May 21 2019

Edgerton, Spencer

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  • Professional Goal Statement:


After receiving my Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, I aspire to become a source of knowledge, compassion, and effective rehabilitation for those individuals I reach with a career as a skilled clinician. I aim to first be a generalist, capable of treating a variety of mobility impairments, but specifically, I strive to focus my skills on treating those individuals affected by neurological conditions. Immediately after graduation I plan to work in the acute care setting, hoping to utilize evidence-based practice, collaborative efforts with other care team members and professionals, and of course patient values to cultivate successful outcomes in therapeutic relationships. Eventually, my goal is to work in the inpatient rehab setting, focusing on treating patients with a variety of neurological conditions. As a committed life-long learner, I anticipate expanding my career and educational foot-print to include roles as a clinical instructor, NCS certification, and an adjunct faculty at a university in my future.


  • Career Path and Future Plans:
    • Past Accomplishments:
      • May 2008: Bachelor of Science in Biology – UNC-Chapel Hill
      • August, 2016: Entrance into UNC DPT program Class of 2019
        • Clinical Affiliation 1 (8 weeks): New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Oleander Rehabilitation (outpatient orthopedics); Wilmington, NC
        • Clinical Affiliation 2 (8 weeks): UNC Hospitals, Acute Care; Chapel Hill, NC
        • Clinical Affiliation 3 (8 weeks): International Multiple Sclerosis Management Practice; outpatient neurological specialty; New York, NY
        • Clinical Affiliation 4 (12 weeks): Duke Regional Hospital, inpatient rehabilitation; Durham, NC
      • MS Step UP Scholarship Program 2017-2019:
        • Completion of additional curriculum focused on multiple sclerosis management
        • Organize MS Walk Team in Raleigh, NC 2018
        • Attend CMSC Annual Meeting 2018 and 2019
        • Completion of MS-focused Capstone Research Project 2018-2019
        • Organize and lead MS Journal Club 2018
        • Co-present patient case study at PT Grand Rounds 2019
        • Organize and lead National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s “Free From Falls” falls prevention program 2019
      • May 2017 – LSVT Big certification course in Denver, CO
  • Future Plans:
    • July 2019 – Pass the Federation of State Boards Physical Therapy Exam
    • August 2019 – Graduate from UNC DPT program
    • September 2019 – Attain a full-time physical therapist position in acute care in the Triangle area
    • First year of employment:
      • Explore the variety that acute care has to offer, learn from great mentors, hone my skillset and expand my clinical toolbox
      • Continued participation in the MS STEP UP Volunteer Leadership Team
      • Join Neurology Section of APTA
    • Within First 5 years:
      • Sit for MSCS exam by 2021
      • Become an APTA Certified Clinical Instructor
      • Sit for NCS exam
    • Become adjunct faculty at a university within 10 years of practice


  • Self-Assessment:
    • Areas of Strength:
      • Commitment to being a life-long learner
      • Strong interpersonal skills
      • Integrity and professionalism in action
      • Increased clinical exposure and knowledge in management of multiple sclerosis including participation in MS-specific clinical rotation
      • Management and early mobilization of critically ill patients in Medicine ICU and Progressive Unit acute care exposure in clinical experience
  • Areas for Further Development:
    • Time efficiency in documentation practices
    • Professional experience as an integral member of a multidisciplinary health care team
    • Identifying and coordinating resources for patients and caregivers with complex care needs (DME, financial assistance programs, community recourses, etc)
    • Increased advocacy involvement through professional body


  • Objectives:
    • Pass the NPTE in 2019
    • Attain employment providing neurological rehabilitation within 1 month of graduation
    • Attend CSM in Denver 2020
    • Become a clinical instructor within 3 years of employment and practice as a physical therapist
    • Become NCS clinician within 5 years after graduation


  • Specific Strategies:
    • Complete ICE electives to further develop clinical skills treating orthopedic and neurological conditions
    • Complete 12-week clinical rotation in inpatient rehab setting
    • Follow a study plan to sit for and pass the NPTE Licensure Exam
    • Work in acute care as a new-grad with mentorship opportunities for continued professional development
    • Attend an APTA national conference (CSM 2020)
    • Maintain up to date with evidence-based practice through participation in journal/study clubs and APTA membership


  • Electives:
    • Fall 2018:
      • Advanced Orthopedics
    • Spring 2019:
      • Multidisciplinary Service Learning trip to Tyrell County
      • Integrated Clinical Experience: 60 clinic hours outpatient orthopedics, 60 hours outpatient neuro


  • Reflective Statement:

The years leading up to my acceptance to the UNC DPT program provided with me with what I refer to as “unexpected wisdom”. That is, an insight into where I was and where I knew I wanted to be in both my personal and professional life. While changing careers and returning to school after many years away from the classroom has been an arduous journey to say the least, the enrichment, fulfillment, and personal growth that I have gleaned from the past three years has exceeded what I would have ever expected. My experiences in the UNC DPT program have exposed me to the vast possibilities of a career in physical therapy and given me the opportunities to witness the positive force such services can be for many individuals and their families. These quality opportunities and lessons have not only solidified but expanded my appreciation and understanding of what it means to be a professional committed to providing consistent person-centered care in an ever-changing healthcare environment.

The faculty and staff at UNC have been amazing mentors, leading by example with admirable knowledge and passion for their personal careers yet the care to provide time and great guidance to the next generation of therapists. Through the program and my clinical affiliations, I have strengthened my interest to become a skilled and knowledgeable clinician in managing patients with neurological diagnoses. Unexpectedly, I found the experience in my acute care rotation to be both exciting and rewarding, and I plan to begin my career within this setting. I feel that this will allow me to pursue continued skill development in treating a variety of patients and conditions. I have been incredibly humbled by this opportunity to return to UNC as a student once again and emerge as the beneficiary of such great role models and friends in the profession.

These years have ultimately allowed me to progress to the next chapter of my life as a confident entry-level licensed physical therapist, in which I plan to continue to develop professionally and personally as a clinician through sound mentorship and a passion for ongoing learning.




3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Edgerton, Spencer”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 03 Jun 2019 at 10:54 am

    Spencer: Thanks for sharing your plans and accomplishments with us. It has been a pleasure! Good luck to you!! Lisa


  2.   Prue Plummeron 12 Jun 2019 at 6:18 pm

    You have been a worthy and dedicated MS STEP UP scholar and I hope our paths will continue to cross during your career. Best wishes in your career goals.
    Warm wishes,


  3.   Jennifer Cookeon 12 Jun 2019 at 6:34 pm

    You have a great plan laid out here with excellent goals. Congratulations on your hard work in the program and good luck to you!


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