Apr 27 2020

Cunningham, LaCorey

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Professional Goal Statement

As a licensed physical therapist, I aim to serve with generalist knowledge in a variety of settings in North Carolina in order to provide skilled, compassionate, and evidence-based care that is patient-centered and optimizes the health of society. I am interested in working with both orthopedic and neurologic populations, with a special interest in falls prevention and amputation rehabilitation for those impacted by limb loss. My goal is to advocate for access to physical therapy for all individuals and to improve the cultural competency and diversity within the profession by establishing workshops or mentorship programs and serving as a clinical instructor, guest lecturer, and/or adjunct faculty in the DPT program. In order to maximize patient success, I aim to demonstrate commitment to lifelong learning through continuing education and professional development opportunities and active involvement in APTA and APTA North Carolina.

Career Plan

Prior Experiences

  • May 2015: Bachelor of Arts Degree in Exercise and Sport Science, UNC Chapel Hill
  • May 2015-June 2017: College Adviser at Zebulon B. Vance High School, Carolina College Advising Corps
  • Aug 2017: Began Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, UNC Chapel Hill, Class of 2020

Clinical Rotations

  • July-Aug 2018 (8 weeks): Outpatient Orthopedics, Select Physical Therapy, Rock Hill, SC
  • Mar-April 2019 (8 weeks): Acute Care, Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, Elkin, NC
  • May-June 2019 (8 weeks): Outpatient Neuro, Vidant Rehabilitation Center, Greenville, NC
  • June 2020 (8 weeks): Outpatient, Atrium Health Main, Charlotte, NC

Clinical Experiences

  • Spring 2020: Integrated Clinical Experience—Outpatient Orthopedics, UNC University PT (Durham), Chapel Hill, NC
  • Spring 2020: International Service Learning—Neurological (Long-Term Care Facility), Antigua, Guatemala

Professional Development

  • Feb 2018 – Feb 2019: Served as UNC SPTA Secretary
  • Aug 2018 – Present: APTA/APTANC Student Membership, Orthopedic Section
  • Jan 2019: Attended APTA Combined Sections Meeting, Washington, DC
  • Mar 2019: Attended NCPTA Student Conclave
  • Jun 2018, Jun 2019: Volunteer for Special Olympics NC FUNFitness Screenings

Career Goals

  • Aug 2020: Complete Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at UNC
  • Oct 2020: Pass NPTE Exam and obtain Physical Therapy Licensure
  • Nov 2020: Obtain job in desired setting in Charlotte, NC
  • 2020-2025:
    • Obtain Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT) certification to perform Manual Lymph Drainage and Complete Decongestive Therapy
    • Apply to orthopedic or neurological residency
    • Establish a camp, workshop, and/or outreach/mentorship program for minority students to increase diversity within the profession
    • Serve as clinical instructor for PT students and/or facilitate shadowing experiences for prospective students

Long-term Career Goals

  • Serve as Lead PT or Director of Rehab Services
  • Serve as Clinical Director for NC FunFitness
  • Serve as a professor in an accredited DPT program




  • Providing compassionate, non-judgmental patient-centered care regardless of age, cultural background, diagnoses, socioeconomic status, etc.
  • Building rapport with rehabilitation and support staff and creating a positive work environment.
  • Fostering clinical knowledge by seeking additional learning experiences, encouraging professional feedback, and maintaining membership in professional organization.
  • Demonstrating genuine eagerness for personal and professional development through consistent self-evaluation and resiliency.

Areas of Improvement:

  • Consistent literature reviewing and improved application of evidence-based practice.
  • Efficiency with documentation and competence in billing and insurance.
  • Increased involvement with direction and supervision of PTAs and support staff.
  • Overall confidence in clinical reasoning, evaluation, and communication skills as a new PT.


Professional Objectives

  1. Graduate with Doctor of Physical Therapy in Aug 2020
  2. Prepare for and pass the NPTE in Oct 2020
  3. Obtain full-time job in desired setting in Charlotte, NC or surrounding area
  4. Become an APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor by 2020
  5. Pursue a specialty, certification, and/or residency upon gaining additional experience as a generalist PT in desired setting by 2025
  6. Remain abreast to best available evidence to foster positive patient outcomes.

Specific Strategies:

  • Adhere to strict study plan using prep books, review courses, and evidence-based case studies and resources in order to pass the NPTE
  • Maintain APTA membership and professional involvement, including attending APTA NC Fall Conferences and various APTA and advocacy events
  • Complete LAMP Institute for Leadership in Physical Therapy Course to prepare for managerial and mentoring roles.
  • Establish NC Chapter of National Black Association of Black Physical Therapists to facilitate mentorship programs and diversity initiatives
  • Consistent literature review and utilization of continuing education courses to improve evidence-based practice
  • Attend continuing education courses on special areas of interest, including lymphedema, women’s health, pain science, amputation rehabilitation and prosthetic gait training, falls prevention, post-operative rehabilitation, management of psychosocial factors, overuse injuries, sleep health, telehealth, home health, and rehabilitation of various common orthopedic and neurological conditions.


Samples of Work During DPT program:

1. Capstone Project: Auditory Contributions to Postural Steadiness in Older Adults with and without Hearing Loss

2. Advanced Orthopedics Assessment (PHYT 875) – Final Paper: “Diagnosis and Management of Posterior and Plantar Heel Pain in Non-Athletes”

Reflective Statement:

When I strove to be a Tar Heel as a young girl, I was unaware that I would be beyond blessed to have that prayer answered twice. As a first-generation college student, it is a great honor to obtain my Doctor of Physical Therapy from UNC, a school that I love, that is full of so many resources and compassionate faculty members who are experts in the field. I am so appreciative of the support that our program provides for their students, especially during the unforeseen pandemic, and for the comprehensive experience that fostered our personal, clinical, and professional development.


I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the challenge this experience has been, but I remained resilient and sought growth throughout this journey. By leaning into discomfort, I was able to attend professional conferences (including CSM) and even travel abroad for the first time, providing, PT services to underserved populations in Guatemala. I became active in the Allied Health Ambassadors, helping to organize interprofessional programming and practiced my clinical skills in the student-ran clinics and NC Special Olympics FunFitness Screens. As the only African American student in my class, I remain committed to increasing cultural awareness and diversity in the physical therapy profession in order to provide support for prospective minority students and to advocate for underrepresented patient populations. Throughout this journey, I was able to strengthen my public speaking skills through my volunteering efforts by presenting at college fairs, teaching anatomy lessons to sports medicine students, and facilitating experimental PT labs for underrepresented and middle and high school students.


Although I initially had my heart set on working in outpatient orthopedics, by the end of my journey as a DPT student I stand intrigued by all of the many possibilities our profession has to offer! One thing I enjoyed about this program is the countless opportunities of exposure to a variety of settings through clinical education, observations, mentorship, patient case studies, and class assignments that pushed us to strengthen our clinical skills out in the community and/or local clinics. I was able to experience women’s health and pelvic floor PT, pediatrics, acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient (orthopedics and neurological), home health, long-term care facilities, etc., while working with a ride range of patient populations. These opportunities increased my interest in multiple settings and populations as I continue to see the benefit of PT helping to transform movement in all members of society. As I begin practicing as a generalist clinician, I am excited to see what additional specialties I am moved to explore!

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Cunningham, LaCorey”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 30 Jun 2020 at 7:21 pm

    LaCorey: So nice to see all of your hard work represented in this portfolio. I know your journey has at times been difficult, but as I have said before, you are stronger than you know. You have done great, and I am excited to see what your future holds. Good luck, and please stay in touch! Lisa


  2.   Michael Lewekon 01 Jul 2020 at 9:03 am

    LaCorey: Its great to see your accomplishments, goals, and aspirations all laid out in this format. You were able to take advantage of many opportunities here at Carolina. It is clear that our program and profession will benefit from the leadership skills you have employed during your time at Carolina (SPTA, Allied Health Ambassadors, FunFitness, etc.) Keep working hard and congratulations! Mike


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