May 21 2019

Francioni, AJ

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Professional Goal Statement

I hope to be a knowledgeable and resourceful physical therapist that provides holistic care for all my future patients. Throughout my clinical, didactic, and volunteer experiences, I have developed a passion for fall prevention that has made me versatile for treating older adults, people with neurological conditions, and people with vestibular and concussive involvement. I aspire to always treat patients with evidence-based care and continue crafting my clinical skills through continuing education courses and collaborating with other healthcare professionals.

Career Plan

Academic Background:

Exercise Science, B.S., Gardner-Webb University 2015


Doctor of Physical Therapy, UNC – Chapel Hill (August 2016 – August 2019)

  • Elective Courses (2018):
    • Advanced Orthopedics Assessment and Interventions
    • Neurological Integrated Clinical Experience
      • 120 hours of outpatient care focused on older adults, fall prevention, and neurological rehabilitation
    • Teacher’s Assistant for Musculoskeletal (MSK) 1, 2019
      • Presented lecture on Adhesive Capsulitis
      • Hands-on experience for the spine and shoulder and gained experience as an educator


UNC DPT Program Clinical Rotations:

  • Clinical Rotation 1: Catawba Valley Medical Center, Hickory, NC (Acute Care)
    • Inservice Project: Education for Selecting Slings for Patients with Strokes
  • Clinical Rotation 2: Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), Durham, NC (Geriatric/Neuro)
    • Inservice Project: Sleep Hygiene for Healthcare Providers and Caregivers
    • Inservice Project: Gait Belt Safety for Caregivers
  • Clinical Rotation 3: UNC Ambulatory Care Center, Chapel Hill, NC (Outpatient Ortho)
  • Clinical Rotation 4: UNC Center for Rehabilitative Care, Chapel Hill, NC (Outpatient Neuro)


Personal Development:

  • Obtained OTAGO certification for fall prevention and balance training, 2017
  • Volunteer Work:
    • CHAMPS (2017) for fall prevention in underserved areas of Western North Carolina
    • Senior Fitness Testing (2017-2018) to promote physical activity and fall prevention for older adults in Chapel Hill, NC
    • Parkinson’s Support Group (2017) at UNC CRC, Chapel Hill, NC
    • MS Support Group (2018) at UNC CRC, Chapel Hill, NC
    • SHAC (student-run UNC clinic for underserved community) 2017-2019


Professional Work:

  • Personal Care Assistant for person with Multiple Sclerosis (2018)
    • Assisted with prescribed Home Exercise Program of stretching, strengthening, and aerobic activity
    • Performed transfers and assisted with self-care


Future Career Plans and Goals:

  • Sit for and pass the North Carolina Physical Therapy Licensure Examination July 25, 2019
  • Graduate from UNC DPT program, August 3rd, 2019
  • Obtain a position at a clinic that works with people with neurological conditions
  • Become a Neurologic Clinical Specialist by 2026




  • Communication skills – I have developed strong communication skills, especially with my experience working at the Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), which has a heavy population of people with dementia/Alzheimer’s and the Ambulatory Care Center (ACC), which has a heavy population of people that are Spanish-Speaking. I feel I have learned how to communicate effectively in various ways, such as through demonstration, tactile feedback, and with brief, succinct instructions.
  • Creatively developing Home Exercise Programs for patients with limited resources. I have experience from the ACC, which provides Charity Care for those who cannot afford insurance and through the Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC), which is a free clinic for the underinsured as well
  • Experience with patients with neurological conditions in a variety of settings, such as through Parkinson’s and MS Support Groups, working with someone with MS in their home, and a clinical rotation at PACE, in Durham, NC and the CRC in Chapel Hill, NC.
  • Always seeking opportunities to learn more through volunteer opportunities, such as with CHAMP for Fall Prevention in Marion, NC and Senior Fitness Testing in Chapel Hill, NC, and spending time with members of the community assisting with their Home Exercise Program.
  • Genuine enthusiasm for my patient’s well-being and progress with their rehabilitation
  • Strong background working with people in the Deaf community, people who have aphasia, and experience with the Triangle Aphasia Project (TAP) in Durham, NC.


Areas of Development

  • Gain more outpatient orthopedic experience through SHAC and shadowing clinicians to further my assessment tools, clinical reasoning, and progression of interventions
  • Improve my manual therapy skills through continuing education courses and more hands-on patient care
  • Staying up to date on current evidence-based practice and recent literature for neurological conditions and interventions
  • Continue generating a multitude of treatment ideas and interventions that are appropriate and challenging for patients with various conditions



  • Sit for and pass the North Carolina Physical Therapy Licensure Examination July 25, 2019
  • Graduate from UNC DPT program, August 3rd, 2019
  • Obtain a position at a clinic that works with people with neurological conditions in 2019
  • Become a Clinical Instructor, 2020-2021
  • Become a Neurologic Clinical Specialist by 2026


Specific Strategies for Addressing Developmental Needs and Interests

  • Maintain relationships with past clinical and academic instructors, along with developing a new mentorship relationship in a future career setting
  • Maintain APTA membership
  • Balancing a wide range of topics for Continuing Education courses during my initial years as a clinician that enhance my knowledge for orthopedic and neurological involvement
  • Join the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy’s Special Interest Group for Spinal Cord Injuries


Products Created During DPT Program


Reflective Statement

I was first introduced to physical therapy as a competitive gymnast needing the services for myself, and quickly became passionate for the profession. Across all ages and throughout the entire lifespan, physical therapists play a key role in improving someone’s quality of life. UNC DPT’s program, both academically and through the hands-on clinicals, provides an educational environment that encourages us to be autonomous and evidence-based to ensure quality care for our patients, while also helping us develop interests in specific settings and ways to get more involved.

I found that volunteering for events that aligned with my interest in neurological conditions was not only fulfilling, but it also gave me more practice at communicating, developing home exercise programs, and collaborating with other healthcare professionals. My experience with Senior Fitness Testing, Free From Falls, and CHAMP helped me grow personally and professionally throughout my time at UNC and instills an interest in staying involved with this type of outreach in future career settings.

UNC also has such a large network that continuously provided its students with access to research and the expertise of clinicians, which was invaluable. I am grateful for the guidance from all our professors, the support of my classmates, and the clinicians that take us on as students each year. I look back at the various clinical experiences we have had and am very proud of how much I have grown in my confidence, clinical decision making, and my ability to develop a plan of care. I know that my time in this program and my hard work will ensure that I am a successful physical therapist in the future.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Francioni, AJ”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 03 Jun 2019 at 11:01 am

    AJ: Thanks for sharing your work. It is really nice to see all you have accomplished and where you would like to go. Good luck to you! Lisa


  2.   Vicki Merceron 14 Jun 2019 at 1:25 am

    Thanks for your contributions to the DPT program and to CHAMP! I’ve enjoyed working with you, and I’m looking forward to seeing what you will accomplish in the future.

    Best wishes –


  3.   McMikeon 20 Jun 2019 at 11:14 am

    Great job with your portfolio. Thank you for your hard work in MSK as a TA and for your volunteering along with other students to help me with MSK handouts (well before you were a TA). I look forward to hearing about your future achievements!


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