May 01 2018

Lindsay Saunders

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Professional Goal Statement


In my mind, physical therapy is both a science and an art, a practice in which patient and practitioner work together to optimize physical functioning and quality of life. My desire to pursue this degree stems from extensive personal experience as a patient of physical therapy and has taken me on a journey of epic proportions. When I began this program, I felt destined to practice in pediatrics. That changed after I completed a clinical rotation in pelvic health. Though my professional goals are numerous, each focuses on providing optimal patient-centered care in a manner that addresses the whole person and is consistent with the best available evidence. While pelvic health is my passion, I hope to complete this program with a clinical skillset that will allow me to provide a wide range of patients with optimal care.


 Career Plan 

1-5 Years:

  • Graduate from the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at UNC Chapel Hill;
  • Sit for licensure to practice in the State of North Carolina;
  • Seek and obtain employment in an outpatient clinic that either a) has an established pelvic health practice or b) will allow me to establish a pelvic health practice;
  • Establish mentorship as a condition of hire;
  • Complete Pelvic Floor 2 A & B through Herman and Wallace to improve pelvic health clinical skills;
  • Complete Pediatric Pelvic Floor through Herman and Wallace and begin treating pediatric patients;
  • Sit for and obtain Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification (PRPC);
  • Obtain certification with the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists;
  • Become dry needle certified;

5-10 Years:

  • Seek additional roles and responsibilities within the clinic, such as clinic director;
  • Seek opportunities for research and publication, specifically within pelvic health and orthopedics;
  • Seek opportunities for teaching, be it in the university setting or with pelvic health groups such as Herman and Wallace.


  • Establish regular journal club with coworkers to ensure that evidence-based practice is being implemented in daily practice;
  • Develop language skills, including (but not limited to) Spanish, American Sign Language, Bulgarian, and Irish Gaelic;
  • Seek continuing education opportunities to maximize patient care.


Relevant Efforts and Experiences to Date:


Continuing Education and Additional Training

  • Pelvic Floor 1: Herman and Wallace, October 2017 in Bel Air, Maryland
  • NCPTA Fall Conference: October 2017, Winston Salem, NC

Leadership Experiences and Community Involvement:

  • 2016-2017: Fundraising Chair, Student Physical Therapy Association
  • 2015-2017: Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC) volunteer
  • 2015-2018: “Exercise Buddy” working with adults and children alike to provide therapeutic interventions in the community
  • 2018: PT Proud Education Task Force

Clinical Rotations:

  • June 2016: (Outpatient) UNC Physical Therapy, Hillsborough, NC
  • March 2017: (Pelvic Health/Outpatient) Perfect Balance Physical Therapy, Brevard NC
  • June 2018, 8 weeks: (Acute Care) UNC Rockingham, Eden NC
  • September 2018, 12 weeks: (Neuro) Alamance Burlington School Systems

Elective courses:

  • PHYT 875: Advanced Orthopedic Assessment and Treatment- Fall 2017
  • PHYT 885: Advanced Neuromuscular Intervention – Spring 2018
  • PHYT 800: Independent Study- Fall 2017/Spring 2018

In-Service Presentations:


Capstone and Additional Academic Products


  • Physical Therapy for Pregnancy Related Pelvic Girdle Pain A Community Education Endeavor
    • My capstone project was completed in conjunction with Planned Parenthood in Greensboro, NC. The purpose of this project was to create educational materials that could be utilized by Planned Parenthood for the purposes of educating individuals on pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain and physical therapy intervention with the goal of promoting prompt recognition of symptoms and intervention. The project and all associated products, including a critically appraised topic, evidence tables, and educational brochure can be found at the website linked above.
  • NC AW-SOME: North Carolina’s African American Women Stopping Obesity through Education and Movement
    • As part of UNC’s Health and Wellness course, I was tasked with developing a health promotion program for a specific population. This paper is the culmination of a semester’s worth of work and research focused on understanding the intricacies of community based interventions.
  • K.I.P: Supporting Kids in Play
    • As part of our Practice Management course, I created a business plan for a non-profit organization aimed at injury prevention in school-aged children with a fellow classmate, Jennell McIntosh. The business plan linked above represents the culmination of a semester’s worth of work and research investigating business design and implementation.




          Strengths        Opportunities for Growth  
o   Empathetic nature;

o   Longstanding history of working as part of a team;

o   Highly receptive to leadership roles and added responsibilities;

o   Cultural competence and language skills;

o   Previous experiences working with patients of all ages and backgrounds;

o   Personal exposure to physical therapy from a patient’s perspective;

o   Ability to recognize personal limitations and weaknesses.

o   Ability to receive constructive criticism and implement changes accordingly;

o   Creativity in intervention design, especially within the pediatric population;

o   Evaluation and treatment within the realm of neuromuscular PT;

o   For pediatrics, measuring and fitting equipment and making appropriate recommendations;

o   Increased involvement in advocacy and professional activities;

o   Work/life balance.



  • Graduate from the UNC DPT program;
  • Pass licensure examination;
  • Gain full time employment in an outpatient clinic that has, or will allow me to establish, a pelvic health practice;
  • Become a Pelvic Health Rehabilitation Certified practitioner;
  • Become dry needle certified;
  • Take on a leadership role within the NCPTA and continue involvement with PT Proud.


Specific Strategies to Achieve Goals and Objectives:  


  • Continue with a study strategy that will leave me prepared to sit for licensure in January 2019. This includes studying for 2 hours each weekday, 3 hours each day during the weekend, and utilizing study review books and practice examinations;
  • Continue to maintain communication and foster professional relationships with former clinical instructors, current clinicians, and other community figures;
  • Continue work with the PT Proud Education Task Force to increase community involvement and outreach while increasing and expanding my involvement with the NCPTA and other advocacy groups;
  • Continue study of additional languages mentioned above;
  • Enroll in additional pelvic health courses through Herman and Wallace to expand and improve clinical skillset.


Reflective Statement:  


Though not without its challenges, the previous three years have afforded me the opportunity for tremendous growth. I have been challenged to a greater degree than I could ever imagine, and this makes coming to the end of this program all the more worthwhile. Faculty, staff, and fellow classmates have enriched my experience beyond measure, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to learn from them. I entered this program deadest on practicing solely in pediatrics and, in my time with UNC’s DPT program, found a new passion for pelvic health. This newfound passion created a new path for me as a future clinician, and though I have no idea what the future holds, I now have the confidence to overcome any obstacle I may face. My own professional goals are numerous, and I know that, with time, I will achieve each and every one of them.


In one of my entrance essays for this program, I wrote about my own physical therapist who graduated from the UNC PT program in 1990. In the essay, I touched on the fact that the qualities that make her an outstanding clinician cannot be taught in a classroom; rather, these qualities must be recognized and nurtured through a mirage on interactions and experiences. The faculty may have changed, but I am fortunate enough to have spent the last three years immersed in the same nurturing environment that laid the foundation for my therapist’s outstanding clinical and interpersonal skills. With the continued support of all the friends I have made along the way, I know that I, too, am destined to do great things.

Anatomy Dissection Group- Fall 2015

Making Connections on Clinical Rotations

Pe;vic Floor 1: Bel Air, Maryland; 2017

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Lindsay Saunders”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 24 Sep 2018 at 9:30 am

    Lindsay: Nice job on your portfolio. It is really nice to see the summation of your hard work. Congrats! Lisa


  2.   Debbie Thorpeon 24 Sep 2018 at 12:39 pm

    I enjoyed reading your portfolio. I love the business plan for “SKIP”!! Maybe someday , it will become a reality:)

    Good luck in your future endeavors!


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