Dec 03 2020

Bell, Madison

Published by

Professional Goal Statement 

My professional goal as a licensed physical therapist is to individualize patient care by treating them holistically and viewing them first and foremost as human beings instead of an impairment. I am still figuring out what population I am most interested in working with, although the very young and the very old both spark my passion for being able to help people in times of transition in their lives. I also thoroughly enjoyed my time on the brain injury team of inpatient rehab for a clinical rotation and loved being able to learn more about and help with the cognitive challenges this population presents with. I would love to start my career in an underserved geographical location in North Carolina to increase services to those who don’t have as much access to such. I love mentoring others as teaching helps myself learn, and would love to one day become an APTA-certified CI and eventually an adjunct professor in a North Carolina DPT program. 

Career Plan 

  • July 2021: Graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with Doctor of Physical Therapy degree   
  • July 2021: Obtain licensure in NC by passing the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) 
  • August/September 2021: Obtain a job as a licensed PT in either an acute care, inpatient rehab, retirement facility, or pediatrics setting in the Triangle  
  • 2023: Gain enough hours working in whatever setting I become most passionate about to be able to sit for a specialist exam and become board-certified (pediatrics, geriatrics, or neuro) 
  • 2026: Become an APTA-certified Clinical Instructor to mentor a DPT student 
  • 2027: Begin to guest lecture for a course in an accredited DPT program 
  • Long-term: Pursue clinician-professor role at an accredited DPT program 
  • Long-term: Transition to school-based setting for PT practice  



  • Effective communication with patients and clinicians  
  • Developing patient rapport with those of all ages, ethnicities, cultures, and practice settings 
  • Able to separate work and home and maintain a healthy work-life balance 
  • Compassionate and empathetic towards patients that breeds encouragement 

Areas for growth  

  • Increasing confidence and trust in applying the skill set I have gained the past 3 years into a clinical setting  
  • Increasing my involvement in the APTA and NC legislature  
  • Increasing understanding of the administrative side of PT, including reimbursement  
  • Turning to the research to use evidence-based practice for treating patients  


  • Graduate with DPT degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in August 2021 
  • Pass the NPTE to become a licensed PT in October 2021 
  • Obtain full-time position as a PT in a hospital setting in the Triangle  
  • Become confident, proficient, and efficient as a generalist PT and with treating patients with neurological deficits to then use this knowledge as I transition to a pediatrics, geriatrics, or neurological setting  
  • Pediatrics (the same goals could also apply to a geriatrics or neuro setting depending on the route I choose to go down)  
    • Gain mentorship from CI on pediatric rotation to build skills and network after graduation to help attain a job in the pediatrics setting  
    • Gain enough hours working in pediatrics setting to be able to sit for PCS exam and become a PCS 
    • Become a CI in the pediatrics setting after 5 years of practice to be able to effectively teach future PTs 

Specific Strategies  

  • Reach entry-level status during last clinical rotation at Total Rehab in order to feel best prepared to maintain best evidence-based practice for a full caseload 
  • Study and review for NPTE every week day for 8 weeks prior to sitting for the exam  
  • Schedule an appointment with Career Services to go over resume building and interview practice prior to applying for jobs  
  • Establish relationships with CIs and maintain relationships after rotations in order to network and continue to be mentored  

Clinical Rotations

  • Clinical 1: Outpatient orthopedics at Carolina Orthopedics in New Bern, NC. Focus on post-operative care.  
  • Clinical 2: Acute care at Atrium Health – Mercy Campus in Charlotte, NC. Primarily on orthopedic and general medicine floors. 
  • Clinical 3: Inpatient Rehab (Brain Injury Team) at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, NC. Primary diagnoses included traumatic brain injuries, strokes, and various neurological diagnoses.  
  • Clinical 4: Early Intervention/OP Pediatrics at Total Rehab in Chapel Hill, NC. 


  • Child and Family Assessment and Intervention (3 credits)Fall 2020 
  • Neuro ICE (1 credit) at UPT clinic with Vicki Mercer, Fall 2020 
  • Hotspotting (1 credit), Fall 2020 
  • Teacher Scholar for Motor Development (1 credit)Spring 2021 

Capstone: Blood Flow Restriction in the Geriatric Population (Advisor – Jon Hacke)

Additional Products

Reflection of DEI Experiences

  • Podcast on NPR with April Dembosky and Karla Monterroso: “Doctors’ Unconscious Bias Affects Quality Of Health Care Services, Research Shows”
    • Training healthcare workers on how to acknowledge and address their unconscious biases is imperative for trying tot reach fair treatment. It is shameful that people of color have to defend their physical symptoms over and over and still be referred to as exaggerating. Why are their symptoms not believed? Monterroso states, “If we are advocating for ourselves, we can be treated as insubordinate. And if we are not advocating for ourselves, we can be treated as invisible.” It is healthcare workers’ duty to listen to each and every patient and validate their concerns with appropriate measures and treatment. Unfortunately, implicit biases tend to become more apparent in high-stress environments such as a hospital. Surveys are starting to be implemented that assess the patient’s view of how their doctor treated them by asking questions such as if they felt respected, if communication was effective, if they felt they could trust their doctor, etc. In order to get doctors more on board with this reform, it must be explicitly said that this is imperative for the best patient outcomes. 
  • P Goddu A, O’Conor KJ, Lanzkron S, et al. Do words matter? Stigmatizing language and the transmission of bias in the medical record. J Gen Intern Med. 2018;33(5):685-691. doi:10.1007/s11606-017-4289-2
    • This study’s aim was to determine if stigmatizing language used to describe a patient in the electronic health record transmitted bias from one clinician to another, thus affecting their clinical decision-making with that patient. Medical students and residents assessed “two chart notes employing stigmatizing versus neutral language to describe the same hypothetical patient, a 28-year-old man with sickle cell disease.” Results showed that the participants displayed a more negative attitude towards the patient whose chart included stigmatizing language. Additionally, they were less likely to manage their pain as aggressively as they did with the patient whose note did not include stigmatizing language. This exemplifies that language used in the chart can have an effect on how the clinician that reads that chart then treats that patient. All healthcare workers read the patient’s chart, so if stigmatizing language is being used, this can be extremely detrimental to the patient’s level of care. Training on the importance of using patient-first language (in general and in the charts) is imperative for all healthcare workers in order to help eliminate this issue and thus provide more patient-centered care to help reduce healthcare disparities. 


I think about who I was when I started this program almost 3 years ago and I am so proud of both the clinician and human I have become. The amount of growth I have gained by eagerly accomplishing things outside of my comfort zone these past 3 years is something I am very proud of. One of the most important things I have learned is that at the end of the day, we are all humans, including our patients. And therefore, they should be treated with ultimate compassion and grace in order to be provided the most holistic care. I am very excited (and nervous) to start my career in a few short months and make a difference, big and small, in people’s lives. It is truly an honor to have graduated from this authentic program.  

Thank you to every single professor and guest lecturer that has taught me so much about the opportunities this profession has to help people improve their quality of life. You all are wonderful teachers and people, and I am so grateful! Thank you to my wonderful family, friends, and God, who have provided continuous encouragement and support these last 3 years! Lastly, thank you to the Class of 2021 for being the best group of intelligent, compassionate, innovative, fun people to learn with. I can’t wait to watch you all grow into amazing clinicians! As a soon-to-be two time graduate of this special university – My name is Madison Bell, and I am a Tar Heel. 

One response so far

One Response to “Bell, Madison”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 01 Jun 2021 at 5:58 pm

    Maddy: Great job on your portfolio! It has been a pleasure to see your progress. The samples of your work show your hard work and interests. Nice job. Good luck with your next steps, and we are proud to call you a Tar Heel! Lisa


Comments RSS

Leave a Reply