May 01 2018

Ben Buchanan

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Professional Goal Statement

My ultimate career goal is to be a licensed physical therapist in an Acute Inpatient Rehab setting with whom patients trust and believe in. My goal is to use evidence based strategies to motivate and empower patients to be better people than they were before therapy and to not only overcome an injury, but use that injury to propel themselves to new heights.


Career Plan

  • 2010: Graduate Denison University – Bachelors in Geoscience
  • 2011: Graduate Divers Institute of Technology – Certified Commercial Diver
  • 2011: Tender/Diver Ranger Offshore
  • 2012-2013: Tender/Diver Aqueos Subsea
  • 2015-Present: UNC DPT program
  • Fall 2017: CSCS Certification
  • 2018:

            Sit for the licensing exam in July

Complete Final Clinical at Concentra in Burlington, VT

Graduate in August

Begin work at outpatient clinic or Acute Inpatient Rehab setting

  • 2019-2030:

            Physical Therapist at AIR or Outpatient Clinic

Attend continuing education seminars relevant to patient population

Continue research relevant to patient population


  • 2020: Consider OCS or NCS specialty
  • 2021: Clinical Instructor
  • 2023: Guest Lecturer


Self Assessment


Areas of Professional Improvement

  • Patient rapport
  • Desire to improve
  • Professional Behavior
  • Safety
  • Respectful
  • Handling Constructive Criticism
  • Preparedness
  • Documentation
  • Clinical Experience
  • Language barriers (i.e. Spanish)
  • Research skills
  • Staying current on health policy
  • Gaining experience with specific populations (TBI, Stroke, SCI)
  • Confidence


  1. Pass NCPTE Board Exam Summer 2018
  2. Find location of employment that works with a variety of patients both in terms of neurologic and orthopedic involvement.
  3. Strengthen orthopedic background by taking Advanced Orthopedics and ICE electives.
  4. Strengthen neuro background with involvement of stroke research elective.
  5. Solidify neuro and orthopedic background by pursuing NCS or OCS advanced degree.



  • In 3rd year, select electives and courses that will facilitate movement toward ortho & neuro advancement
  • Sit for CSCS exam
  • Sit for PT Licensing Exam
  • Research other certifications/degrees that may be relevant supplements to future career, such as: CES – Corrective Exercise Specialist; PES – Performance Enhancement Specialist; FMS – Functional Movement Specialist; SFMA – Selective Functional Movement Assessment (Level 1-3); CPEP – Certified Posture Exercise Professional
  • Create strong Resume/Portfolio
  • Identify locations of employment that share my same ideals/goals

Product Examples

  1. Advanced Orthopaedics Final Paper I
  2. Advanced Orthopaedics Final Paper II  (Appendix A-E)
  3. Advanced Orthopaedics Final Paper III (Appendix F-G)


Reflective Statement

Over the past 3 years, with coursework at UNC Chapel Hill, inpatient clinical experience at UNC Hospital, and outpatient clinical experience in North Carolina and Vermont, I have grown tremendously as a professional. The ability of the faculty at UNC Chapel Hill to deliver skills and knowledge have been essential in constructing a core set of tools that I feel confident in using for a wide array of general conditions in all settings. My clinical instructors at all four of my clinicals have added greatly to the application of skills in a real-world setting. They have allowed me to hone skills from on-the-job training that cannot be taught in the classroom. In addition to classroom and clinical experience, my research experience over the past year with Dr. Lewek has allowed me to examine more closely the topic of stroke rehab, the process of rehabilitation research and the ability to work with different populations in collecting and presenting research. This wide array of knowledge and experiences have opened my eyes to all the avenues that physical therapy has to offer. Both the diversity of conditions and the evolving nature of treatments motivate me in my continued pursuit of growth. I am forever thankful to all of the inspiring, versatile, affable, and compassionate role models that I have called my professors over the past three years. I only hope I can advance the practice of physical therapy, but only to the most humblest of distances above  their shoulders.

One response so far

One Response to “Ben Buchanan”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 18 Jun 2018 at 7:21 am

    Ben: Great job! It is nice to see how you have evolved and where you would like to go. Good work and good luck! Lisa


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