Apr 27 2020

Lewis, Katie

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Professional Goal Statement:

It is my goal to serve the older adult population upon attaining my Doctorate of Physical Therapy through the provision of high-quality, evidence-based physical therapy care. In effort to continue to expand upon my knowledge and experience as a new physical therapist, with a desire to serve the older adult population, I hope to secure a position working in an acute or inpatient setting primarily treating older adults with a wide range of diagnoses. Throughout the course of my career I hope to become a Geriatric Certified Specialist, clinical instructor, and involved in falls prevention research in order continue expanding my knowledge as a physical therapist.

Career Plan:


  • Educational History
    • 2013-2017: Graduated with a major in Human Biology from NC State University
    • 2017: Began UNC DPT Program


  • Leadership Experience
    • Fall 2018-Spring 2019: SPTA Co-Chair of Philanthropy Committee: Assisted with organization of philanthropic events with organizations such as: The Miracle League, Habitat for Humanity and TABLE


  • Certifications:
    • 2019-Completion of Otago Exercise Program training


  • Accomplishments in Areas of Interest
    • Fall 2019: Continuation of a previously initiated quality improvement project in effort to improve falls prevention strategies utilized within the UNC healthcare system
    • May 2020: Completion of capstone project entitled: The Otago Exercise Program: Alternative Delivery Models


  • Electives Courses
    • PHYT 754 Research Experience: Throughout this experience I assisted with development of an IRB, met with UNC Family Medicine Staff in effort to determine fall risk screening strategies and fall prevention intervention strategies currently being utilized, reviewed and updated the Otago Exercise Program template on Epic, and updated Otago Exercise Program materials utilized in UNC clinics.
    • PHYT 870 Integrated Clinical Experience: During this course I gained increased experience with the evaluation and treatment of patients presenting with orthopedic and neurological diagnoses in the outpatient setting.
    • PHYT 885 Advance Neuromuscular Intervention


  • Clinical Rotations
    • Summer 2018:
      • Clinical Rotation 1/Acute Care: UNC Hospital-Cardiac Units; Chapel Hill, NC
    • Spring 2019:
      • Clinical Rotation 2/Outpatient Orthopedics- NC Center for PT; Durham, NC
      • Clinical Rotation 3/Neuro- PACE; Burlington, NC
    • Summer 2020:
      • Clinical Rotation 4: TBD



  • August 2020:
    • Graduate from UNC DPT program
    • Pass National Physical Therapy Exam
  • September 2020: Secure a position as a DPT in an acute care/inpatient rehab setting
  • 2021: Attain LSVT BIG certification
  • 2025: Begin serving as a clinical instructor
  • 2028: Completion of geriatric residency




  • Delivery of evidence-based care: Throughout the completion of the UNC DPT program the importance of evidence-based care has been emphasized, therefore I am confident that I have the knowledge and skills necessary to locate and evaluate evidence and provide patients with optimal physical therapy treatment supported by research.
  • Timely completion of documentation: Throughout clinical experiences provided during the UNC DPT program I have developed the ability to document both effectively and efficiently.
  • Patient evaluation and screening: I am confident in my ability to thoroughly evaluate patients and generate an appropriate physical therapy differential diagnosis list while also screening patients for diagnoses which are beyond the scope of physical therapy practice.

Areas for Professional Development:

  • Advocating for the profession of physical therapy: I am determined to become more involved in advocating for the profession of physical therapy by actively supporting legislation which will advance our profession.
  • Leadership: I would like to continue to advance my leadership skills through the participation in continuing education and eventually holding a leadership role within my place of employment. 
  • Knowledge of and practice of administration of a multiplicity of interventions: Although I have a strong foundation selecting and administering treatments to appropriate patients, I must continue to expand my knowledge of evidence-based interventions in effort to expand my treatment tool-box.


  • Areas of interest:
    • I am interested in working with the older adult population, more specifically:
      • Individuals with cardiac diagnoses
      • Individuals with neurological diseases
      • Individuals at risk for falls
  • Main Objectives for Graduate Study:
    • August 2020: Graduate from the UNC DPT Program
    • August 2020: Pass National Physical Therapy Exam
    • September 2020: Attain a position at an acute care/inpatient facility
    • 2021: Become LSVT BIG certified
    • 2025: Begin serving as a clinical instructor
    • 2025: Become involved in research related to falls prevention
    • 2028: Attain my Geriatric Certified Specialist Certification

Specific Strategies:

  • Maintain a strict study schedule for the NPTE
  • Reach out to mentors to locate employment positions in my area of interest
  • Seek out mentors who specializes in physical therapy treatment of the older adult population to provide guidance and feedback as I begin my career
  • Seek out and sign up for LSVT BIG training class
  • Seek out opportunities to participate in ongoing research related to falls prevention
  • Seek out and apply for local geriatric residency programs

Product Examples:

  • Below is a link to my capstone project entitled The Otago Exercise Program: Alternative Delivery Models. One of my capstone deliverables includes a VoiceThread presentation on the various delivery methods of the Otago Exercise Program as well as a description of my own experience assisting with implementation of a group exercise program based on the Otago Exercise Program. My other capstone deliverable is a review of the literature considering the efficacy of variable implementation strategies of the Otago Exercise Program.


  • Below is a presentation I gave during our second musculoskeletal course in the UNC DPT program which includes the review of a complex patient case in which both orthopedic and cardiac challenges were factors. In addition to a review of the patient case, this presentation also covers evidence related to the optimal physical treatment of this patient.

MSK II Presentation

  • Below is a product I created over the course of the Evidence Based Practice II course in the UNC DPT program which illustrates the detailed process I underwent in order to answer the clinical question: Is the Otago Exercise Program (OEP) or Tai Chi more effective at achieving clinically significant reductions in patients’ risk for falling with knee osteoarthritis (OA), ages 65 and up, and at risk for falls, as measured by the Timed Up and Go (TUG) assessment, 12 months following the initiation of treatment?


Reflective Statement:

As someone who has passion for helping others as well as an interest in human biology, I have always been intrigued by the field of medicine. Throughout my undergraduate education I gained experience in the field of healthcare as a habilitation technician and certified nursing assistant, and through both of these experiences I gained exposure to the profession of physical therapy. Witnessing the profound, positive impact movement can have on patients inspired me to ultimately peruse my Doctorate of Physical Therapy.


The didactic and clinical education I have received over the course of my time at UNC has helped me to develop my expertise as a movement specialist. Although ongoing expansion of my knowledge within the field of physical therapy for the entirety of my career is my top priority, the education I have received the previous three years will undoubtedly serve as a strong foundation to continue to build my physical therapy knowledge and skills upon. Additionally, my desire to serve the older adult patient population, particularly those individuals with cardiac and neurological diagnoses, arose from clinical experiences provided throughout this program. In addition to helping me realize my desire to serve the older adult population, these clinical experiences also assisted me in progressing in my clinical reasoning, evaluative, and interventional skills within an array of physical therapy settings, amongst variable patient populations.


Following the successful completion of the UNC DPT Program as well as the achievement of a passing score on the North Carolina board examination, I plan on securing a full-time position in an acute care or an inpatient rehabilitation setting. As I progress in my career, I hope to secure a position which will allow me to serve older adults more exclusively and thereby gain increased expertise in the treatment of this patient population. Serving as a physical therapy clinical instructor and acquiring my Geriatric Certified Specialist certification are also goals I hope to achieve within the following 10 years. Additionally, I aspire to become involved in physical therapy research in the near future, expanding the knowledge base regarding evidence-based fall-prevention strategies. By achieving these goals, I aspire to optimize my ability to provide superior physical therapy services to those who require it.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Lewis, Katie”

  1.   Vicki Merceron 01 Jul 2020 at 1:18 am

    Katie – Congratulations on all you have accomplished in the DPT program! I’m looking forward to seeing the great things you will do in the future. I expect that we may be moving in many of the same professional circles, given your interests in geriatrics and falls prevention. Maybe we can continue to collaborate on community service and/or research – let’s keep in touch!



  2.   Lisa Johnstonon 01 Jul 2020 at 3:36 pm

    Katie: Great job on your portfolio! Nice to see some of your work. I know you will do great! Keep working hard and helping others!! Please stay in touch too. Take care. Lisa


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