May 21 2019

Adams, Kellie

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Professional Goal Statement: 

I strive to be a clinician that evaluates and treats all of my patients from a biopsychosocial perspective in order to implement effective treatment strategies that will enhance their functional mobility, ability to participate in life events, and quality of life. I plan to work in an inpatient rehabilitation facility with patients with neurological deficits, which fits my personal interests and career goals. Throughout my career, I will stay up-to-date in order to provide evidence-based interventions to my patients. This will be accomplished by obtaining my NCS, maintaining my APTA membership, participating in continuing education and conferences, and joining special interest groups.


Career Plan:

  • May 2013: Bachelor of Science in Biology, Virginia Tech
  • August 2016: Begin DPT program at UNC-Chapel Hill
    • 1stRotation: Carolinas Healthcare System- Northeast, Acute care, 8 weeks
    • 2ndRotation: Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Subacute Rehabilitation, 8 weeks
    • 3rdRotation: Womack Army Medical Center, Ft. Bragg, Outpatient Ortho clinic, 8 weeks
    • 4thRotation: Vidant Medical Center, Inpatient Rehabilitation, 12 weeks
  • July 2019: Pass National Physical Therapy Board Examination and become a licensed physical therapist in North Carolina
  • August 2019: Graduate with my DPT from UNC-Chapel Hill
  • September 2019: Gain full-time employment at an acute care facility
  • January 2020 – January 2023: Complete continuing education in neurological areas including vestibular rehabilitation, concussion rehabilitation, etc. Become a clinical instructor to teach applied clinical skills to physical therapy students.
  • June 2023: Gain employment at an inpatient rehabilitation facility
  • January 2026: Explore options for becoming a Neurologic Certified Specialist (NCS)
  • February – March 2028: Sit for the NCS examination




  • Organization skills
  • Time Management
  • Accountability, safety, and professionalism in all patient and clinic encounters
  • Variety of clinical exposures including acute care, veteran population, active duty military, traumatic brain injury center, inpatient rehabilitation
  • Interest in community involvement including Parkinson’s Wellness Program at CRC, helping individuals in the community with MS and TBI, SHAC Triage manager and clinic volunteer

Areas for Professional Development-

  • Improve public speaking skills
  • Become more involved in advocacy activities at the local, state, and national level
  • Improve knowledge on current billing and reimbursement regulations and stay up to date with upcoming changes
  • Increase confidence in evaluation and differential diagnosis in the clinic setting



  • My special areas of interest include treating patients with a variety of neurological deficits in an inpatient rehabilitation center. In order to reach this goal:
    • I will apply my clinical skills learned during my rotation in the Subacute Rehab department at the Durham VA to my final rotation in inpatient rehabilitation in order to feel comfortable treating patients with increasing complexity
    • I will view my clinical instructor and other staff at my final rotation as mentors so I may learn as much as possible in regards to clinical skills and critical thinking
    • I will keep up to date with quality neurological research as it applies to physical therapy intervention throughout my clinical by using evidence-based practice, my CI’s clinical expertise, and patient values/preferences
    • I will prepare for the boards by creating a study schedule and adhere to it vigilantly in order to pass the Federation of State Board of Physical Therapy Exam on July 24-25th, 2019
    • I will gain full time employment at an acute care facility in the Triangle
    • After working for a few years in acute care, I will obtain a position at an inpatient rehabilitation facility
    • I will begin researching information on taking the Neurologic Certified Specialist exam by 2026


Specific Strategies:

  • Find a mentor at my initial job that will guide me through my first year of employment as a physical therapist. A strong mentor can assist me in becoming a confident clinician and gaining clinical skills that will allow me to achieve my goals.
  • Maintain APTA membership and become a member of the Neurology Section. This will help me stay up to date by collaborating with my peers and providing resources on current evidence-based practice
  • Attend conferences such as CSM to network with other professionals in my career, learn the latest research provided by key speakers, and attend educational sessions.
  • Take continuing education courses on topics such as vestibular rehabilitation. This topic was not covered extensively in our curriculum, and I have limited exposure to vestibular rehabilitation from my clinical rotations. Becoming proficient in this area will help me develop clinical skills for treating different neurological diagnoses and associated symptoms.


Product Examples:


Electives and Coursework:

  • Fall 2018:
    • Advanced Ortho
    • Integrated Clinical Experience
  • Spring 2019:
    • Advanced Neuromuscular intervention


Capstone Project:

The Portable Warrior Test of Tactical Agility (POWAR-TOTAL) is a dual-task performance-based assessment that aims to provide immediate feedback to clinicians while requiring minimal space, time, and technology. This project was initiated by Dr. Karen McCulloch, PT, MS, PhD, NCS, Dr. Amy Cecchini, DPT, and Julianna Prim, MS. Performance on dual-task assessments can highlight cognitive and motor deficits following mild traumatic brain injury. This project was created with the future goal of determining readiness to return-to-duty among active-duty servicemembers. My project involved the characterization and measurement of performance of healthy controls in order to understand prioritization of motor vs. cognitive tasks during the POWAR-TOTAL. I presented my findings as a poster presentation at UNC’s Human Movement Science Research Symposium in March 2019. I also submitted an abstract to the Military Health System Research Symposium in hopes of presenting a poster presentation in August 2019.


Reflective Statement:

Even though first year feels not so long ago, it’s amazing to look back and think about how far I’ve come in the past three years. UNC has guided me in becoming a competent, skilled, entry-level clinician through effective mentoring, academics, and expectations. My various clinical experiences have allowed me to develop skills in communication, critical thinking, and clinical reasoning that will be important as I begin my career as a physical therapist. The importance of evidence-based practice and methods for accessing current literature was stressed throughout UNC’s curriculum, which will be essential in the implementation of effective interventions to my future patients. I’m thankful for all of the professional and personal development opportunities that UNC has provided, which have brought me to my current career goals. I’m proud of how far I’ve come and excited to see how far I’ll go in the field of physical therapy!


2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Adams, Kellie”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 03 Jun 2019 at 10:31 am

    Great job Kellie! Nice to see how far you have come throughout the program. Lisa


  2.   McMikeon 20 Jun 2019 at 10:56 am

    Nice work on your portfolio! Was great having you in clinic during ICE, I know you are going to be a great help to your patients! Keep up the great work.


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