Apr 27 2020

Shirley, Emma

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Professional Goal Statement

  • I aspire to be a well-rounded physical therapist who incorporates evidence-based practice with relationship-building strategies to create therapeutic alliances with patients to achieve patient goals.  I desire to incorporate cultural sensitivity and competence and a patient-centered approach into my own unique style of practice.  I additionally seek to synthesize my personal interests of orthopedics and sports, the Spanish language, prenatal/pregnant/postpartum athletes, oncologic rehabilitation, and fitness/wellness into a unique and diverse career path.
Career Plan:


  • UNC Doctor of Physical Therapy Program (Aug 2017 – Aug 2020)
    • Clinical Rotations
      • Concentra Physical Therapy; Outpatient Orthopedics; Durham, NC
      • UNC Hospitals; Acute Care; Chapel Hill, NC
      • Murdoch Development Center; Neurological; Butner, NC
      • TBD
    • Elective courses:
      • Advanced Orthopedics (3)
      • Spanish for Health Professions (3)
      • Research elective (1)
      • Service Learning Trip to Antigua, Guatemala (1)
Self Assessment
  • Spanish language
  • Relationship-building
  • Education, coaching, teaching
  • Creative and effective exercise prescription
  • Orthopedic examination and treatment
Areas for Improvement:
  • Advanced neurological examination and treatment
  • Post-op protocols (ACL repair, etc.)
  • Continuous synthesis of new evidence into practice
  • Consideration and exploration of opposing viewpoints and opinions for diversification of perspective
  • Areas of interest: Spanish for Physical Therapists; orthopedics physical therapy; rehabilitation of recreational athletes; physical therapy prenatal, pregnant, and postpartum athletes; oncologic physical therapy
  • Graduate from the UNC Chapel Hill Doctor of Physical Therapy program in August 2020
  • Pass the National Physical Therapy examination July 29, 2020
  • Acquire physical therapy license in the state of North Carolina
  • Attain full-time employment as a physical therapist in North Carolina
  • Achieve certification for Spanish medical interpretation by 2022
  • Sit for orthopedic or pelvic specialist examination(s) by 2024
Specific Strategies 
  • Continue to use Spanish language as a volunteer health care practitioner and/or interpreter at monthly health fair at the Raleigh Guatemalan Embassy with Curamericas Global
  • Obtain CAPP-OB from APTA Pelvic Health
  • Participate in continuing education via APTA Pelvic Health and APTA Orthpedics sections
  • Attend APTA CSM and North Carolina APTA Annual Conferences

Examples of Work

Reflective Statement

  • When I first started physical therapy school, I was wholly unprepared for the transformative three years that lay ahead of me. In addition to going through rigorous didactic and clinical requirements, my class had the unique added experience of braving unexpected twists and turns – a record-setting snow storm, water outages rendering campus inaccessible, and a global pandemic. I can say that I have learned about myself as a human being just as much as I have learned how to be an ethical, competent, evidence-based physical therapist. I am particularly grateful to my unique clinical rotations for providing me with highly specialized experiences that not all physical therapists have the privileges of being exposed to. From a workers’ compensation clinical, to an oncological inpatient unit, and a state-run residential facility for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities – I have been fortunate to meet, build relationships with, and achieve therapeutic goals alongside a beautiful variety of patients, clinicians, and other human beings. I extend gratitude to my wonderful classmates, incredible UNC-Chapel Hill physical therapy faculty and clinicians, and my supportive family for their endless love and encouragement. Every individual I have encountered along the way has taught me about myself as a person and as a physical therapist – thank you for contributing to my journey!

One response so far

One Response to “Shirley, Emma”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 01 Jul 2020 at 4:11 pm

    Emma: Congrats on all you accomplished while you were here. Nice work and nice job with the portfolio. Good luck to you! Lisa


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