Apr 27 2020

Fabian, Katie

Published by

Professional Goal Statement

The freedom to move and the independence that brings are often overlooked and taken for granted when our bodies are able, making their loss one of the hardest things to cope with after an injury. As a physical therapist, I consider myself to be a specialist of human movement, and my goal is to be able to walk into patients’ rooms and lives and show them hope, encouragement, and independence, to diminish fears, to answer hard questions, and to walk with patients through times and obstacles that they never expected. I think there is nothing more rewarding than helping patients to “unlock” their lives again, supporting and encouraging patients and their families as they realize that the lives of their dreams are not out of the realm of possibilities. I plan to use these motivations and goals to fuel decision making regardless of the type of clinic I find myself in. I plan to use continuing education, a variety of experiences, and possibly research to continue improving my ability to treat patients, all while maintaining this standard of patient-centered care.



Career Plan

Past Accomplishments

  • May 2016: Graduate from Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Exercise Science
  • May 2016 – August 2017: Rehab Aide at Novant Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital, Novant Presbyterian Hospital, Elite Physical Therapy (outpatient orthopedic clinic), and Shining Hope Farms (hippotherapy pediatric clinic) in Charlotte, NC.
  • August 2017: Enroll in UNC Chapel Hill Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2020

Clinical Affiliations:

    1. First Health Moore County Regional Hospital (acute care, underserved population – Pinehurst, NC)
    2. Salisbury VA (In-Patient Rehab – Salisbury, NC)
    3. Womack Army Medical Center (outpatient orthopedic – Fort Bragg, NC)
    4. Atrium Health Carolina’s Medical Center (Neuro ICU – Charlotte, NC)

Future Goals

  • August 2020: Graduate from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • July 2020: Pass the Federation of State Board Physical Therapy Examination
  • 2020 – 2022: Attain employment in an acute care or in-patient rehabilitation setting within the state of North Carolina to fulfill the Forgivable Education Loans for Service (FELs) requirement
  • 2020 – 2021: Initiate mentorship relationship either within my place of work or within my field of interest.
  • 2020 – 2021: Join or initiate a Journal Club to continue immersion in research and evidence-based practice
  • 2022: Begin taking courses to become a credentialed clinical instructor.
  • 2026: Apply for fellowship/residency through the VA or sit for NCS or GCS exam
  • 2028: Become the team leader at a retirement facility where I can continue to see some patients while also organizing evidence-based balance and exercise programs, aquatic and land-based group exercise classes, and seminars on topics such as nutrition, sleep, and chronic disease management.





  • Ability to connect with and engage patient from a variety of backgrounds
  • Dedication to continued growth in both skill and understanding, especially in areas of practice that are less comfortable for me naturally
  • Experience working in a variety of very unique realms in patient populations of physical therapy ranging from intensive care units, to pediatric hippotherapy, to Division I sports medicine, to outpatient rehab for active-duty soldiers
  • Genuine respect and loyalty to each and every patient I have worked with

Areas for Development

  • Involvement in analysis and dissemination of current research
  • Understanding of and involvement in advocacy for the profession on the state or national level
  • Confidence in clinical skills regardless of the setting in which I am practicing



I have a variety of interests clinically which is both exciting and sometimes overwhelming. A common thread amongst my varied interests is that I love providing therapy in an inpatient setting. I feel this allows for phenomenal collaboration with other disciplines and advocacy for our patients on a very personal level which is something that’s very important to me. I am currently interested in practicing anywhere from an intensive care unit, step down unit in the hospital, or inpatient rehab centers. Furthermore, though my recent clinical affiliations, I also developed a passion for serving the veteran community, and am hopeful to find ways to serve this population through employment or continued community service.

Career Objectives

  • Obtain a general educational background in the science of physical therapy by August 2020
  • Pass the Physical Therapy Board Licensure in July of 2020
  • Secure a position either as a traveling physical therapist or practicing in an in-patient setting by October 2020
  • Initiate a professional mentorship relationship
  • Use my knowledge and passion to serve the community through volunteering in free clinics and other community service opportunities in the area where I will be working
  • Participate in the advancement of the profession through dedication to teaching future students, either through involvement with UNC or as a clinical instructor


  • Complete general coursework for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Identify specific elective coursework to increase general education in the specific fields of acute care rehab
  • Seek out clinical opportunities in acute care rehab with an emphasis on intensive care rehabilitation
  • Attend APTA conference sessions for continuing education
  • Inquire about mentorship and journal clubs at potential places of employment
  • Maintain relationships, both with faculty, other professionals, and individuals I met doing community service to broaden my networks for community service needs and opportunities
  • Attain certification in evidence-based exercise programs for seniors such as AEA Arthritis Foundation Aquatic or Exercise Programs, A Matter of Balance, or Better Choices, Better Health
  • Enroll in clinical instructor certification classes



Product Examples

  • Clinically Appraised Topic (CAT)An analysis of the current evidence as it relates to efficacy of priming to improve motor learning in adults with stroke.
  • Capstone WebsiteI worked with another student to collect data and then write a manuscript regarding our findings on the impact of cognitive and aerobic priming on brain activation patterns in a healthy population. Our research adds valuable insight to gaps in the current research I identified while completing my CAT.
  • A Change of HeartA community-based program proposal designed to reduce risk of cardiovascular events such as stroke, heart disease, and heart failure in adults with high blood pressure and limited access to healthcare or resources.
  • Delirium in the Acute Setting An in-service and handout I developed on identification of and resources for delirium and dementia which was presented to clinicians at Moore County Regional Hospital in Pinehurst, NC.
  • Gait Training After StrokeAn in-service and handout I developed and presented to clinicians at the Salisbury VA In-Patient Rehabilitation Unit. I thoroughly enjoyed compiling this research and applying it to the patients I was currently working with in the setting.
  • Sample Annual PT Exam for Geriatric Populations After StrokeA class project I really enjoyed putting together. It outlines and provides evidence-based support for all components of a preventative, annual, screening exam specific to older adults with a history of stroke.



Reflective Statement

I began this program a little unsure of what to expect, with a wide variety of clinical interests, but mostly with lofty hopes about making a difference in people’s lives through movement. I was somehow confident that this program held all the answers, that not only would it teach me everything I needed to know about treating patients, but also that somehow it would tell me where my personality and skills best fit in the field. Thankfully, my original understanding was misguided. Instead of being fed “correct” answers and passively pushed in one direction clinically, I have been on a journey filled with new insight, deeper questions, and a lot of quality self-discovery. As I finish, I am still a little unsure of the exact course I will take in the future, I still have a variety of interests, but mostly, I am still passionate about making a difference through movement. This program has given me enough “answers” to make me thirst for more, enough guidance to encourage me to think for myself, and so much support that I am now eager to go out and serve where I am needed. I am leaving with new and better questions, excited to continue learning from my co-workers and patients, and prepared to serve my community well.


As stated, I am not sure yet exactly what the next few years will look like, but I am hoping to work in an in-patient setting, possibly serving older adults or veterans using both what I learned in school and in the field to improve independence, quality of life, and self-efficacy. Through mentorship and serving in teaching roles, I hope to further my own clinical practice as well as that of younger clinicians. In all things, I hope to continue to grow in my capacity and knowledge as a clinician, that my variety of interests will lead me to work with many different people, and that each situation I find myself in will give me the confidence and support I need to tackle the next task in front of me. I am beyond thankful for all who have played a role in shaping these three years!

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Fabian, Katie”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 30 Jun 2020 at 7:45 pm

    Katie: Great job on your portfolio. You did an especially good job displaying your work. It is really nice to see all your hard work and your plans for the future. While things may be a little uncertain, I know you will have great success! Lisa


  2.   Michael Lewekon 01 Jul 2020 at 10:45 am

    Katie: Thank you for sharing your experience through this portfolio. Although you may not have all the answers at this point (no one does), I hope that you feel confident enough in your abilities to establish your niche. Your time management skills, as evidenced by your third year, will definitely be an asset to you as you move forward. Best of luck as you move ahead.


  3.   Jessica Cassidyon 01 Jul 2020 at 11:42 am


    I’ve really enjoyed reading your portfolio and reflection statement. Uncertainty doesn’t have to be anxiety-inducing…it can actually be exciting. From working with you over this past year, I’ve witnessed your amazing work ethic, tenacity, attention to detail, and willingness to grow– all traits that will serve you well no matter what path life presents to you. Congratulations. Please keep in touch.

    Take care,



Comments RSS

Leave a Reply