May 21 2019

Widman, Elise

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Professional Goal Statement

I aspire towards a career as a thorough, critical and determined physical therapist, one who resolves to align my practice with the current evidence and advocate for my patients in the context of effective utilization of resources as well as education about the possibilities and pathways to achieve their goals. I am thankful for the examples provided through clinical instructors, professors and peers who consistently question practice with the goal of improving care, and believe this analytic spirit will serve my patients, myself and the profession well. I appreciated unique aspects of care for the neurologic population across the acute, inpatient and outpatient settings so remain open to each of these as a career path.

Career Plan

Prior Education 

    • December 2014: B.A in Biology and Exercise and Sports Science, UNC-CH

 Physical Therapy Education and Experiences 

    • August 2016: Began Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at UNC-CH
    • Clinical Rotations 
      • Mills River Physical Therapy, Outpatient Orthopedics, July -August 2017 (8 weeks)
      • UNC Hospitals, Acute Care with primary focus on Neurologic ICU and Step-down Unit, Acute Oncology, Cardiothoracic ICU. March 2018 (8 weeks)
      •  UNC Centers for Rehabilitation Care, Outpatient Neuro, April 2018-June 2018 (8 weeks)
      • CarePartners Inpatient Rehabilitation, May 2019-July 2019 (12 weeks)
    • Electives
      • Advanced Orthopedic Assessment and Treatment, Fall 2018
      • Integrated Clinical Experience, Outpatient Orthopedics, Fall 2018
      • Advanced Neuromuscular Interventions, Spring 2019
      • Guatemala Service Learning Trip, Spring 2019
    • MS Step Up Program
      • Co-organized MS Walk Team 2018 in Raleigh, NC
      • Co-presented case study at UNC PT Rounds January 2019
      • Facilitated National MS Society’s “Free From Falls” falls prevention program for adults with MS
      • Attended Centers for Multiple Sclerosis Annual Meeting 2018, 2019
      • Planned: Deliver In-service related to current trends on MS Rehabilitation, June 2019

Future Goals 

    • July 2019: Pass National Physical Therapy Examination
    • August 2019: Earn Doctorate of Physical Therapy from UNC-Chapel Hill
    • September 2019: Gain employment in either acute care or inpatient rehabilitation setting in North Carolina
    • 1-2 years
      • Earn MS Certified Specialist certification
      • Pursue continuing education in wheelchair seating and evaluation, vestibular rehabilitation and rehabilitation after spinal cord injury
      • Volunteer for adaptive sport leagues (i.e. Bridge II Sports, Adaptive sports and Adventure program, specific plan dependent on employment location)
      • Continue to participate in MS Volunteer Leadership Team within alumni role
    • 3-6 years
      • Attend CMSC Annual Meeting at least twice in first 6 years after graduation
      • Retain membership in APTA including neurologic and research sections
      • Pursue involvement in clinical research
    • Within 10 years
      • Transition either to Outpatient Neuro Setting or to working as a traveling Physical Therapist
    • Strengths
      • Strong value for service to the community
      • Effectiveness in building trust with patients
      • Value of evidence-based practice and critical approach to care
    • Areas for Professional Development
      • Expand understanding of general billing and reimbursement and in particular insurance coverage for equipment
      •  Improve competence with wheelchair evaluation, fitting and modification
      • Leadership development related to plan of care management for PTA’s
      • Participation in research

 Specific Strategies 

    • Adhere to established study plan for the NPTE
    •  Consult with UNC Professional Development Services for further resume and cover letter development
    • Participate in NMSS activities in Western NC including support groups, attend quarterly meetings either in person or remotely

Samples of Work


I decided to pursue physical therapy at 14 during my recovery from my first ACL tear and despite my reputation as the most indecisive member of my family, this goal remained steadfast. My interest in movement, accessibility and individual empowerment matured over the past three years into a professional passion for working with individuals to improve their health and quality of life. My focus on the neurologic population began with an undergraduate internship that allowed me to work with patients with Multiple Sclerosis, which ultimately led to my pursuit of the MS Step Up program, and expanded through rotations in the ICU, in vestibular rehabilitation, and in my current setting which provides intensive exposure to patients with stroke, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. This area has provided such complex problems to solve, and is one I am excited to hone my expertise in as I move forward. In terms of work beyond the clinic, connecting with adaptive and inclusive sport and recreation leagues maintains my connection to my orthopedic and athletic roots, thus has been a valuable addition to my overall PT experience and one I plan to continue in the future.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Widman, Elise”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 11 Jun 2019 at 4:45 pm

    Elise: It has been nice to read more about your journey in the program. Great job on your portfolio! I know you will continue to do great things…good luck to you!


  2.   Prue Plummeron 12 Jun 2019 at 6:25 pm

    It has been a pleasure to have you in the MS STEP UP program and I look forward to your continued engagement on the leadership and future mentorship of scholars to follow. Wishing you much success and happiness in your career endeavors.
    Warm regards,


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