Apr 10 2016

Hewitt, Kelly

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Professional Goal Statement

To best serve my future patients, I aim to become a well-rounded physical therapist that can problem-solve through any variety of diagnoses. With that, I plan to practice my first 3-5 years in a large, teaching facility so that I may continuously learn from all different disciplines and from a variety of complex cases. I will dedicate my career to consistently pursuing evidence-based practice and demonstrating the importance of mobility to both my patients and interdisciplinary team members.

Career Plan

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  • Complete doctoral degree and sit for board examinations October 2016
  • Attain a position in acute care or inpatient setting with emphasis on neurological patient cases within first year of practice
  • Continue to gain more knowledge and experience in patient care and interdisciplinary work during my first year of general practice

Doctoral Project

For my final project, I decided to share the work I contributed to during my research experience in fall 2015. I am interested in working with people with neurological disorders, specifically intensive rehabilitation for individuals post-stroke. I began talking with Dr. Michael Lewek about the research experience elective in spring 2015, as research is something I enjoyed in my undergraduate career. In doing this, I became even more interested in the exploration of the biomechanics of hemiparetic gait and how it can be optimized. Specifically, we talked about current literature regarding center of mass (COM) as a focal point for rehabilitative interventions for individuals post-stroke. With that, I began my research experience in the fall and focused my CAT (critically appraised topic) on COM-specific interventions post-stroke for improved gait mechanics. Our study was approved by the Institutional Review Board and consisted of data collection from eleven unimpaired control subjects and nine subjects with chronic stroke. After submission, my abstract of this study was selected for poster presentation at UNC’s Human Movement Science Research symposium this past February 2016. From this, I gained helpful feedback to apply to the manuscript, which is my final doctoral project. With more feedback and edits, I plan to submit this manuscript for publication later this year. I also plan to have the poster presentation of this study’s resulted submitted and presented at the 2017 Combined Sections Meeting. Below are the products of this project.

Product Examples

  • CAT-COM-specific interventions for optimizing hemiparetic gait
  • Poster presentation
  • Manuscript draft

All of my research material could not have been possible without the help of my classmate, Korre Scott, who contributed to data collection and analysis for this project and her own. Above all, I am so grateful for the guidance and mentoring from Dr. Michael Lewek, who made all aspects of these projects possible.

To view the above materials, visit my capstone website by clicking here.

Self Assessment

Areas of strength include: interdisciplinary work, visual teaching, organized and dependable, consistent work ethic, curiosity and desire to learn from others, empathy and engagement towards patients, evidence-based learning mindset, background education from well-established PT program, beginner-level Spanish

Areas of improvement include: lack of clinical experience, exercise creativity, efficiency of initial evaluation, knowledge on insurance, billing and coding, known network of colleagues and use of various types of modalities.

Special Areas of Interest

  • Interdisciplinary inpatient neurological patients
  • Acute care trauma, neurological and/or pediatrics
  • Acute or inpatient TBI
  • NICU care

Specific Strategies for addressing my development needs and interests.

  • Select a first job position that will continue to emphasize strong professional development with diverse patient exposure
  • Reflect on previous clinical experiences and teachings to facilitate further learning in acute care or inpatient neurological setting
  • Remain attentive to APTA events and courses throughout practice
  • Attend and initiate continuing education events within my work facility and with co-therapists to network and improve knowledge base
  • Explore requirements for certification process as well as potential residency application


  • Research Elective

I chose this elective to improve my knowledge of and direct work with evidence in the neurological physical therapy field. I believe through this experience I have gained greater confidence working with neurological patients and complex gait analysis devices. This will assist me later in practice through greater understanding of deficits and more exposure to potential interventions.

  • Advanced Orthopedic Elective

I chose this elective to provide myself with the opportunity to delve deeper into the complexities of orthopedic conditions from the cellular and tissue levels. Investigating the literature on these conditions and obtaining knowledge firsthand from an experienced specialist has facilitated an open-mindedness to assess all aspects of each patient case. A link to my final paper for this course, an overview of femoral torsion can be found here.

Other Professional Activities

  • NCPTA conference 2016 attendance
  • CSM 2015 attendance
  • Interdisciplinary service learning trip to rural NC 2014

Reflective Statement

The experiences I have had over the past three years in UNC’s DPT program have truly been life-changing. Through the difficult times and the joys, this program and all the people in it have strengthened my love for this profession more than I could have ever expected. Over the past three years, I was not only surrounded by amazing classmates and friends, but also by some of the best professionals within our field. Looking back, I can remember numerous times I felt especially stressed about projects or upcoming exams. Even in that mindset, I reminded myself of how incredibly lucky I was to have been a student at a great school in an internationally-recognized physical therapy program. With the diverse experience and breadth of knowledge I have gained here at UNC, I am certain that I leave this program a better professional and a better person. I look so forward to continuing to develop in this wonderful field, knowing that the adventure is just beginning.





One response so far

One Response to “Hewitt, Kelly”

  1.   Emeline Falkon 16 Jun 2019 at 12:36 am

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