Mar 18 2015

Irr, Michael

Published by

My Professional Goal Statement

To become an orthopedic/sports physical therapist and strength & conditioning coach who can bridge the gap between rehabilitation and performance training.

Career Path

Career Path to Aug 2015

2006: Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, University of Connecticut

2006-2008: Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach, Chicago Bulls

2008-2011: Head Strength & Conditioning Coach, Charlotte Hornets

2011-Current: Self-Employed Strength & Conditioning Coach, Metro Fitness Club

2012-2015: Doctorate of Physical Therapy, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Future Career Path

Aug 2015: Obtain job at outpatient orthopedic clinic in Charlotte, NC.

Oct 2015: Open part-time physical therapy and training business.

By 2020: Be full-time with my physical therapy and training business.

By 2025: Open physical therapy and performance training clinic in the Charlotte area.

Continuing Education Path

By Aug 2015: Complete Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) primary courses.

Dec 2015: Attend PRI Advanced Integration Course.

2016-2017: Attend PRI Impingement & Instability and/or Cervical Revolution courses.



  • Interdisciplinary experience working together with a sports medicine staff as an NBA strength and conditioning coach for 5 years.
  • Expert in fitness and training program design for people of all ages and experience, including elite athletes.
  • Experience in outpatient clinics, including two clinical rotations (5 months) in outpatient orthopedics, and an additional rotation (2 months) in an outpatient neuro clinic.
  • Deep exposure to a variety of rehabilitation systems, including Functional Movement Systems and the Postural Restoration Institute.
  • Well-developed network of sports medicine professionals across the country, including Charlotte, NC.

Areas for Professional Development

  • Improve understanding of billing, coding and administration of an outpatient physical therapy clinic, as well as overall business practice and management.
  • Additional skills in manual therapy (joint mobilization, manipulation, and soft-tissue techniques) in orthopedic and sports physical therapy.
  • Improve documentation efficiency, particularly in Medicare cases.
  • Increase depth of knowledge in orthopedic practice and neuroscience to improve understanding of concepts and patient care.


My special area of interest is orthopedic and sport physical therapy with an emphasis on return to sport rehabilitation and advanced training for athletes.

  1. Prepare for and pass the physical therapy board certification exam on my on my 1st attempt in July 2015.
  2. Sharpen orthopedic and neuro skills to provide the best care for my patients.
  3. Obtain the skills and education necessary to start a business.

Specific Strategies

  • Maintain good grades with current and upcoming classes of our UNC curriculum.
  • Obtain a final clinical rotation that is located in a facility that has both physical therapy and performance training.
  • Develop and execute a study plan for the physical therapy board examination.
  • Execute a continuing education plan, specifically focusing on Postural Respiration Institute courses, manual therapy, and neuro techniques.  Attending two courses per year will be my goal.
  • Continue to build a network of healthcare professionals in Charlotte, NC, including other physical therapy colleagues, orthopedic surgeons, primary care physicians, nutritionists, and massage therapists.
  • Build a good reputation in Charlotte through relationships developed by personal training, community service, and pro-bono services.
  • Find a business mentor through the Small Business Administration to help with business planning for a future business in Charlotte.

Electives & Capstone

Fall 2015

The Advanced Orthopedic Assessment course allowed me to gain greater understanding of the physiology of different tissues and it’s clinical relevance.  This was a great course to improve my knowledge of topics related to orthopedics.

Spring 2015

The Advanced Neuromuscular Elective (3 credits) improved my knowledge of brain function (or dysfunction) and interventions as they relate to neuro physical therapy.  The brain and nervous system is the most powerful system in the body and the clinical knowledge gained form this course will be very helpful.

Capstone: ACL Injury Risk Factors, Screening Tests, and Prevention Programs

For my capstone, I wrote a scholarly paper on ACL injury mechanisms and risk factors, with a primary focus on modifiable risk factors that may be appropriate for screening tests.  I proposed potential clinical or field screening tests for identifying some of these modifiable risk factors and supported their use with available evidence.  Unfortunately, despite a plethora of research on risk factors, evidence is scant for screening tests.  The screens I investigated were the Beighton score, Functional Movement Screen, Landing Error Score System (LESS), Tuck Jump Assessment, and Nordic Hamstring Test.  In my paper I described their strengths, weaknesses, and areas of future research.  Lastly, I briefly outlined some literature on prevention programs including key components, guidelines, and factors all programs should consider.  To accompany this paper, I created a presentation geared towards sports medicine professionals, primarily those who work in clinics or at high schools. I was fortunate to be able to speak to a group of ten high school athletic trainers in the greater Charlotte area.  The project can be found here:  ACL Injury Risk Factors, Screening Tests, and Prevention Programs.

Product Examples

Advanced Orthopedic Scholarly Paper: Hamstring Strain Injuries

  • Scholarly paper on epidemiology, mechanisms of injury, risk factors, and treatment and prevention strategies for hamstring strain injuries.

Critically Appraised Topic for Evidence-Based II: Critically Appraised Topic

  • Project included a literature search, quality review of literature, and summary of best evidence for ACL Prevention Programs in Female High School Athletes.

Reflective Statement

I have been blessed to be a part of the DPT program at UNC-Chapel Hill.  I arrived on campus with a very specific skill-set for a specific population, but will leave with a greater understanding and broader knowledge of how to help a diverse population of patients to improve their function.  This will be invaluable as I interact with various patients and healthcare providers throughout my career.  Additionally, my understanding of foundational science in anatomy (gross and neuro), physiology, biomechanics, and motor control and learning, has grown exponentially.  I believe this knowledge gained will be fundamental in my growth as an orthopedic and sports physical therapist.  The electives and projects I’ve completed at UNC-Chapel Hill have set a solid foundation for future learning and excellent practice.  Thank you to all of the faculty at UNC for the many learning experiences I’ve had these last three years!

One response so far

One Response to “Irr, Michael”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 07 Jun 2015 at 7:53 pm

    It is nice to see some samples of your work. I am glad to hear that your experience here has provided the opportunities you have needed to grow in your professional interests.
    Nice job.


Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply