Apr 27 2020

Holden, Tanner

Published by

Professional Goal Statement

Upon graduating from the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program at UNC-Chapel Hill, I will be participating in UNC’s orthopedic PT residency program to further advance my clinical skills. Upon graduation from the residency and passing the Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) exam, I plan on working at an outpatient PT clinic in North Carolina where I will integrate my background in strength and conditioning with my orthopedic expertise. I will build a reputation for exceptional clinical care for patients of all ages and I will be a resource for injury prevention and rehabilitation. I plan to expand my availability to cash-based physical therapy, offering services both in-person and virtually, leveraging technology to improve access to care. I am particularly excited to help patients understand their pain, pursue habitual physical activity, and strive for superior performance. I am looking forward to further my academic, professional, and clinical development and improve patient outcomes.

Career Plan

Past Experience

  • 2013-2017: B.S. in Exercise Science with concentration in Strength & Conditioning; Magna Cum Laude; UNC Charlotte
    • 2015-2016: Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity, Epsilon Tau Chapter President
  • May 2017: Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
  • August 2017: Began Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at UNC-CH
  • January 2018 – January 2019: SHAC PT Triage Coordinator
  • January 2019 – January 2020: NCPTA OSIG student liaison
  • January 2020 – May 2020: Teacher scholar for Musculoskeletal PT Intervention I

Clinical Experience

  • Clinical Affiliation I – Central Carolina Hospital, Sanford NC (Inpatient Acute) – 2018 (8 weeks)
  • Clinical Affiliation II – UNC Home Health (Neurologic, Geriatrics, Orthopedics) – 2019 (8 weeks)
  • Clinical Affiliation III – UNC Wellness Center NW Cary (Outpatient Orthopedics) – 2019 (8 weeks)
  • Integrated Clinical Experience – UNC Division of Physical Therapy (Virtual) – 2020 (6 weeks)
  • Clinical Affiliation IV – Wake Forest Baptist Health (Outpatient Orthopedics and Sports) – 2020 (8 weeks)

Future Plans

  • 2020
    • Sit for and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination in July
    • Graduate from UNC-CH with Doctorate of Physical Therapy Degree
    • Begin UNC’s orthopedic PT residency program
  • 2021
    • Graduate from UNC’s orthopedic PT residency program
    • Take and pass the OCS examination
    • Obtain a full-time position in an outpatient orthopedic and sports clinic
  • 2022-2025
    • Become a credentialed clinical instructor and begin mentoring physical therapy students and orthopedic PT residents
    • Initiate cash-based PT business offering in-person and virtual services
    • Become an invited guest lecturer for a local DPT program



  • Resilience
  • Recognizes the importance of culture for the health of the organization and contributes positively to that culture
  • Insatiable appetite for improvement in all facets of life
  • Background in strength and conditioning
  • Growth-mindset

Opportunities for Growth

  • Improve social media presence and engagement
  • Maintain a healthy work-life balance
  • Attend strength and conditioning conferences and continuing education courses
  • Improve involvement in advocacy efforts for the PT profession
  • Network with clinicians who have experience with business ownership


  1. Pass the NPTE and become a licensed physical therapist: July 2020
  2. Graduate for DPT program at UNC: August 2020
  3. Begin UNC’s orthopedic residency program: August 2020
  4. Submit capstone manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal: December 2020
  5. Pursue lifelong learning in the areas of orthopedics and sports physical therapy

Specific strategies

  1. Commit to a regular and focused study plan in order to dominate the NPTE.
  2. Utilize my last clinical affiliation to sharped my skills and prepare myself to begin UNC’s orthopedic PT residency.
  3. Utilize UNC’s outstanding group of residency mentors to advance my orthopedic skillset, expand my teaching skills, improve my academic writing skills, and challenge me to be a clinical leader.
  4. Recruit the assistance of UNC faculty and PhD students to revise and prepare my manuscript for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.
  5. Maintain professional society memberships (APTA, NSCA) and utilize their continuing education resources to improve my clinical skills.

Samples of my work

  • Critically Appraised Topic
    • My critically appraised topic on treatment options for a recreationally active male patient with multidirectional shoulder instability.

  • Glenohumeral Instability Presentation
    • A presentation on traumatic and atraumatic shoulder instability that I updated with current evidence and delivered to first year UNC DPT students.

Reflective Statement

I came into this program wanting to know all the answers. I wanted to know all the best assessments, treatments, and exercises. I thought I would leave the program knowing everything I would possibly need. While I’ve learned and grown more than I could even measure over the past 3 years, I’m not leaving with all the answers. In fact, I’m leaving with more (but different) questions than I came in with. Einstein said it best, “the more I know, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” Ironically, leaving school with more questions has me really excited. For one, I now understand that being a professional doesn’t mean you know all of the answers. It does, however, mean that you are constantly seeking answers to questions with knowledge that often the most accurate answer is, “it depends.” I am equipped to go and find the answers to my questions on my own, using the skills I’ve gained while in this program.

I have a good understanding of my clinical strengths, weaknesses, and biases. I can use this information to continue growing long after graduation. Lastly, it took me 3 years, but I’ve also come to realize that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and my clinical skills weren’t either. I have come to appreciate the importance of setting more realistic goals for myself while maintaining a growth mindset. I am proud of the clinician I have become thus far and I’m excited to continue my development for many decades to come.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Holden, Tanner”

  1.   Debbyon 30 Jun 2020 at 8:07 pm

    Tanner – I enjoyed reading your reflection. I think anyone who truly immersed themselves in an intense graduate program and has a growth mindset emerges feeling there is so much more to learn. Your capstone systematic review was a tremendous amount of work and I look forward to see its addition to the literature. It will be nice to have you back next year as a resident, too.


  2.   Lisa Johnstonon 01 Jul 2020 at 3:28 pm

    Tanner- Congrats on all your hard work! So nice to see some of the samples of your work. I am also very excited for you to be starting the residency program. I know you will do great and that this will also be great to have you with us a little longer. Take care, and good luck! Lisa


Comments RSS

Leave a Reply