Apr 27 2020

Sheedy, Dylan

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Professional Goal Statement

Upon graduation from UNC’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program and becoming a licensed therapist, I plan to pursue a career in outpatient orthopedics in North Carolina. I have a special interest in patients with spine-related pathology, and I am an advocate for the value of a strong positive therapeutic alliance. I intent to combine these clinical interests with my prior professional experience as a personal trainer to empower patients to recover from musculoskeletal injuries and return to meaningful life activities.


Career Plan


Past Experience


  • 2013: Certified Personal Trainer, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • 2013: Personal Trainer at O2 Fitness in Chapel Hill, NC
  • 2014 – 2016: Personal Trainer with UNC Campus Recreation
  • 2016: BA in Exercise and Sports Science, UNC-Chapel Hill
    • Minor in Spanish for the Medical Professions
  • 2017: Began DPT program and UNC-Chapel Hill
  • 2017 – 2019: Personal Trainer with UNC Campus Recreation
  • 2018-2019: Student Senator, Graduate and Professional Student Federation (GPSF)


Clinical Experience

  • Clinical Affiliation I: 2018 – Carolina East Medical Center | New Bern, NC | Acute Care (8 weeks)
  • Clinical Affiliation II: 2019 – Fyzical Therapy and Balance Centers | Brevard, NC | Outpatient Orthopedics (8 weeks)
  • Clinical Affiliation III: 2019 – UNC Hospital, Inpatient Rehabilitation | Chapel Hill, NC | Inpatient Neruologic (8 weeks)
  • Integrated Clinical Experience – UNC Family Medicine Center/UPT Durham | Chapel Hill/Durham, NC | Outpatient Orthopedics (120 hours)
  • Clinical Affiliation IV: 2020 – UNC Health, Spine Center | Chapel Hill, NC | Outpatient Orthopedics (8 weeks)


Future Plans


  • Sit for and pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in July
  • Graduate from UNC’s DPT program in August
  • Begin career in outpatient orthopedics


  • Pursue continuing education: dry needling, mechanical diagnosis and therapy, maitland, chronic pain management
  • Begin an accredited orthopedic clinical residency program
  • Become a Certified Clinical Instructor and mentor DPT students

2023 and Beyond

  • Complete Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) board certification
  • Pursue teaching opportunities through continuing education courses or local DPT programs
  • Become involved in mentoring for a credentialed orthopedic residency program





  • Building a positive therapeutic alliance
  • Active listening, motivational interviewing, patient engagement
  • Professional and ethical behavior
  • Actively seeking feedback to improve performance
  • Exercise prescription, cueing, and feedback



Areas for Professional Development

  • Real-time clinical reasoning and information synthesis
  • Systematic differential diagnosis generation
  • Acknowledging personal biases and privileges
  • Continued pursuit of high-quality, evidence-based practice




  • Graduate from UNC’s DPT program and obtain a North Carolina PT licensure
  • Secure employment in outpatient orthopedics in Western or Central North Carolina
  • Pursue clinical excellence through clinical mentorship, journal clubs, personal study, and professional networking
  • Become an APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor
  • Provide PT services to uninsured and underinsured people in my community


Specific Strategies

  • Develop and implement a progressive study plan for NPTE
  • Maintain APTA involvement and increase participation in APTA and APTA NC events
  • Increase professional activity on Twitter to increase interprofessional engagement and learning opportunities
  • Pursue self-education on the influence of personal bias and structural inequalities in healthcare
  • Participate in/establish pro-bono PT care in future community with rotating schedule for local clinicians


Academic Work/Product Samples

Advanced Orthopedic Intervention and Assessment Final Course Project

Degenerative Changes in Lumbar Intervertebral Discs

Capstone Project

Enhancing the Therapeutic Alliance for Patients with Chronic Pain – Website

Critically Appraised Topic (CAT)

Chronic Neck Pain, Exercise, and Pain Education


Reflective Statement

My three years in UNC’s entry DPT program provided the impetus for personal and professional growth and reflection. My experience has been equal parts humbling and gratifying; I supplemented my mastery of basic physical therapy concepts with an understanding of all the things I have yet to learn. This realization is intimidating, but it allows me to recognize the breadth of professional development and exploration that lie ahead in my future career. I have come to understand that content mastery is only one pillar of professional excellence. True excellence requires the constant pursuit of growth and change and is fueled by reflection and personal awareness.

Throughout the program I aligned my personal passion for community building with my professional interests in musculoskeletal pain and chronic pain, which resulted in my capstone project’s exploration of the relationship between the therapeutic alliance and outcomes for patients with chronic pain. I am excited to apply these findings to my professional career.

Much of my understanding of excellence in physical therapy was shaped by my peers and the faculty members in the program. My DPT community embodied compassion, integrity, and empathy. I would like to thank my UNC DPT community for their passion and dedication, and I look forward to carrying these traits with me as I move forward into the profession.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Sheedy, Dylan”

  1.   Debbyon 30 Jun 2020 at 7:43 pm

    Dylan – I enjoyed working with you on your capstone and it will be useful for me as a future teaching resource. I also appreciated the many evenings at SHAC and how you tolerated my soapboxes. You sensitivity and listening skills will serve your future patients well.


  2.   Lisa Johnstonon 01 Jul 2020 at 4:05 pm

    Dylan: Great job on your work! Nice to see these samples of all the work you have done. I also appreciated your thoughtful reflection. Good luck to you. Lisa


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