Mar 18 2015

Gwynn, Amy

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Professional Goal Statement

My goal is to become a thoughtful, well-rounded, evidence-based physical therapist serving in North Carolina either in an outpatient or in-patient rehabilitation orthopedic and neuromuscular setting that emphasizes creative interdisciplinary work and allows for exposure to a diverse population of patients. I would love to be able to start doing this by working PRN in the float pool for a large healthcare system. I also hope to continue to be involved with lobbying and advocating on Capitol Hill with the APTA for physical therapists, as well as in professional development by being a member of the APTA and attending conferences. Finally, I would like to serve as a CI and as a therapist helping enact protocols for research projects.

Career Plan

Aug-Dec 2011: Patient Care Coordinator, Carolina Balance & Rehabilitation, Raleigh, NC

May 2012: B.A. with highest honors, Exercise and Sport Science from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

August 2015: earn Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Sept-Oct 2015: Search and apply for jobs in greater Charlotte & Triangle area in hospital systems, preferably IPR, OP, or PRN with team emphasis, and diverse patient population to allow for an orthopedic and neuromuscular mixed caseload

Oct 2015:  sit and pass Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy examination

– obtain license to practice physical therapy in North Carolina

– complete Pilates apparatus certification with Amy Michaels at NC Pilates, Durham, NC

Nov 2015: Begin career as a PT in NC in a setting as described above

– work part-time, potentially with a former CI, doing cash-based OP Pilates Based PT

– Remain active as APTA, NCPTA, and APTA Orthopedic section member

– Remain active in state and federal advocacy efforts for PT by attending Federal Advocacy Forum, presenting in-services, and staying in contact with legislators

2017: attend a continuing education course specializing in vestibular physical therapy

2018: become a professional yoga teacher (PYT), and incorporate into PT practice

2019: participate in training to become a Clinical Instructor, and begin working with students as a CI

2020:  become involved with research projects in local area or with faculty from UNC, helping to implement protocols, especially related to Pilates and/or yoga interventions


Strengths Areas for Professional Development
Experience in a variety of clinical settings—OP ortho/neuro in 3 hospital based clinics across the state of NC, one in an underserved area, one with predominantly geriatric clientele, and one with an incredibly diverse mix in terms of age, diagnosis, and abilities -improve confidence and knowledge related to prognosis and assessment, specifically of more neurologically involved patients
-experience working with patients with vestibular problems in 2 different OP clinics under vestibular specialists -therapeutic exercise progression specifically related to more neurologically involved patients, outside of balance
-experience treating pediatric patients in a variety of settings including home health, daycare/preschool (EI), and OP -experience with manual therapy techniques
-commitment to professional development as evidenced by APTA, NCPTA, and APTA orthopedic section membership-as well as 3 time attendance at the APTA Federal Advocacy Forum in DC, and service as a Key Contact in NC for PT-related legislative issues -network with more PTs active in Charlotte & RDU area
-experience with 4 different computer-based documentation systems -increase efficiency and comprehensiveness during initial evaluations, both in-session in choosing specific and relevant outcome measures as well as in documentation
-skilled in critically appraising current evidence -seek out quality continuing education experiences based on recommendations from mentors and peers (potentially PRI, Maitland, McKenzie)
– interpersonal communication skills – expand knowledge of opportunities for career growth within area of employment (for ex. In Carolinas Healthcare System there is a career ladder for Level II, and Level III therapists)
-consistently working with patients not only to achieve PT goals specific to chief complaint, but also on strategies to transition to a general health and wellness program upon DC from PT -develop a more organized approach to stay current with evidence


1. Prepare and sit for National Physical Therapy Exam in October 2015. 2.Obtain a first job in the Charlotte or RDU area at a hospital/clinic with an established training and mentor program to further my learning and confidence as a new therapist

3. Work with Karen McCulloch to complete a doctoral research project with yoga as an intervention

4. Develop clinical teaching skills to be used as a clinical instructor in the future

5. Pursue continuing education opportunities related to vestibular physical therapy as well as a yoga teacher training


Specific Strategies
1. Identify mentor(s) who could help guide me through the job application process and help me develop my interests further (Melissa Horton, PT & Erin Laurie, PT, DPT)

2. Select two electives for 3rd year that will further my learning in areas I’m particularly interested in (orthopedics, pediatrics, vestibular)

3. Develop a doctoral project (research proposal materials) related to yoga and post-traumatic stress disorder in the military population who have sustained a mTBI with the advisement of Karen McCulloch

4. Develop a plan of study for comprehensive and board exams with a classmate (Sarah van der Horst, Reid Medlin)

5. Begin to research clinical and job opportunities in the Charlotte area with the help of Erin Laurie, PT, DPT, and in the Raleigh-Durham area with the help of Melissa Horton, PT, and Rachel Nixon, PT, DPT

6. network at NCPTA and APTA events with professional colleagues in specialty areas


Course Plan and Objectives

Fall 2014 electives:

1) Advanced Orthopedic Assessment (3 credit hours): As I would like to pursue orthopedics, and have had a lot of lingering questions during my orthopedic rotation, I look forward to the opportunity to do more specific research in this area of practice.

2) Integrated Clinical Experience (1 credit hour): I always find I learn more quickly and more easily in a practical setting, so I would love to work with a faculty member to further my neurological knowledge, to round out my clinical skills, and keep my clinical skills fresh since I’ll have a year without clinical rotations.

Location: University Physical Therapy, Hillsborough, NC Faculty CI: Jo Gupta, PT, PhD

Spring 2015 elective:

1) Orthopedic elective (2 credit hours) under the direction of Mike McMorris, PT, DPT, with a TA component in MSK-1 course, a seminar component with other 3rd years discussing journal articles, and successful completion of APTA’s Orthopedic Section’s Continued Concepts 21.2 home study course

Capstone Project

My capstone project became a paper to be used in the future for pre-proposal and proposals for grant funding for research related to the effects of yoga on symptoms of PTSD in patients in the military who have sustained a mild traumatic brain injury. I worked with Prue Plummer BPhysio, PhD, in EBP2 and Karen McCulloch, PT, PhD, during the capstone course on developing these materials. I feel this project allowed me to think critically about how challenging it is to acquire research funding as well as about how difficult it is to implement yoga as an intervention.

For more information, please see:


Product Examples:

Advanced Orthopedic Assessment Final Paper:

Sternoclavicular Joint: Anatomy, Function, Instability, Surgical and Physical Therapy Interventions

Health & Wellness Project Proposal:

Managing Osteoporosis in Rural NC

Reflective Statement

Throughout this program, I’ve sought to specifically define my clinical interests. While I’m still not sure all of what I want to do with my PT career, I now realize I’ll spend my career working to define and refine my clinical areas of interest and expertise based on what continuing education experiences, mentorship, settings, and collaboration I participate in. I’ve already begun to integrate what I’ve learned from UNC faculty members in practicals, mocks, and ICE and from clinical instructors who have had continuing education certifications in Maitland, McKenzie, NDT, Pilates, yoga, vestibular rehab, and manual therapy residencies, and not to mention the massive amounts of literature I read during third year into establishing my very own style of practice during my last clinical rotation.

This last rotation has made me confident that I can treat a patient post-op RC repair, distal clavicle excision, and subacromial decompression, then evaluate a pediatric patient with opsoclonus myoclonus, Scheuermmann’s disease, seizures and bipolar disorder with cervical radiculopathy, educate a patient who is 8 weeks s/p CVA and her daughter how to negotiate stairs with 1 handrail, and teach a patient with an AKA amputation and a new prosthesis how to properly walk again—all in one day. I love the diversity and am so amazed this exists. I thought I had to choose between ortho and neuro, and I don’t! It’s the clinical scenario I’ve been looking for all along, and one I know will continually both challenge and surprise me. I’ve already begun discussing with my CI about the possibility of getting a job at my clinical site or within the system after graduation.

I’ve also continued to realize my passion for empowering patients to continue with exercise for general health and wellness after discharge from PT based on our experiences and assignments in the Health & Wellness course, and my final clinical rotation.

I’ve already begun continuing education by finishing up my Pilates certification at NC Pilates this summer and in the fall, and am teaching Pilates this summer while in Charlotte.

One response so far

One Response to “Gwynn, Amy”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 05 Jun 2015 at 2:16 am

    I have been so excited to see the diversity of your interests and how they have flourished here. Nice job, thanks for all the hard work!
    Take care


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