Apr 27 2020

Ghigliotty, Erica

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Professional Goal Statement

I strive to be a voice and an advocate for the Spanish-speaking population, older adults of all levels of independence, and the uninsured and/or those of low socioeconomic status. I aim to be a peer and professional educator that eagerly shares my passion to those in the field of Physical Therapy in the following ways: Increasing awareness of population-specific needs, helping individuals identify and work past their implicit biases, and developing/sharing strategies for incorporating evidence-based practice into optimal care for these populations.

Career Plan

To best reach my goals, I anticipate obtaining my medical interpreting certification and to become a Geriatric Certified Specialist (GCS). Eventually, I would love to serve as a part-time professor and/or a clinical instructor to be able to share my passion of either or all of these populations with students. This would give me the chance to encourage individuals early on in our field to limit biases associated with these populations and demonstrate how these populations can flourish with the right resources and care based on current evidence.


May 2017

  • Graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science – Pre-Professional and a minor in Spanish

August 2017

  • Commenced the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at The University of North Carolina (UNC) – Chapel Hill

June 2018 – August 2018

  • Clinical Rotation 1 (8 weeks): Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) Chapel Hill, NC; Outpatient Orthopedics, Hospital Based
  • Became a Bilingual Certified Provider in Spanish via ALTA services

March 2019 – April 2019

  • Clinical Rotation 2 (8 weeks): Vidant Medical Center (VMC) Greenville, NC; Acute Care (primarily at the Cancer Center), Underserved
  • Otago Certification

April 2019 – June 2019

  • Clinical Rotation 3 (8 weeks): Carol Woods CCRC Chapel Hill, NC; Neuro, Geratric and Orthopedics

October 2019 – December 2019

  • Teacher Assistant for PHYT 720 Introduction to Physical Therapy Practice with Dr. Lisa Johnston

January 2020 – March 2020

  • Integrated Clinical Experience (ICE) with Dr. Mike Gross (foot/ankle/orthopedics) for 60 hours

March 2020

  • International Service Learning Trip to Guatemala

April 2020

June 2020- August 2020

  • Clinical Rotation 4 (8 weeks): Access Physical Therapy Knightdale, NC; Home Health


By August 2020

  • Present Shoe-Wear Recommendations for Balance capstone project to one or more relevant settings (and continue sharing deliverables throughout career with updates based on new literature)

August 2020

  • Graduate from the DPT Program at UNC – Chapel Hill

October 2020

  • Pass the NPTE Board Examination

By December 2020

  • Obtain full-time employment in North Carolina

Within 1 year of Graduating

  • Become a Certified Medical Interpreter for Spanish
  • Obtain or begin pursuing a certification depending on work setting (i.e. LSVT BIG or PWR!)

Within 2-3 years of Graduating

  • Become a Geriatric-Certified Specialist (GCS)
  • Become an APTA-certified clinical instructor

Within 5 years of Graduating

  • Become a guest lecturer for program and/or regularly participate in DPT curriculum labs



  • Professionalism and accountability
  • Cultural awareness and advocacy: See report of presentation on The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in Health Care and Research with Dr. Deanna Sipes at the Difference Matters presentation: https://www.med.unc.edu/ahs/2018/10/3582/
  • Effective communication (in Spanish and English) and teaching skills
  • Advocate for team-based care and interprofessional work environments
  • Empathetic and motivated to advocate for individuals under care
  • Malleable, eager to receive feedback and quick to implement solutions

Areas for Development

  • Knowledge of financial resources and aspects of health insurance that must be addressed to maximize access to care
  • Familiarity with obtaining durable medical equipment
  • Advocacy of the profession and continuing education (life-long commitment)
  • Evaluation of individuals with advanced neurological conditions                                                                 

Objectives and Specific Strategies

Special Areas of Interest

  • Geriatric care
  • Volunteer work
  • Utilization of Spanish language in practice


In order to become licensed and successfully pass the NPTE I will…

  • Take at least one PEAT exam and at least two other practice exams prior to the examination in October
  • Execute my study plan and readjust upon completion of each practice exam

To obtain employment I will…

  • Update my LinkedIn account and resume
  • Execute job searches relative to my interests
  • Practice interviewing skills

To better serve the geriatric population I will…

  • Complete a Geriatric Residency
  • Obtain relevant certifications
  • Continue being a part of the APTA Geriatric Special Interest group
  • Attend population-specific inservice and continuing education courses

To continue growing throughout my professional career and give back to the profession I will…

  • Remain active with advocacy, evidence-based practice, my use of medical Spanish and general education throughout my career by attending appropriate conferences and advocacy days along with other matters of self-directed inquiry
  • Accept students for their clinical rotations and shadowing experiences
  • Find pro-bono and other volunteer opportunities where I reside to provide services to those in need

Reflective Statement

The day I found out about my acceptance into UNC DPT’s program, I jumped, screamed, and cried of happiness! I had been actively preparing to meet this specific goal since high school given the academic reputation of the school and program, the love I had for this career, and the lifelong desire to become a Tar Heel. However, I knew my journey and achievement of goals had only just begun…

I was intimidated to embark on this new experience – a doctoral program at this school! However, upon my research, open house, and interview day, I learned about the welcoming and supportive atmosphere that I have come to learn was very true. I have been surrounded by the most supportive colleagues and mentors. We have lifted each other in an environment that is not competitive, but rather collaborative and constructive… I envision people in this program (consciously and/or subconsciously) asking themselves things like, “How can I help myself and the others in my program? How can I make sure *insert student* truly understands how brilliant and wonderful they are?” Our cohort has always praised one another for every achievement and more, creating an incredibly positive environment. I will never forget the many times we have clapped for each other for simply participating as a volunteer in class and the numerous laughs we have shared. This along with the approachability of these individuals has allowed me reach out when I needed help, which reduced the magnitude of fear and uncertainty I have had about tests, big projects, and our future career. While having to endure the rigorous aspects of being part of a doctoral program, I can confidently say that the wholesome environment and resources that have been provided to me have helped me soar and gain confidence as I approach graduation.

I can confidently say that I have always been open to change and new opportunities. Every setting and clinical instructor that I have had has provided me with an admiration of each setting (outpatient orthopedics largely caring for underserved individuals, inpatient rehab in oncology, and geriatrics at a continuing care retirement community). I hope to continue to lead my career with an open mind and take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to me. While my passions are clearly laid out and have not particularly changed, the path in which I will take to pursue my goals are malleable. Setting goals is crucial, but so is revisiting them. This program has integrated this thought process throughout our DPT career to keep us introspective, help us pave a way toward our goals, all while refusing to limit our potential.

It’s always a great day to be a Tar Heel!

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Ghigliotty, Erica”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 30 Jun 2020 at 9:47 pm

    Erica: What a moving reflection! It is so cool to see how things evolved for you. It warms my Tar Heel heart to hear about the positive experience you have had. I know from watching you and of course from this portfolio you have been successful with your class work. Now it is time to wish you good luck! Take care Lisa


  2.   Michael Lewekon 01 Jul 2020 at 10:04 am

    Your passion for advocacy and serving patients is really evident in your portfolio and in your actions. Best of luck as you pursue your goals, as malleable as the path may be. You have all the skills and attributes for success.


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