effective care to patients
• Use my engineering, software and business experience to develop innovative processes for manufacturing prosthetics, and for treating neuro patients


Career Plan
• Previous careers: I am fortunate to have had many different careers. My original training was in engineering and I have worked for IBM (the group I worked with invented the very first check-acceptance mechanism used in automated teller machines), for the United Nations (I witnessed first-hand the genocide in Rwanda), and for several start-ups during the dot-com boom (we probably will never see such heady days again in our lifetime!)
Plans for 2015 onward:
• Graduate from UNC-CH with a DPT
• Take the NPTE in Oct 2015
• Work in an underserved area for 2 years to build up experience
• Research ways to integrate technology into PT interventions and equipment


• Maturity and professionalism
• Extensive work experience in engineering design, software analysis and business consulting
• Experience in living and working in multicultural environments

Areas for Further Development
• Clinical reasoning
• Exposure and experience to interventions for the neurological population (CVA, TBIs), and to the prosthetic-manufacturing and –fitting processes


• Study for, and take the NPTE in 10/2015 to become a licensed physical therapist
• Continue to acquire a variety of clinical experiences to be well-prepared as a generalist PT. Develop and enhance the skills needed to evaluate and treat patients in a wide range of settings
• Research and get a better understanding of Medicare reimbursement policies and their intricacies
• Follow developments in prosthetics manufacturing (esp. with 3-D printing techniques) and in virtual reality (e.g., Oculus, Hololens)

Specific Strategies to Accomplish Objectives
• Continue to get exposure to complex patients in all settings
• Continue to work towards successful completion of clinical rotations
• Continue to adhere to NPTE study plan
• Continue to participate in APTA activities
• Once licensed, volunteer and provide pro bono services to underserved patients


Elective Courses
• Integrated Clinical Experience (ICE): This is the course that I found to be the most useful and the most enjoyable of all the classes in the DPT curriculum. It gave me the opportunity to perform new patient evaluations, design patient interventions and document the care provided, under the supervision of a licensed PT. I think that this course should become mandatory in our DPT program.


Clinical Rotations
• Vidant Hospital, Greenville, NC (outpatient ortho)
• Greenville Hospital System, Greenville, SC (acute inpatient)
• Piedmont Healthcare (PACE – an
• High Point Regional Hospital, High Point, NC (neuro)


Capstone Project
I investigated the use of computer gaming in the treatment of stroke patients. Avatar-based computer games such as the Wii or Microsoft Kinect provide an innovative environment for treating motion impairments due to strokes: not only are the games entertaining, but they also introduce an element of randomness (think of dynamic systems) which the player has to deal with. My capstone can be found here.
The next few years should see the introduction of virtual reality into such games. Oculus and Hololens are two devices I am watching closely. If easy enough to use, they could open up new treatment ideas for patients with vestibular disorders, or patients who need to perform balance training.


The past three years in the DPT program have introduced me to the complexity of the human body; it has been a wonderful journey of discovery since I had no exposure to biology or to the life sciences previously. It has been stressful at times, and I will always remember the support and the kindness of the faculty and of my classmates. On the professional side, I feel that UNC has prepared me very well for the duties and responsibilities of a PT. I will certainly give back (as soon as I get a job!) and will eventually become a CI to help train future PTs.

One response so far

One Response to “Bui, Khiem”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 03 Jun 2015 at 2:01 am


    Thanks for sharing your reflection. It would be great if you could go back and add links to your complete projects so we can see samples of your work.



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