Dec 03 2020

Brown, Anna

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Anna Brown

UNC DPT Class of 2021


Professional Goal Statement

My professional goal is to begin a career as a licensed physical therapist shortly after graduating from the Doctor of Physical Therapy program while continuing to pursue excellence in practice and further education. I want to become proficient in providing evidence-based care to my patients to help meet their goals. Through my didactic education, capstone project and clinical experience I hope to cultivate a base of knowledge physical therapy practice while pursuing further knowledge in my areas of practice. I believe that pursuing these goals will require lifelong dedication to continuing education and self-reflection along with a commitment to self-improvement. I have interests in acute care and pediatrics and would love to explore these interests in settings that challenge me and prompt me to learn more. As I graduate I intent to pursue a job in acute or sub-acute fields in the triangle area.


Career plan

  • May 2018: graduate from UNC Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in Exercise and Sport Science (2014-2018)
  • August 2018: begin UNC-Chapel Hill Doctor of Physical Therapy program
  • Fall 2018: Become a student member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
  • Clinical Rotations
    • Clinical Rotation I: 8 weeks at Novant Matthew Medical Center Outpatient Orthopedics Practice, June 2019
    • Clinical Rotation II: 2 weeks at Hefner VA in Salisbury, NC; Inpatient Rehabilitation/Neuro. March 2020. (Cut short due to COVID-19 pandemic)
    • Clinical Rotation III: 8 weeks at UNC Main Hospital in Chapel Hill, NC; Acute Care. March 2021.
    • Clinical Rotation IV: 12 weeks at Duke Meadowmont Outpatient Physical Therapy in Chapel Hill, NC; Outpatient Pediatrics. May 2021.
  • Fall 2020: complete research credit in NICU physical therapy with Dr. Dana McCarty
  • July 2021: Sit for National Licensing Board Exam to become a licensed physical therapist upon graduation
  • August 2021: Graduate with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Fall 2021: Become a full member of the APTA
  • Fall 2021: Begin working in a North Carolina Hospital system in acute or inpatient care.
  • 2022-2026: Continue to network and explore interests in acute and pediatric care, consider applying to residencies as appropriate. Pursue mentorship and experiences in acute pediatric settings. Continue to supplement my doctoral education with continuing education courses and certifications that relate to my areas of practice. Consider pursuing a specialty certification.
  • Fall 2024: Become an APTA certified clinical instructor.
  • Fall 2026 and beyond: consider pursuing opportunities to become a NICU therapist, including fellowship. Consider pursuing research opportunities.




  • Building rapport with patients, caregivers, and fellow clinicians.
  • Adequate knowledge in exercise prescription with a background in strength and conditioning.
  • Written and oral communication skills.
  • Planning treatment sessions based on patient presentation.
  • Time management and organization.
  • Accountability and personal responsibility
  • Taking initiative, seeking learning opportunities,


Areas for Professional Development

  • Manual therapy skills and utilization of manual therapy when indicated.
  • Efficiency and proficiency in documentation.
  • Navigating a supervisory role when working with PTAs and other subordinate staff
  • Seeking evidence for rare and complicated conditions.
  • Confidence with complex patient management.
  • Organization and prioritization of further education and certifications to pursue; using my time to find the best and most applicable research to my patient population.
  • Understanding political issues pertinent to PT practice and improving my awareness on the issues.


Areas of Interest

  • General acute care
  • Acute pediatrics
  • NICU
  • Early intervention
  • Education to other providers, particularly primary care MDs, on the role of PT.




  • Adequately prepare for NPTE boards to become a licensed physical therapist
  • Graduate with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy in August of 2021
  • Continue to grow into a well-rounded physical therapist through my remaining education: specifically, ICE, capstone, and remaining rotations
  • Become employed in the fall of 2021 with a mentor and consistent feedback in the workplace to grow in my skills in physical therapy practice
  • Pursue mentorship and opportunities in acute pediatric care throughout my early career. Leverage connections to pursue employment in acute pediatrics
  • Develop plans and goals for my career to ensure a high level of evidence-based patient care.



  • Create and implement a NPTE study plan during April-July of 2021.
  • Pursue employment in a setting with key values that align to my goals for my career and development as a physical therapist.
  • Actively and consciously seek out a mentor upon employment after graduation.
  • Continue with APTA membership with a pediatric or acute section membership.
  • Attend physical therapy conferences and workshops when I can to develop more skills as a young physical therapist.
  • Establish connections with other therapists my fields of interest to learn from them.
  • Regularly read research from various journals to keep abreast on evidence-based practice.



  • Capstone Project
    • Project: Neonatal Cranial Molding and Positioning Changes Related to Respiratory Device
    • I completed this project alongside under the guidance of Dr. Dana McCarty and alongside my classmate Ashley Hite. During this project we completed data analysis from a study conducted by Dr. McCarty and then summarized the results to present to other clinicians and fellow PT. The project included an extensive literature review and Voicethread presentation on the topic.
  • DAHS Interprofessional Education Research Fair
    • Ashley and I collaborated to present the results of the research at the 2021 Department of Allied Health’s Interprofessional Education Research Fair. We presented our data live via zoom and with through a video presentation with a voice over. We also were able to listen to students from other departments present their research topics. We participated in a live Q&A where we fielded questions from other students and faculty about our research and the field of NICU physical therapy.
  • Critically Appraised Topic
    • During our EBP II course as part of the course work and part of my research credit I created a Critically Appraised Topic (CAT) about positioning and oxygenation of premature infants receiving continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP.)
    • This project included a literature review of current evidence and a thorough review of two articles.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

In my 3rd rotation I had the opportunity to sit in on a meeting of the UNC acute care staff’s DEI committee. This committee was formed prior to 2020 but they have had a renewed interest in pursuing DEI within the workplace. At this meeting they were addressing diversity and equity in the hiring process. Members of the committee acknowledged that most of the staff in the rehab department are white. They proposed several ways to recruit people of color to apply to the department. The first was to continue to add PTs/OTs to the hiring committees. Currently the department has several staff members that serve on the hiring committee with management. One of the ideas to promote diversity in the workplace is to include a person of color as one of the staff members on the hiring committee. This would promote integrity and equity in the hiring process. Another idea the committee presented was to eliminate or “blind” the section of applications that ask for race or ethnicity. The applicants would still be asked to identify when applying, but it would be omitted when the hiring committee first read applications. The rationale is that this would prevent implicit or explicit bias in influencing the screening of applications.

I also had a viewing of the documentary 13th (available on Netflix) which describes the history of racial inequality in America beginning with the 13th amendment. The film was powerful and informing about how racial bias have been preserved in our nation through legislation and institutions. I found one of the most poignant quotes of the film to be “no one who is white understands what it is like to be black in America. Wealth, not culpability shapes outcomes.”(DuVernay 2016) It emphasized that much of the old Jim Crow laws are still applicable in today’s society.

These experiences were informative and will have an impact on my PT practice. I am not a person of color and as such I recognize that I live with an inherit and implicit privilege. This includes my access to and quality of health care. As physical therapists we should be part of a healthcare community that provides high quality care without bias. In practical terms this means there will be times when I need to make adjustments to how I treat to provide inclusive and excellent care. These experiences have left me with a final, lasting impression: racial equality and equity in the physical therapy field requires a commitment to continuing education to undo implicit bias and advocacy for people of color. I am ready to make that commitment as I begin my physical therapy career.


Reflective statement:

My three years at UNC’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy program have flown by. I am proud of the growth I have made in my personal and professional development. The DPT programs has humbled me while also helping me find my passion and pursue it. I’ve grown in my confidence as a clinician as I’ve progressed through the program. I have met incredible classmates along the way who have taught me what sacrifice in the name of education looks like. I have met faculty who have gone above and beyond to teach clinical reasoning and independence instead of regurgitation. They have also taught me how to treat every patient with dignity and compassion. I found my passion in acute care and pediatric physical therapy, and because of the DPT program I am prepared to pursue these passions.

I want to use this time to thank all of the members of the UNC DPT faculty for their work these past three years. When COVID-19 hit the faculty worked around the clock to ensure that we were able to continue our education while on lockdown. They worked tirelessly to make sure that we graduated on time. They also spent countless hours imparting their knowledge and teaching us not only to be great clinicians, but great and compassionate humans. They have answered every email and every question with patience and grace. To the faculty, thank you for all you have done.


4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Brown, Anna”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 01 Jun 2021 at 7:27 pm

    Anna- Thank you for your kind words about the faculty. It has truly been a privilege! Congrats to you for all your accomplishments! You have come a long way and I am very excited to see what you have accomplished. Good luck to you! Lisa


  2.   Vicki Merceron 05 Jun 2021 at 9:18 pm

    Anna – It’s been great to see your growth during your time in the program! Thank you for all your contributions in classes, through volunteer work, etc.

    Best wishes to you for a long and fulfilling PT career –



    •   Vicki Merceron 05 Jun 2021 at 9:36 pm

      Sorry for the duplication here! I didn’t think I had been successful in submitting the first time…


  3.   Vicki Merceron 05 Jun 2021 at 9:21 pm

    It’s been great to see you grow in so many ways during your time in the program! Thank you for your contributions in classes, through your volunteer work, etc.

    Best wishes for a long and fulfilling PT career!



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