May 21 2019

Lane, Chris

Published by

Professional Goals

After finishing my final clinical rotation and graduating from the UNC Doctor of Physical Therapy program in August, I will enroll in the UNC Doctor of Philosophy program in Human Movement Science in the fall. I aim to continue cultivating my clinical skills as I pursue the research degree. I am interested in orthopedics and particularly chronic pain. Ultimately, in about the next 10 years, I aim to work at a university where I would conduct research, treat patients, and teach students. I want to continue developing my knowledge and be able to disseminate it to patients and students. I am an underrepresented minority and first-generation college student and I want to help underrepresented students understand more about the PT profession and hopefully inspire them to consider this great profession. I also want to work with underrepresented patients and advocate for improved healthcare access for all patients.

Career Plan

  • May 2016: Obtained Bachelor of Science in Health and Exercise Science from Wake Forest University
  • August 2016: Began Doctor of Physical Therapy program at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • Clinical Rotations:
    • June-August 2017: Outpatient Orthopedic rotation at UNC Meadowmont in Chapel Hill, NC (8 weeks)
    • March-April 2018: Acute Care rotation at Cape Fear Valley Hospital in Fayetteville, NC (8 weeks)
    • April-June 2018: Outpatient Neuro rotation at Duke Specialty Rehab Services at Midtown in Raleigh, NC (8 weeks)
    • May-July 2019: Outpatient Orthopedics-Spine Specialty rotation at UNC Spine Center in Chapel Hill, NC (12 weeks)
  • August 2019: Graduate from UNC Doctorate of Physical Therapy program
  • August 2019: Begin Doctor of Philosophy program in the Human Movement Science Curriculum (HMSC) at UNC
  • October 2019: Pass the National Physical Therapy Board Exam
  • 2024: Graduate from UNC HMSC PhD program
  • 2024: Apply for a Post-Doctoral program or academic position
  • 2026-Beyond:
    • Conduct independent research related to chronic pain
    • Engage in clinical practice related to outpatient orthopedics
    • Teach at least one course at a DPT program
    • Become a mentor for underrepresented PT students
    • Become an active member in the APTA



  • Professionalism
  • Accountability in performing all tasks
  • Passion for continual learning and development
  • Demonstrating compassion and developing rapport with patients
  • Writing and documentation skills
  • Analyzing and synthesizing details
  • Cultural competency and self-awareness of biases

    Areas for further development:

  • Further developing my clinical reasoning skills as I continue to obtain more patient-care experience
  • Adapting communication skills depending on situation
  • Adapting to rapid changes in patient status
  • Improving manual therapy skills
  • Supervising other physical therapy staff such as PTAs
  • Advocating for the PT profession at local, state, and national levels

Areas of interest

  • General orthopedics
  • Spine rehabilitation
  • Chronic pain
  • Neurological-based interventions for orthopedic conditions
  • Cultural competency and representation in the PT profession
  • Engaging in clinical research related to above areas


  • Pass the NPTE and engage in part-time clinical care during PhD program (such as a UNC faculty clinic)
  • Work with research mentors through the UNC HMSC program to develop research skills and establish a plan for dissertation
  • Attain an academic position (ex. Assistant Professor) at a DPT program
  • Engage in a combination of research, teaching, and clinical practice at a DPT program
  • Assist PT programs in recruiting underrepresented minorities and first-generation college students

Specific Strategies

  • Create a specific study plan to prepare for NPTE, including reviewing specific concepts and taking practice exams
  • Establish a strong, positive mentorship with CI and staff at final clinical rotation at Spine Center
  • Continue working with Diversity and Inclusion student committee and Allied Health Ambassadors to promote PT at various events and continue dialogue with UNC PT Administration on issues related to diversity and inclusion within program
  • Register for fall courses through the HMSC program and identify and become involved in ongoing faculty research projects
  • Expand my capstone project into a poster or platform presentation at the 2020 Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) and a manuscript for publication
  • Continue to attend PT and research conferences (such as CSM) to broaden my knowledge and skills and network with peers and therapists


Fall 2018:

  • PHYT 875 – Advanced Orthopedic Assessment/Intervention
  • PHYT 800 – Independent Study (Research)

Spring 2019:

  • PHYT 870 – Integrated Clinical Experience – Outpatient Orthopedics
  • PHYT 800 – Independent Study (Teacher Scholar for Musculoskeletal I course)

Research Experiences and Capstone Project

My research independent study was a joint project with Duke DPT students (David Rowland and Amanda Murphy) and faculty (Dr. Chad Cook) as well as Dr. Debby Givens (faculty member in the UNC DPT program) and Hannah Manik, a fellow UNC DPT classmate. The project aimed to identify associations between DPT institutional, program, and faculty characteristics and research volume. A manuscript was written and has been submitted for publication.

My capstone is based on a research project that I assisted Dr. Debby Givens and other HMSC faculty and students with during my second and third years in the DPT program. More information about my capstone can be found at the link below. In summary, the capstone examined associations between quadriceps strength, voluntary activation, and neural excitability in subjects with knee osteoarthritis and also compared these characteristics between involved and less involved lower extremities.

Link to capstone page:

Presenting Research Poster at the North Carolina Physical Therapy Association Fall Conference

Product Examples

  • Advanced Orthopedics Assessment/Intervention Final Course Paper“The Role of Spinal Stabilization Musculature in Treating Lumbar Pathologies and Low Back Pain”
  • Critically Appraised TopicFinal project in Evidenced-Based Practice II course; this critically appraised topic (CAT) explored the question if therapeutic exercise would be more effective than anterior cervical fusion for reducing pain in an older adult with cervical radiculopathy.


These three years at the UNC DPT program have been very enjoyable and enlightening. I am grateful of the support that I have received from my classmates, professors, and my family. I became interested in physical therapy ever since I was a patient myself several years ago and I look forward to treating patients myself when I graduate in August. I have also been interested in research since I completed a research program in high school, and my research experiences in the DPT program have reinforced this interest. I also look forward to expanding my research interests in the HMSC program in the fall. I plan to work with Dr. Debby Givens and other UNC faculty during the HMSC program on knee osteoarthritis and other orthopedic conditions. I may build my capstone project into an independent project or dissertation.

Since I would like to do patient care and teaching as well in the near future, I want to maximize my opportunities to build on these skills. My third-year electives have given me opportunities to have extra time in the clinic and assist in teaching. I certainly should have additional experiences in the HMSC program. I also need to make sure that I optimize my current time as well. I have created a specific plan to prepare for the licensure exam and I am attaining great experience in my current clinical rotation.

Overall, I feel that I have made significant professional and personal growth during the last three years. I know that my journey is still only beginning and I should keep my plans very open. Either way, I am excited to soon become a double Tar Heel and I hope to continually see many of my professors and friends in the DPT program over the next several years!

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Lane, Chris”

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

    Chris: Great job on your portfolio. We are excited to have you continuing on for your PhD! These are big goals and we know you will do well. Good luck and glad we will continue to get to see you! Lisa


  2.   Debbie Thorpeon 13 Jun 2019 at 11:11 am

    Hi Chris
    I really enjoyed reading your portfolio and am so excited to have you in the HMSC program in the fall!! You did a great job on your CAPStone project and I am looking forward to your many contributions going forward. Take a bit of time off before the fall!



  3.   Vicki Merceron 14 Jun 2019 at 1:34 am

    I’m very excited to have you starting in the HMSC program! I know that you will go far as a teacher/mentor, clinician, and researcher. Can’t wait to see your contributions to the PT profession!



  4.   Michael Lewekon 14 Jun 2019 at 1:02 pm

    You will do great in our HMSC program. Bring your confidence and enthusiasm and passion! Keep up the hard work.


  5.   McMikeon 20 Jun 2019 at 11:21 am

    Great job the past 3-years! Thanks for your hard work in ICE and MSK as a TA scholar. Look forward to continuing to work with you as you pursue your PhD.


Comments RSS

Leave a Reply