Apr 10 2016

Sly, Katie

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Katie Sly

University of North Carolina

Doctoral Portfolio

Professional Goal Statement

My goal is to become an autonomous Doctor of Physical Therapy who helps people with conditions that affect movement and utilizes skills to promote return to high level activity in an athletic population. I hope to provide compassionate care while utilizing evidence based practice and be a well respected physical therapist that is continually improving throughout my career.

Career Plan

May 2013: Graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training from the University of Indianapolis and become a certified athletic trainer

July 2013: Become a licensed athletic trainer in North Carolina and work as needed while completing graduate studies

July 2016: Pass National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE)

August 2016: Graduate with a Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of North Carolina

2-5 Year Plan:

Start physical therapy career in an outpatient orthopedic clinic with specialty in sports medicine that provides adequate mentorship to new graduates

Maintain all credentials (PT, DPT, ATC, LAT)

Become a clinical instructor for physical therapy students and/or athletic training students

Potentially apply for and begin a PhD program

10 Year Plan:

Continue career in orthopedics taking an increased managerial role

Contribute to clinically relevant research

15-20 Year Plan:

Possibly enter into academic setting

Continue to produce clinically relevant research

Self Assessment


Previous sports medicine experience with high school and collegiate athletes

Interpersonal communication skills with patients, clinicians, and colleagues

Provide compassionate care for patients

Areas of Professional Development

Further development of manual therapy skills

Develop knowledge of research process

Advance clinical reasoning skills in orthopedics and neuromuscular examination and intervention


  • Prepare and sit for the NPTE in July 2016
  • Increase knowledge of orthopedic assessment and intervention by completing the Advanced Orthopedic Assessment elective course and apply newly learned information to an athletic population
  • Improve understanding of research process by taking Research Experience elective course and contributing clinically relevant research to the profession

Strategic Plan

  • Maintain membership in American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA)
  • Enroll in elective courses that will develop my knowledge of orthopedic and neuromuscular assessment and intervention
  • Enroll in elective courses that will improve my knowledge of the research process
  • Create and follow a study plan to pass the NPTE
  • Enroll in continuing education courses to facilitate evidence based practice
  • Complete capstone project and contribute to research specific to orthopedics

Coursework and Products

My learning objectives concentrate on developing my skills as an entry level physical therapist with an emphasis on orthopedics and research. Several classes have been tailored to meeting my objectives, including:

Evidence Based Practice II: This course allowed me to develop an understanding of research and critically assess published evidence. The final product for this course was a critically appraised topic.

Research Experience: I took this elective in the Fall and Spring semesters of my final academic year. The elective courses allowed me to gain insight into the research process by enrolling participants in a research study, analyzing data, and collaborating on a professional product.

Advanced Orthopedic Assessment: This elective allowed me to increase my knowledge about orthopedic assessment and intervention strategies for an athletic population. I composed a final product for this class, which allowed me to further explore the development of knee osteoarthritis in an athletic population.

Capstone: The product of my capstone was a research study which aimed to determine the convergent validity of the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) physical functioning domain compared to the Timed Up and Go (TUG) Test. My mentor for this project was Dr. Debby Givens. Please navigate to the DPT Capstone Website to view my completed project.

Reflective Statement

When reflecting on my academic and professional goals, I am encouraged at the progress I have made throughout my years at UNC. I have increased my knowledge of orthopedic assessment and interventions by completing the Advanced Orthopedic Assessment elective course; currently, I am utilizing the information I learned in this course, as well as learning new skills during my final clinical rotation which has a focus in sports rehabilitation. Additionally, I have become more familiar with the research process through the completion of the Research Experience elective course and my capstone project. The product of my capstone has been submitted to orthopedic conferences with the hopes of acceptance. Currently, I am planning to sit for the NPTE in July, and I am following a study plan to achieve my goal of passing. Additionally, I have maintained my professional credentials and memberships throughout my schooling. I am pleased with the accomplishments I achieved at UNC, and I am confident that I will continue to challenge and improve myself throughout my career.

With that being said, I thank my wonderful classmates that have supported me in this program. I am leaving with amazing memories and lifelong friends. I must thank the faculty and staff at UNC for contributing to my education; the mentorship provided to me is invaluable. Additionally, I must mention the support and guidance provided to me by Dr. Debby Givens throughout my final academic year. Finally, I thank my family, friends, and fiancé for supporting me throughout my schooling, encouraging me to challenge myself, and motivating me to reach my goals.

Class pic

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