Mar 18 2015

Newman, Andrew

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UNC DPT Class of 2015


Professional Goal Statement

I aim to achieve a broad knowledge base of most fields of physical therapy in order to become increasingly confident and well prepared for the different challenges I can expect to encounter with regard to physical therapy diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. I have most enjoyed working with the neurological population and feel that I can offer a lot to this population base. In order to best serve my future patients and further my own career/knowledge base, I intend to become a board certified neurologic specialist, or geriatric specialist within 8 years of having attained my DPT degree. I am excited to embark on this journey!

Career Plan

  • B.S. in Biology from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, May, 2011
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, August, 2015
  • Multiple clinical rotation experiences assisting with treatment of the neurological population ranging from the acute hospital care to neurological inpatient settings, 2013-2015.
  • Acquire DPT license upon passing the North Carolina PT Boards Exam in July, 2015
  • Begin interviewing for jobs and working in a setting that has a large proportion of patients with neurological and associated functional impairments, Fall/Winter, 2015
  • Remain involved with APTA, including annual membership
  • Focus on attaining CEUs that pertain specifically to the neurological population – attend future CSM conferences
  • Become certified as a clinical instructor by 2018
  • Attain certification as a Board Certified Neurologic Specialist or Geriatric Specialist by 2023
  • Seek out/explore management positions in a hospital setting
  • Plan for retirement after 35-40 years of working



  • Dependable, organized and detail oriented
  • Valuable team player – good communication/presentation skills with patients/colleagues
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Strong work ethic and desire to assist patients/colleagues
  • Empathetic and driven
  • Strong evidence-based research curriculum provided at UNC-CH

Areas to develop:

  • Lack of clinician level experience
  • Orthotics/prosthetics
  • Timeliness and efficiency with evaluation and plan of care production
  • Limited knowledge base concerning different types of exercise and appropriate progression/when to progress
  • Knowledge on billing/coding rules/technique
  • Outcomes expectations and timeframes regarding of various orthopedic surgeries


  • Complete doctoral degree and prepare to sit for licensure exam in July, 2015
  • Continue to explore and gain experience when working in the neurologic inpatient setting during my final clinical rotation in the ABI unit at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital, Winston-Salem
  • Seek out possible employment/mentorship experiences in either the acute or inpatient setting with an emphasis on treating either geriatric patients or patients with neurological deficits
  • Attain credentialed certification by the APTA as a Neurologic Certified Specialist or Geriatric Certified Specialist

Specific Strategies:

  • Develop a comprehensive yet achievable study schedule in order to pass the licensure exam
  • Engage in networking opportunities through my network of contacts at UNC, Novant Health and Carolinas Healthcare System to find a suitable first job
  • Attain a LinkedIn profile page for improved job prospects
  • Seek out and acquire further information required to become a clinical instructor and board certified neurological/geriatric specialist
  • Attend national conferences for continued learning, networking and CEU attainment


Pediatric elective

I selected this elective to gain increased knowledge and insight into a wide variety of childhood orthopedic and neurological diagnoses and treatment options. Persons with neurological impairment tend to exhibit a variety of orthopedic conditions. I believe the knowledge gained in this class will assist me in treating pediatric clients with neurological impairments and accompanying orthopedic issues. A portion of the knowledge, treatment strategies and resources gained will also be of use when I am treating adults with neurological and orthopedic conditions, due to the increased potential of developmental/cognitive delay in this population.

Neuromuscular elective

I decided to take this elective to attain a more thorough understanding on a broad number of neurological conditions in adults. I decided to focus my studies on traumatic brain injury with inattention and behavioral deficits, as these are topics of particular interest. I gained detailed insight and knowledge of the pathophysiological processes and how a diagnosis of TBI and accompanying neurological sequelae relates to the International Classification of Functioning model (ICF). I completed a paper on cognitive/behavioral issues related to TBI based on the ICF model to describe the different dimensions of this diagnosis in a larger context (ICF model for TBI_cognitive_behavioral_issues).

Capstone project

Due to a parallel interest in the geriatric population, for my doctoral piece, I performed an in-depth review of the current evidence based literature on the potential methods to improve adherence to PT prescribed home exercise programs in older adults.  The components of the project consisted of a review paper detailing my findings, a PowerPoint presentation to be presented to practicing PT professionals, or to PT students, an evidence table, as well as a summary handout. The summary handout condenses the findings of the lengthy review paper and highlights evidence supported methods to improve adherence to home exercise programs in older adults. Some of these methods may also be of use in improving adherence to home exercise plans for other populations including the neurological population. Good adherence levels to home exercise programs are crucial in maintaining and improving gains made during PT on functional deficits, as well as increasing safety with mobility and transfers for all clients upon discharge.

Here is the link to my capstone website where all pieces produced can be found.

Other examples of work completed at UNC

TBI assessment toolbox concerning cognition/behavioral deficits – this document was designed to assist students and practitioners in the selection and utilization of various outcome measures specific to patients with a traumatic brain injury.

An assignment piece on unilateral spatial neglect (USN) attentional disorder in patients with stroke – This article describes what constitutes USN, common outcome measures used, the implications on physical therapy practice and effect on prognosis.

Reflective Statement and beyond…

The past three years in the program at UNC have been extremely challenging but also very rewarding. It was an honor and a privilege to work amongst some of the brightest, friendliest and most compassionate faculty and fellow students. My time spent in the DPT program at UNC has confirmed my decision to enter the field of PT as the correct choice. Interactions with faculty, classmates, clinical instructors and a myriad of other practicing and non-practicing professionals have shaped me into the more knowledgeable, well rounded and professional individual that I am today. Although my time at UNC may be coming to an end, my career as a newly minted PT is just beginning. I would like to thank all of those who have helped me get to the beginning of this fantastic journey and I hope to keep them all along for the ride ahead!

I plan to seek employment in the Charlotte and surrounding areas upon graduation and will be looking to find a mentor and reconnect with contacts made prior to attending UNC Chapel Hill. Important contacts will include those made when I worked as a PT technician at Novant Main Hospital, as well as contacts made during my first clinical rotation at CHS Pineville Hospital.

As I finish up my fourth and final clinical rotation in the acquired brain injury unit at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, I intend to progress my skills in evaluation and treatment plan production for patients with cognitive and motor impairments to better prepare me for my chosen career working with either the geriatric population, or the neurological population.

One response so far

One Response to “Newman, Andrew”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 07 Jun 2015 at 8:46 pm

    Nice job on your portfolio. It is great to see your progress through the program and your goals for the future. Good luck with everything.


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