Apr 27 2020

Argyriou, Mara

Published by

Professional Goal Statement:

Upon graduating from the UNC-Chapel Hill Doctor of Physical Therapy program I plan to practice in an outpatient physical therapy clinic, working with the sports population. I aim to continue to expand my clinical skills and judgment through continuing education courses and staying abreast of current evidence. In the near future, I intend to pursue a sports residency program and become a sports certified specialist to gain experience working with athletes and sports teams, as well as mentoring to help me develop a high-level clinical thought process. Additionally, I plan to use my background as an athlete to implement preventive care and bridge the gap between rehab continuum, in order to help athletes return to sport and enhance performance.


Career plan:

Past experiences & achievements:

  • Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science – College of Charleston; Magna Cum Laude (2013-2017)
  • NCAA Division 1 full tennis scholarship – College of Charleston (2013-2017)
  • College of Charleston women’s tennis team captain and MVP award (2016, 2017)
  • Cyprus Fed Cup Team (2010-2013)
  • Volunteer: Wounded Warrior Project (2015) and Special Olympics (2016,2017)
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (2019-present)

Clinical experience:

UNC-Chapel Hill DPT Program: 2017-2020

  • Clinical I: UNC Hospital, Chapel Hill, NC – acute care (2018)
  • Clinical II: Select PT, Charleston, SC – outpatient orthopedics (2019)
  • Clinical III: Kindred Home Health, Charleston, SC – neuromuscular (2019)
  • Clinical IV: Vertex PT Specialists, Columbia SC – sports outpatient orthopedics (2020)
  • Integrated Clinical Experience: UNC at Chapel Hill, NC – orthopedics (Fall 2019)
  • International Service Learning: Guatemala Service Project (2020)

Future goals:

  • July 2020: NPTE exam and Physical Therapy Licensure
  • August 2020: Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from UNC-Chapel Hill
  • October 2020: Obtain post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) and be eligible to work in the United States
  • 2021-2025:
    • Pursue a Sports Residency Program
    • Become a Sports Certified Specialist
    • Become a clinical instructor
    • Attend CSM and/or other conferences annually
    • Obtain a job in a sports clinic working with high-level athletes




  • Work ethic, motivation and dedication
  • Leadership, team-work skills and experience as captain and player of the Cyprus national female tennis team and college tennis team, and on the executive board of the student-athlete advisory committee in college
  • Athletic background as a former tennis player
  • Continued involvement in sports as a tennis coach and runner
  • Extensive clinical experience in a wide variety of settings

Opportunities for Growth

  • Experience working on the field and in the clinic with high-level athletes and sports teams
  • Effective communication and collaboration with other healthcare professionals
  • Better understanding of the administrative side of physical therapy, including insurance and reimbursement
  • Maintain a healthy work/life balance



  • Pass the NPTE exam and become a licensed physical therapist – July 2020
  • Graduate from the DPT program at UNC Chapel Hill – August 2020
  • Obtain a job in a sports outpatient orthopedic clinic – October 2020
  • Implement injury prevention clinics for athletes, parents and coaches – 2021
  • Become a clinical instructor – 2023
  • Complete a sports residency and become a Sports Certified Specialist – by 2025


Specific Strategies:

  • Follow a study plan to successfully prepare and pass the NPTE in July 2020
  • Maintain high standards during my last clinical rotation
  • Reach out to potential employers of sports orthopedic clinics prior to graduation
  • Remain in contact with and utilize the support of mentors at UNC, clinical instructors and classmates
  • Maintain my APTA and sports section membership
  • Attend continuing education courses, conferences and lectures focused on sports physical therapy
  • Research and get in contact with sports residency programs


Samples of My Work at UNC-Chapel Hill:

  • Capstone Project: The Prevention of the Most Common Shoulder Injuries in Tennis Players
    • Includes a literature review paper, a power point designed to serve as a clinical resource for PTs and PT students, and an evidence-based shoulder injury prevention handout for overhead athletes designed for coaches.
  • Critically Appraised Topic (CAT) – as part of my Evidence Based Practice II class I produced a CAT that included multiple studies that compared the effectiveness between preventive interventions and standard training alone in reducing shoulder injury rate in overhead athletes.
  • Advanced Orthopedic Paper: Prevention of Shoulder Injuries in Overhead Athletes
  • Outline of an Annual PT Exam for the Athletic Population – this project was completed as part of my Health and Wellness class and is designed to screen for risk factors and assess physical characteristics specific to the athlete’s sport, with the goal of preventing physical injuries, cardiovascular, mental and eating disorders and burnout, as well as enhance performance.


Reflective Statement: 

I am very thankful for the opportunity to attend, learn and grow at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program these past three years. It has been a long journey with many challenges and obstacles along the way, however, I wouldn’t change a thing as it has helped shape me into the person and future physical therapist I aspire to be. Along the way I have met lifelong friends than have made home (Cyprus) seem not so far away, which I am forever grateful for.

This program has given me the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, treating the pediatric, adult and geriatric populations, which has provided me with valuable knowledge and experience to become a well-rounded clinician. Despite my tennis background and my passion for sports, I entered the program open-minded regarding the specific area of PT I wanted to pursue. Nonetheless, my experiences during the program have not only confirmed my passion for sports PT, but enhanced my motivation to pursue a sports residency program in the future. In addition, I had the opportunity to advocate for shoulder preventive interventions for overhead athletes during my capstone project and I plan to seek further opportunities to implement injury prevention clinics and increase awareness.

I am excited and committed to continue to expand my knowledge and clinical skills throughout my career to help keep people healthy and enhance their performance using high-quality evidence-based care. Ultimately, I hope to find an employer/clinic whose mission aligns with my goals and values. I know I will face many challenges ahead but I feel confident that my education and experiences at UNC-Chapel Hill have prepared me for success.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Argyriou, Mara”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 30 Jun 2020 at 6:43 pm

    Mara: Great job on your portfolio! I am excited to see what is yet to come for you! Congrats on all you have accomplished and good luck ahead! Lisa


  2.   Debbyon 02 Jul 2020 at 7:03 pm

    Mara – great reflection and products of your experience here at UNC. I can’t wait to see the future you have in store.


Comments RSS

Leave a Reply