Apr 27 2020

Bottoms, Jason

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 Professional Goal Statement:

Following graduation, I plan to work in an outpatient orthopedic clinic with an emphasis on sports medicine. More broadly, I plan to provide rehabilitation services based on the best current evidence that will allow my patients to recover from a variety of impairments as quickly and safely as possible. My overall goal will be to help my patients improve functional movement while minimizing pain to return to the activities they love. After gaining the appropriate experience, I will sit for the Orthopedic Clinical Specialist exam. To make a commitment to life-long learning, I will take continuing education courses, collaborate with peers and attend seminars and conferences throughout my career.


Career Plan:


  • A. in Exercise and Sport Science, Minor in History from UNC-Chapel Hill (May 2015)


  • Doctor of Physical Therapy from UNC-Chapel Hill (August 2020)
  • Clinical Affiliations (8 weeks each)
    • Perfect Balance Physical Therapy (2018) – Outpatient orthopedics; Brevard, NC
    • Mission Hospital (2019) – Inpatient acute; Asheville, NC
    • Rex Rehabilitation of Apex (2019) – Skilled Nursing, neurologic and geriatric; Apex, NC
    • Carolina Pointe II (2020) – Complex outpatient orthopedics; Chapel Hill, NC
  • Attended 2019 Combined Sections Meeting (January 2019)
  • Integrated Clinical Experience (Fall 2019)
    • UNC Family Medicine Center – Outpatient orthopedic (60 hours)
    • University physical therapy – Neurologic population (60 hours)
  • Assisted in interview process for class of 2022 (January 2020)
  • Participated in Service Learning Trip to Tyrell County (March 2020)
  • Take and pass NC licensure exam (July 2020)


  • Start a career in outpatient orthopedics in the research triangle area (September 2020)
  • Take continuing education courses, attend seminars, and participate in conferences to continue my education throughout my career (September 2020 – retirement)
  • Become a credentialed clinical instructor and begin mentoring the next generation of physical therapists (2022)
  • Take and pass OCS exam (2025)




  • Communication with peers and patients
  • Resiliency
  • Adaptability to changing schedules and clinical settings
  • Open-mindedness to new ideas and experiences that may influence my professional practice

Areas for Improvement:

  • Time management skills and staying on schedule in busy clinical settings; organization
  • Activity and participation in APTA and other avenues for professional advocacy
  • Professional networking through conferences and social media
  • Business and managerial concepts (i.e. reimbursement, billing, staffing, scheduling)



  • Address areas for improvement listed above.
  • Graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill with a DPT in August 2020.
  • Take and pass NC licensure exam in July 2020.
  • Find employment within 1 month of graduation.
  • Take and pass OCS exam by 2025.
  • Maintain a healthy work-life balance throughout my career.


Specific Strategies

  • Gain as much experience as possible in clinical settings before graduation through ICE, SHAC and other opportunities.
  • Develop and maintain a study schedule throughout spring and summer of 2020 focused on preparation for the licensure exam.
  • Develop stronger professional relationships with professors and/or other clinicians that could become mentors as I start my professional career.
  • Maintain contact with current classmates after graduation for networking, educational, and collaboration opportunities.
  • Begin job search before graduation and thoroughly prepare for each interview.
  • Attend seminars, conferences and other continuing education courses throughout my career.
  • Keep track of specific patient contact hours for eventual specialty certification.
  • Continually reassess personal and professional priorities and make plans and schedules to avoid burnout


Product Samples

Capstone Project – Treatment of Shoulder Injury in the Overhead Athlete

Critically Appraised Topic – Examining the effects of foot orthotic versus exercise interventions for reducing falls in older adults

OA Program Proposal – proposal for a program designed for adults with osteoarthritis

Inservice Project presented at Mission Hospitals – Mobility in the ICU

Reflections on an interdisciplinary service trip to Tyrrell County, NC

Reflective Statement

As I sit here, months from graduating as a Doctor of Physical Therapy, it is difficult to sum up the last three years. I started out excited, curious and a little intimidated in our cadaver lab that first semester. Three years later, I’m excited, curious and a little intimidated as I finish out the program and start to look for employment in the midst of a global pandemic. That is not to say that the last three years in this program have not changed me – just the opposite. Standing in that lab, I was excited to learn all I could about PT. I’m now excited to continue that learning throughout my career and start to apply all I’ve learned so far. Where I was at first curious due to my general lack of knowledge of all the things PT, I’m now curious about a whole new host of higher-level subjects that the DPT program has exposed me too by allowing me to pursue my interests. Where I was intimidated by the seemingly daunting challenge of a three-year doctoral program, I’m now intimidated by the thought of not providing my patients with the highest quality of care. However, I’m comforted by the fact that the daunting three-year doctoral program I’m about to complete has adequately prepared me for that challenge.

The past three years have truly been a transformative, educational and sometimes difficult journey. I’ve had the privilege of having an amazing faculty to guide me along the way. These experts in their fields have been incredibly accessible and generous with their time, effective in conveying the course material in clinically applicable ways and consistent in treating their students as peers rather than inferiors. For that, I am eternally grateful. I’ve also had the pleasure of having an incredible group of classmates to accompany me on this journey. They have been there to provide constructive feedback, motivation, support and, most importantly, laughs along the way. I couldn’t have made it without you all.

One response so far

One Response to “Bottoms, Jason”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 30 Jun 2020 at 6:53 pm

    Jason: I am so excited to see your portfolio. So nice to hear the reflection of your journey. The product examples you provided give a nice small glimpse into the hard work you have completed. Great job and good luck as your take your next step down the career path! Lisa


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