May 21 2019

Guthmann, Deborah

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Professional Goal Statement:

My desire is to serve my patients, liberating people through movement. It is my hope to practice in orthopedic settings, staying abreast of current evidence in order to continuously improve my clinical judgement. I want to fully embrace and encompass each domain of physical therapy, while remaining a therapist that treats the whole body and sees patients as humans first. Incorporating my love of service and enjoyment of learning, I will continue to give back to my community through providing pro-bono services locally and internationally. And finally, I hope to further the profession by becoming a mentor and/or clinical instructor, raising up practitioners who strive to serve and rehabilitate with integrity.

Career Plan


  • May 2016:Graduate from the University of North Carolina with Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology with a Minor in nutrition and cultural anthropology
  • August 2016-August 2019:Enroll in Doctor of physical Therapy Program at UNC Chapel Hill
  • February 2017-February 2018:Serve as SHAC PT Manager
  • April 2019:International Service Learning trip to Guatemala

Clinical Rotations:

  • Clinical rotation 4 (12 weeks): Salt Lake City VA, Outpatient Orthopedics
  • Independent Study (12 weeks): Durham VA Outpatient Physical Therapy: an independent study incorporating more than 150 mentored clinic hours in which I treated a case load of patients with chronic low back and neck pain incorporating techniques like graded motor imagery, mirror therapy, hypnosis, graded activity, and pain neuroscience education.
  • Clinical rotation 3 (8 weeks): Encompass Health Physical therapy– inpatient neurological neurorehabilitation internship in which I independently carried a daily caseload of six patients and a six-person group session.Participated in weekly rounds and coordinated patient discharge with multidisciplinary teams. Created, educated, and implemented a new and efficient method of group therapy for the inpatient therapy teams.
  • Clinical Rotation 2 (8 weeks): Novant Presbyterian Hospital-Acute Care rotation in which I Independently managed a full patient case load of 8-12 patients in the community hospital which contained 157 beds and a nine room ICU.
  • Clinical Rotation 1 (8 weeks): Durham VA Outpatient Physical Therapy– an orthopedic outpatient clinical in which I managed a full case load of six evaluations and multiple treatments per day


  • July 2019: pass the Federation of State boards of Physical Therapy Examination
  • August 2019: Graduate from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill with a doctorate of Physical Therapy
  • October 2019-October 2021: Work to develop my skills as a practitioner and serve my community through my work and volunteer efforts. Pursue further education in needling, manual therapy, and related certifications
  • October 2021: explore furthering education in either orthopedic or a sports residency program
  • January 2023 and beyond: practice in various states and countries amongst diverse population, advancing my skills while thriving in service.

Other Professional activities

  • Student Health Action Coalition:
    • Clinic volunteer
    • PT clinic manager
    • Health fairs—2017-2018
  • Conferences Attended
    • ALIGN conference-2019
    • NCPTA legislative day 2018, 2019



  • A fervent learner, constantly seeking excellence personally and in my career
  • Management skills gained through working as SHAC PT Manager, a pro-bono clinic
  • Compassionate and motivational, able to challenge patients to be their best selves while striving to show them their strengths

Areas for further development

  • Experience with vestibular and pelvic floor rehabilitation
  • Networking with other professionals in physical therapy and beyond

Special Areas of Interest

  • Outpatient Orthopedics
  • Chronic pain treatment in orthopedic or neuromuscular setting
  • Inpatient neuromuscular rehabilitation


  • Prepare and pass the National Physical Therapy exam in July of 2019
  • Get a job in a setting with established mentorship to advance manual therapy skills, clinical judgement, and improve orthopedic and neurological assessment and treatment
  • Continue learning, pursuing certificates
  • Pursue continuing education in relation to orthopedics and/or neuromuscular specific coursework through a residency or sitting for the exams.

Strategies for objectives

  • Study for the board exam during the summer of 2019 and sit for the licensure exam in July 2019.
  • Advance my skills in orthopedics and sports topics through 3rd year electives
  • Continue fostering the relationships I have developed with clinical instructors and clinical sites in order to maintain mentorship throughout the job application process and beyond
  • Pursue other certifications/degrees relevant to my interests such as: Selective Functional movement assessment, Functional Movement Specialist, and Needling
  • Develop my resume, contacts and networking skills throughout 3rd year and beyond.


  • Research experience (3 hours)
  • Advanced Orthopedic Assessment and Treatment Course
  • International service learning trip (1 hour) to Guatemala

Products examples

  • Chronic pain casestudy: This paper outlines much of the research and interventions that I worked on during the research experience during my final year of school.
  • Running and ACThis was a paper written for the Advanced Orthopedics course. It involved an extensive literature review and consolidation of current topics of cartilage health and running’s impact.
  • CAT: Hypnosis and Chronic Pain –During my Evidenced Based Practice II course, completed a Critically Appraised Topic on a clinical question. I was able to improve my skills in finding and appraising research articles while investigating something of significant interest.
  • Run Free: Community Wellness: this paper is a plan to combat public issues at the community level. It speaks to homelessness and the corresponding health disparities. The project was completed as part of a health and wellness course.


I have always had a burning desire to transform lives, making a difference in whatever small way I could. My efforts to realize this dream were chaotic yet sincere during high school and early college. But through a random shadowing experience and the advice of my mentor, I realized how perfectly physical therapy fit my hopes for my profession. Graduating from Carolina as a physical therapist is truly the realization of a life-long dream; I’ve become equipped to serve and bring freedom through movement to my community. As a student at UNC, I have been challenged professionally and have been led to a more compassionate, person-focused practice. The didactic material reflects the rigorous knowledge necessary to be an affective practitioner yet the coursework continuously revolved around our future patients.

My mentors within and without the program have truly shaped me as well. They have stretched me academically and challenged me professionally, but also influenced me personally. Thanks to an ongoing mentorship I’ve discovered a passion for treating those with long-standing pain. The last three years have combined my past desires with my current training to set an intention for the future. I only hope to resemble the care, dedication, and excellence of the physical therapists that have been a part of this journey. It has been an honor learn under and serve with these humans.

One response so far

One Response to “Guthmann, Deborah”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 11 Jun 2019 at 3:56 pm

    Deborah: It has been a pleasure to see your evolution over the last few years. I know there are good things in store for you in the future. Nice work! Take care and good luck! Lisa


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