Apr 10 2016

Morrison, Sarah

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Professional Goal Statement

Upon graduation from the UNC Doctor of Physical Therapy program, I plan to begin my career as a well-rounded and respected physical therapist in an outpatient setting with an interdisciplinary and holistic focus on one-on-one treatment of each patient as a whole. I will seek out a position where I will have strong mentorship to help me continually develop my professional knowledge and skills. I also recognize my own role as an educator after completing my formal degree, and will emphasize patient/family education as an element of comprehensive treatment. After several years of practice, I will also give back to the profession by becoming a clinical instructor.


Career Plan

May 2012: Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Science (St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN)

August 2012 – August 2013: Sports Medicine Consultant (Sports Medicine & Metro Running, Overland Park, KS)

August 2013: Begin Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program (UNC Chapel Hill, NC)

2014 – 2016: Clinical affiliations in a wide range of settings, including Outpatient Geriatrics, General Orthopedics, Military Traumatic Brain Injury, and Acute/SNF

2014 – 2016: Gait Analyst, Shoe/Orthotic Fit Specialist, Social Media Associate (Fleet Feet Sports, Carrboro/Raleigh, NC)

July 2016: Pass the NPTE to obtain Physical Therapy Licensure in North Carolina

August 2016: Graduate from UNC with my Doctorate of Physical Therapy

September 2016: Obtain Full-Time Employment in an Outpatient Physical Therapy Clinic

2016 and Beyond: Continual education and career development focused on chronic concussion evaluation and treatment


2019: Become an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist

2019: Develop and implement a comprehensive outpatient clinic chronic concussion rehab program

2020: Become a Clinical Instructor


Self Assessment


  • Interpersonal communication & educational interventions
  • Holistic perspective on patient care
  • Interdisciplinary team participation
  • Assessment and rehab of chronic concussion symptoms
  • Manual therapy
  • Gait analysis and sports medicine

Areas to Develop:

  • Further experience needed in billing, coding, and reimbursement procedures
  • Need a more complete knowledge of community resources
  • Need more first-hand experience in acute care



  • Prepare and sit for the National Physical Therapy Exam to become a licensed physical therapist in North Carolina.
  • Develop orthopedic and manual therapy skills need to sit for the Orthopedic Specialization Exam.
  • Seek out and complete continuing education related to chronic concussion care and manual therapy techniques.


Developmental Strategies

  • Shadow, observe, and gain hands on experience from a variety of established practicing physical therapists to improve my working knowledge of the profession, including patient care, administration, and professional ethics.
  • Develop a capstone project that critically assesses the evidence behind exercise programs for rehab of chronic exertional symptoms post-concussion.
  • Participate in consistent self-reflection, assessing my strengths, weaknesses, and development.
  • Create an organized and manageable independent study/work schedule to ensure success during final year of school and with taking the licensure exam.
  • Attend continuing education classes and conferences to develop my knowledge beyond that taught in the classroom, as well as network with other professionals.


Electives & Capstone Project

Advanced Orthopedic Assessment & Intervention

This course advanced my base knowledge of orthopedic histology and tissue healing, as well as how to effectively utilize this knowledge to evaluate and treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. During this elective, I created a final research paper regarding risk factors, prevention, evaluation, and treatment of Tibial Shaft Stress Fractures in Endurance Runners.

Military & Trauma Counseling

I took this course via Eastern Carolina University to build on my prior clinical experience at Fort Bragg Army Base. I focused on broadening my understanding of the many factors that may affect treatment and communication with military and civilian patients after traumatic brain injury.

Capstone: Graded Exercise Treatment and Text Message Monitoring in Chronic Concussion Care

The purpose of my capstone project was to critically assess the evidence behind graded aerobic exercise treatment for chronic exertional symptoms post-concussion in the military population. I completed a comprehensive literature review on this topic, as well as on the effectiveness of mobile phone text monitoring of symptoms during treatment/research. Concussions are a common issue for patients involved in military and athletics, and researching this topic helped develop my knowledge as an outpatient physical therapist with a unique focus on interdisciplinary and well-rounded patient care.


Reflective Statement

As I get ready to graduate from the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at UNC, I feel very well prepared to enter the world as a well-rounded professional with a strong foundation of knowledge to build upon, effective communication skills, and a continually growing passion for helping individuals achieve their optimal functioning through holistic and patient-centered care. I’ve gained unique experiences in many fields of physical therapy, as well as had opportunities to focus on my areas of interest. The high quality professors and clinical instructors I got the chance to work with all added something different and beneficial to my comprehensive education and growth as a 20150722_113315physical therapist. The past three years challenged me but also built my confidence in my ability to now transition into the next phase of my professional career as an effective, knowledgeable, and compassionate physical therapist.

I am extremely grateful to the professors and clinical instructors who gave me this wonderful opportunity and made the last three years so exceptional. I would also like to express deep thanks to my family, friends, and classmates for their support and encouragement throughout this journey.

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