May 01 2018

Maddie Wygand

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Professional Goal Statement:

As a professional, my goal it to utilize the knowledge and skills the UNC DPT Program has instilled in me to be a competent, empathetic, responsible, evidence-based clinician who provides holistic, individualized care for all patients. I plan to work in an outpatient orthopedic setting in North Carolina. I will remain a life-long learner by continuously pursuing many different avenues of continuing education in order to further develop my skills and improve the care I provide.  I will also actively advocate for both my patients and the physical therapy profession.

Career Plan:

Past Accomplishments:

  • May 2015: Graduated from East Carolina University (Honors College) with a B.S. in Exercise Physiology
  • August 2015: Began the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    • Clinical Experience:
      • June-August 2016: UNC Ambulatory Care Center – 8 week outpatient orthopedic clinical rotation
      • March-April 2017: Duke Regional Hospital – 8 week acute care clinical rotation
      • May-June 2017: Vidant Rehabilitation Center – 8 week underserved, neuro clinical rotation
      • January-April 2018: Aycock Family Medicine Center – Integrated Clinical Experience elective course
      • May-July 2018: Trinity Wellness Center – 12 week outpatient orthopedic clinical rotation

Future Plans:

  • July 2018: Sit for and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination
  • August 2018: Graduate from UNC with Doctor of Physical Therapy degree
  • By September 2018: Have full-time employment in an outpatient orthopedic setting in North Carolina
  • Within 1st Year of Employment: Build network of mentors to help me continue to grow as a clinician
  • Within 3 Years: Become a certified clinical instructor in order to provide mentorship to students
  • Within 5 Years: Obtain my orthopedic specialist certification
  • 5+ Years: Pursue various certifications and/or fellowships that further build expertise in my career as an orthopedic physical therapist


  • Strengths:
    • Interpersonal communication with patients and other clinicians/individuals involved in the patients’ plan of care
    • Maintaining a holistic view of the patient in order to provide optimal well-rounded care
    • Strong desire for continued learning and professional growth
    • Orthopedic clinical experience through clinical rotations, elective course in faculty clinic, and SHAC (pro bono student-led clinic)
  • Areas for Professional Development:
    • Participating in legislative advocacy on the local, state, and national level
    • Developing interventions for highly complex orthopedic cases
    • Growing knowledge and understanding of healthcare policy and insurance regulations


  • Pass the National Physical Therapy Examination in July 2018
  • Obtain full time employment in an outpatient orthopedic setting in North Carolina
  • Serve as a certified clinical instructor
  • Obtain Orthopedic Clinical Specialist certification (OCS)
  • Participate in valuable continuing education courses/certifications
  • Maintain membership in American Physical Therapy Association, North Carolina Chapter, and Orthopaedics Section

Specific Strategies:

  • Develop and follow study plan for adequate preparation for National Physical Therapy Examination
  • Finalize professional resume, maintain relationships with past clinical instructors and faculty, and actively explore employment opportunities
  • Build a network of mentors to support and enhance my transition to independent practice
  • Remain up-to-date with current evidence through independent research and continued education

Elective Courses:

  • Fall 2017:
    • Advanced Orthopaedic Assessment and Treatment
      • Enhanced evaluation and intervention skills for a variety of musculoskeletal pathologies involving each of the major musculoskeletal tissues
    • Research Elective under guidance of Mike Lewek, PT, PhD
      • Designed, implemented, analyzed, and presented research investigating the effects of auditory cues on gait mechanics in people with Parkinson’s Disease
  • Spring 2018:
    • Integrated Clinical Experience under direct mentorship from Mike McMorris, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT and Jon Hacke, PT, DPT, MA, OCS
      • 120+ hours of direct patient care in one of the UNC faculty clinics with one-on-one mentorship from faculty

Product Examples: 

  • ACL Injuries in Elite Female Soccer Players
    In my Advanced Orthopaedic Assessment and Treatment elective course, I performed a thorough literature review and present current evidence regarding ACL injuries in elite female soccer players. Injury prevention and rehabilitation in athletes is one of my clinical interests so this project provided an opportunity to further explore this patient population.
  • Critically Appraised Topic
    In my Evidence Based Practice II course, I completed a literature review for my chosen PICO question and then critically appraised the best evidence available. This project provided an opportunity to improve my research skills and efficiently appraise evidence in order to apply it to a clinical scenario.
  • The Effects of Metronome Frequency and Walking Environment on Gait in People with Parkinson’s Disease
    As part of my research elective and final capstone project, I conducted a research project with my classmate, Guneet Chawla, and faculty advisor, Mike Lewek. I presented my findings in a manuscript which will be submitted for publication. This rewarding experience taught me how to perform, analyze, and present research in order to fill gaps in the current evidence and add to our growing body of evidence for best physical therapy practice.

Reflective Statement:

These past 3 years in the UNC DPT Program have been challenging yet extremely rewarding.  The mentorship I received from the outstanding faculty and relationships I built with all of my classmates have been invaluable in my development and growth as a person and new physical therapist.  I feel well prepared to begin my career where I will provide evidence-based quality care and utilize a holistic, individualized approach to patient care. I am extremely thankful for every opportunity this program has offered me and I am leaving this program with many new skills that have made me a better person, professional, and lifelong learner.  Through the courses and clinical rotations, I have been able to experience many different physical therapy settings.  UNC’s DPT Program does a fantastic job at preparing students to be successful across all settings and the clinical requirements have allowed me to explore these settings to discover my strengths and passions.  One of my greatest experiences in this program has been working in both the SHAC clinic and in the faculty clinic for my ICE elective.  These two opportunities, in particular, have provided an avenue for valuable, direct, one-on-one mentorship and additional clinical experience that has without a doubt immensely improved my confidence, critical thinking, cultural competence, evaluation skills, and treatment interventions.


Over the next several years, I plan to continue to grow as a physical therapist by using my passion for this profession and passion for learning to pursue continuing education to that will expand and improve my skill set and allow me to provide the best care for my patients. Specifically, I plan to seek a specialist certification in orthopaedics. I also plan to pursue mentorship from experienced clinicians in order to continue to learn in the clinical setting.  I am extremely excited to utilize the new knowledge and skills I have received from this program in order to best serve my patients, my community, and the physical therapy profession.


2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Maddie Wygand”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 18 Jun 2018 at 10:43 am

    Maddie: So nice to see your progression and samples of your work. It has been awesome having you here and I know you will do more great work as you move on into the work force. Good luck to you! Lisa


  2.   Jennifer Cookeon 18 Jun 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Nice job on your portfolio Maddie! You’ve blended personal and professional interests beyond the classroom and into the research arena. Stay curious and you will do great! Good luck to you!


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