Mar 18 2015

Miller, Joe

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Professional Goal Statement

I believe physical therapy is the most fruitful and most rewarding job in the world.  I am amazed at the impact a therapist can have after 30-45 minutes of rehab, and it enriches my life to help someone improve their functionality and quality of life.  I have developed a zeal for working with patients with neurological conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, and stroke among others, and I look forward to a lifelong journey of learning and encouraging others on the best rehabilitative methods for these patients.  I will dedicate myself to the task of pursing the evidence-based practice, learning from health care professionals, instructing students and other therapists on best practice guidelines, and advocating for these patients to receive the care they need.


Career Plan:

– Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with minors in Health and Biology, NC State University

– Worked as a Habilitation Technician with children with special needs (autism, CP)

– UNC Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program

– First clinical affiliation at Southeastern Orthopedics in Greensboro, NC

– MS STEP UP Program, CMSC member (attended and submitted a poster to the annual conference in 2014)

– Second and third clinical affiliations at UNC Hospitals Acute Care and Susan E. Bennett Physical Therapy

– Sit for the licensing exam in July
– Complete final clinical affiliation at Vidant Medical Center’s Inpatient Stroke Unit

– Work as a neurological physical therapist
– Continue to participate in MS STEP UP as a mentor
– Attend continuing education seminars and pursue certifications pertinent to my patients
– Provide inservice presentations and help start or continue EBP-related efforts in the clinic, such as leading journal clubs
– Collaborate with other health care professionals and organizations to serve patients with MS
– Participate in advocacy efforts for the PT profession and our patients as health care reform continues

– Earn MSCS certification

– Earn vestibular certification

– Sit for NCS exam


Self Assessment:



  • Professionalism
  • Goal-driven and a self-starter
  • Dedication to providing holistic and comprehensive rehab to patients
  • Synthesizing and critically appraising research
  • Background and independent learning with regards to working with patients with MS
  • Experience working in a variety of settings including orthopedics, acute care, outpatient neuro (vestibular rehab, post-concussion, multiple sclerosis)
  • Motivated to never stop learning and to never stop serving
  • Experience collaborating with other healthcare professionals in an interdisciplinary team


Areas for Professional Development

  • Writing letters of medical necessity
  • Manual Techniques
  • Current issues regarding advocacy for the PT profession and patients with neurological diagnoses.
  • Equipping patients with community resources for diagnoses other than MS
  • Experience working with pediatric populations, SCI, and TBI



  1. Pass the board examination for Physical Therapy license in the summer of 2015.
  2. Obtain a job working with a neuro patient population that has a strong focus on mentorship, continuing education, and evidence-based practice
  3. Present a poster on another topic related to MS (CMSC, CSM)
  4. Attend at least 2 conferences and 1 certification course before graduation
  5. Pursue and obtain certification courses such as NCS, MSCS, & APTA’s vestibular certification


Specific Strategies:

– Select elective courses that will address areas for professional development
– Explore placements for my final clinical affiliation that will enhance my clinical skills working with neuro and pediatric patient populations.
– Continue to pursue and work towards my goals of the MS STEP UP Program
– Explore applications and requirements for neurological residency programs
– Attend conferences and specialty certifications to network and enhance clinical expertise
– Continue pursuing excellence in the classroom and in professional practice


Product Examples:

I believe my greatest achievement during my time at UNC is the development and implementation of an online wellness program for individuals with MS.  I challenged myself to implement the online education and group exercise program after designing the program during the Health Promotion and Wellness course.  My Critically Appraised Topic on the benefits of self-efficacy and group exercise interventions in individuals with MS also helped with the design of the program.  The summary of the program can be found on my DPT capstone website (see the link for “Joseph Miller” on the website

I am also proud of a paper on ankle contractures that I produced during my advanced orthopedic elective (see Ankle Contractures for Individuals with Neurological Diagnoses).  This assignment helped me understand the causes of ankle contractures for individuals with neurological diagnoses along with the resulting impact on gait kinematics and kinetics. I have already incorporated the conclusions from this paper into my practice along with some of the most current evidence-based interventions.


Reflective Statement:

It was always my dream to attend UNC for physical therapy school.  After 3 years of applying and two rounds of interviewing, that dream became a reality in 2012.  After three additional years, I am humbled by the opportunities and mentorship that were bestowed upon me during this time.  PT school has certainly been one of the most difficult and stressful experiences of my life, but it has also been one of the most rewarding.  Throughout the program, I have developed the confidence to provide holistic and evidence-based care for a variety of populations.  In addition, I have also developed the competencies to continue my education so that I can maintain the highest standards of evaluation and treatment.  I am thankful for the faculty who were persistently pushing us to achieve our fullest potential throughout PT school.

I also appreciate everyone who was involved with the MS STEP UP program.  Throughout my career, I will always strive to improve MS care in my community and educate others on the benefits of rehab for these individuals.  This program definitely cultivated my passion for lifelong wellness for individuals with MS and the broader scope of neurological diagnoses.

Thanks also to my classmates.  I believe we are all uniquely gifted, and I look forward to learning from each one of you throughout my career.

ms step up schalors_2015 allied health award brunch 211The crew

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Miller, Joe”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 07 Jun 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Nice job on your portfolio. I am so excited to see how the MS STEP UP program has really fostered a passion for caring for people living with MS. It is great to know you will be staying connected as a mentor. Great job!


  2.   Katie Ollendickon 11 Jun 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Great job on your portfolio. Thanks for sharing all that you have done and all that you look forward to doing in the future. Best wishes.


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