May 21 2019

Lewis, Ashley

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Professional goal statement:

My professional goal is to become a caring, compassionate, unbiased physical therapist who provides high quality patient centered care and makes a difference in the lives of all my patients. It is my goal to graduate from UNC- Chapel Hill with the skill set and professional tools needed to become a successful entry-level clinician in whatever setting and area I choose to work in. I plan to work in an acute care setting, and I have a special interest in working with patients who have cancer, bone marrow transplants, and/or neurological conditions. I want to continue expanding my skills as a practitioner through continuing education courses, becoming an Oncology Certified Specialist, becoming a Neurological Certified Specialist (NCS), joining special interest groups, and maintaining my APTA membership. I will strive to be a lifelong learner by using the most up to date research to continue gaining new knowledge and skills and provide an evidence-based treatment approach to all of my future patients. I hope to create therapeutic bonds and leave a lasting impression on my patients as I help them achieve their goals.

Career plan:

May 2016: Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, UNC-Wilmington

August 2016- 2019: UNC Chapel Hill Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

  • Clinical Rotation I: Nash Day Hospital (Outpatient Orthopedics)- Rocky Mount, NC
  • Clinical Rotation II: UNC Hospital (Acute Care working primarily in Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant)- Chapel Hill, NC
  • Clinical Rotation III: Brunswick PT Associates (Outpatient Pediatrics, School System)- Shallotte, NC
  • Clinical Rotation IV: Carolinas Medical Center (Acute Care working primarily in Ortho/ Trauma)- Charlotte, NC

July 2019: Sit for and pass National Physical Therapy Examination

August 2019: Graduate from UNC Chapel Hill with Doctorate of Physical Therapy

September 2019: Attain a job as an acute care physical therapist in the Triangle area in a large healthcare system

February-March 2021: Obtain Neurological Certified Specialist (NCS) Certification

February- March 2023: Obtain Specialist Certification in Oncology

2019 and beyond: Maintain APTA membership

2019 and beyond: Become a clinical instructor for PT students

2019 and beyond: Attend continuing education courses and conferences focused on acute care and oncology to continue growing as a physical therapist and learning new skills

2019 and beyond: Pursue a mentorship relationship from an experienced physical therapist

July 2029: Open my own outpatient PT practice


  • Strengths:
    • Strong and effective communication skills with patients of all ages, conditions, and backgrounds, family members, and other members in the workplace
    • Enthusiastic and professionally curious
    • Leadership experience as Vice President of SPTA at UNC
    • Strong interpersonal skills
    • Willingness to continue lifelong learning and developing my skills as a physical therapist
    • Compassionate and respectful
    • Excellent professionalism, time management, and organizational skills
    • Personal experience in extensive clinical experiences in a variety of practice settings including outpatient orthopedics, acute care, and outpatient pediatrics/ school system
  • Areas for Further Development:
    • Ability to adapt to changing or ambiguous situations
    • Ability to critically think and apply my knowledge in difficult situations and come up with an appropriate solution
    • Expand knowledge of evidence-based interventions for patients in an inpatient setting
    • Expand knowledge of setting specific insurance, billing, coding, and reimbursement rates
    • Become more up to date on the recent research and evidence based practice in acute care
    • Become more involved in Physical Therapy advocacy in the local, state and national levels



Special Areas of Interest: Acute Care (Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant, Neuro floors)


  • Graduate from UNC- Chapel Hill with my Doctorate of Physical Therapy Degree in August 2019
  • Pass the National Physical Therapy Licensure Exam in July 2019 in order to become a licensed physical therapist in North Carolina.
  • Obtain employment by a large healthcare system in North Carolina as an acute care physical therapist by September 2019.
  • Become Neurological Specialist Certified (NCS) by February 2021.
  • Obtain Specialist Certification in Oncology by February 2023.
  • Attend continuing education coursework and certifications by December 2020.
  • Become a clinical instructor by December 2020.
  • Own an outpatient PT practice by July 2029

 Specific strategies:

  • Complete all graduate courses and gain as much knowledge as possible in order to best prepare myself for a career in any setting with any patient population
  • Complete my final 12 week clinical rotation in acute care
  • Create a calendar and specific study plan and adhere to it diligently in order to pass the National Physical Therapy Exam
  • Seek jobs after graduation in large hospital systems that emphasize ongoing education and research
  • Continue to work on developing relationships with experienced physical therapists and maintain affiliations with previous and current clinical instructors
  • Use connections and personal references to help with the job search and application process
  • Attend lectures, continuing education courses, and conferences to network with other professionals and learn the latest evidence based research
  • Maintain active American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) membership
  • Become and maintain memberships in oncology and acute care special interest groups
  • Seek out research-based learning opportunities that provide intervention strategies and techniques for patients with cancer or neurological conditions
  • Seek a mentorship relationship with an experienced physical therapist in my initial job that will help me continue to grow as a new therapist and develop my skills


Electives and Coursework:

Fall 2018:

  • Advance Orthopedic Assessment and Treatment (PHYT 875)
  • Integrated Clinical Experience: Half orthopedic and half neurological focus (PHYT 870)

Spring 2019:

  • Teacher/Scholar Program (Independent Study for Musculoskeletal I class) (PHYT 800)


Products Examples:

  • CAT Research Assignment: “For a 45-year-old male with bone cancer, is a land-based resistance exercise program or aquatic therapy more effective in increasing muscle strength?”
    • A critically appraised topic exploring the latest research evidence as part of Evidence Based Practice II Course
    • Rehabilitation in oncology is one of my clinical interests, so this project provided an opportunity to further explore this patient population.
    • This project provided an opportunity to improve my research skills and efficiently appraise evidence in order to apply it to a clinical scenario.
  • Inservice Presentation: Energy Conservation Tips Brochure
    • Inservice presentation during first acute care rotation at UNC Hospital
    • Brochures given to patients on the oncology floors and education provided for tips on how to conserve energy, especially after discharging from the hospital
    • This project allowed me to further develop my skills as an acute care physical therapist working with patients in oncology and expand my knowledge of interventions when working with this patient population.
  • Musculoskeletal PPT Presentation: Whiplash Presentation
    • Presentation for the first years during Independent Study course
    • Whiplash is a common condition that can be seen in patients in acute care who have had motor vehicle accidents, so this project allowed me to further develop my skills and knowledge base to better prepare me for working in acute care. This project also allowed me to learn new interventions for this patient population and treatment ideas during each phase of recovery.

Reflective Statement

These past 3 years in UNC’s DPT program have definitely been challenging and hard at times, however, they have been very rewarding. I am forever grateful for this program and how much it has helped me grow professionally and personally. I have been challenged to step out of my comfort zone and expand my knowledge in all areas related to physical therapy, which has better prepared me to enter the workforce as a generalist prepared to work in any setting of physical therapy. The faculty and students in this program have been amazing and their support has been vital in my development and growth over these past three years. This program has also given me the chance to pursue my passions through clinicals and different elective courses. I am extremely thankful for our clinical rotations that have prepared me to be successful across all settings and allowed me to discover/ confirm some of my strengths and passions. These valuable clinical experiences have allowed me to develop my confidence and skills in critical thinking, which will be important as I start my career as a physical therapist. I am beyond thankful for the new skills and knowledge that this program has given me to help me be successful as I enter the workforce as a new grad.

Over the next several years, I plan to continue growing and developing my skills as a lifelong learner by joining special interest groups and attending conferences and continuing education courses related to my interests and passions, which will help me grow and improve my skills and knowledge set. I also plan to pursue mentorships from fellow clinicians and obtain my Neurological Specialist Certification and Specialist Certification in Oncology, which will also help me continue to learn and develop my skill set as a physical therapist. I hope that I will be able to make a difference in the lives of my future patients and leave a lasting impact, just like this program has done for me. I am excited to use and apply the knowledge I have gained from this program in order to best serve my future patients and the physical therapy profession.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Lewis, Ashley”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 03 Jun 2019 at 11:16 am

    Ashley: Great job on all your work! It has been a pleasure getting to know you and watching you grow. Good luck to you, I know you will do great!! Lisa


  2.   McMikeon 20 Jun 2019 at 11:24 am

    Nice work on your portfolio! Appreciate your hard work in ICE and as a TA scholar in MSK and especially your consistently positive attitude. Congrats!


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