Dec 03 2020

Carr, Melissa

Published by

Professional Goal Statement

As a physical therapist, I will strive to provide compassionate, unbiased care to all patients using the most up-to-date evidence-based practice and novel techniques acquired through continuing education courses. It is my goal to graduate from UNC will the skill sets required to effectively and efficiently conduct research on complex patient cases, as well as be knowledgeable and proficient in all aspects of patient care taught in the classroom setting. My ultimate goal is to practice in an outpatient setting or sports medicine clinic, treating patients with diverse backgrounds who are presenting with a variety of orthopedic conditions. Following graduation, I plan on obtaining my Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification to further my education and have more expertise in rehabbing athletes back to their prior level of competition. Additionally, I plan to enroll in the MBA program with a specialization in Healthcare Administration at UNCW to further knowledge into running a successful physical therapy practice.

Career Plan

  • May 2016: Obtained Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with a Minor in Chemistry from University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • June 2016: Obtained a job at EmergeOrtho in Wilmington, NC as a Physical Therapy Aide to gain understanding into the physical therapy profession and gain valuable networking resources
  • October 2017: Started working for Pivot Physical Therapy in Apex as a Front Office Coordinator, learning the billing process and the business perspective of running a physical therapy clinic
  • January 2019: Attended CSM in Washington D.C to network and dig deeper into orthopedic and neurological conditions
  • June 2019: Completed outpatient orthopedic clinical rotation at Select Physical Therapy in Mount Pleasant, SC, with a focus on orthopedic conditions, work hardening, and seating assessments
  • January 2020: Obtained OTAGO certification for falls prevention in older adults
  • February 2020: Attended CSM in Denver, Colorado and sat in on lectures of a variety of topics, including home health trends, neurological conditions, pediatric interventions, pain science, and orthopedic conditions
  • March 2020: Completed two-week acute care clinical rotation at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, NC in the trauma and transplant units
  • March 2021: Completed outpatient neurological clinical rotation at Brunswick Physical Therapy Associates in Shallotte, NC, with an emphasis on Parkinson’s Disease
  • May 2021: Obtained LSVT BIG Certification to further my clinical skills working with patients with Parkinson’s Disease
  • May 2021: Completed outpatient orthopedic clinical rotation at Select Physical Therapy in Summerville, SC, with an emphasis on shoulder diagnoses and other various orthopedic injuries
  • August 2021: Obtain Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from UNC-Chapel Hill
  • October 2021: Sit for the National Physical Therapy Board Exam
  • November 2021: Obtain my first job in an outpatient orthopedic clinic in NC with a new grad mentorship program
  • January 2022: Start Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Administration at UNCW
  • November 2022: Find reputable travel therapy recruiter and accept first travel position
  • January 2025: Transition to permanent outpatient orthopedic clinic
  • Beyond 2025: Obtain CSCS Certification, complete dry needling training, and become a Clinical Instructor in the outpatient orthopedic setting


  • Strengths
    • Substantial work experience in the outpatient orthopedic setting with hands-on patient care
    • Ability to connect with and communicate with patients and coworkers
    • Learning from constructive feedback and using family and friends to practice hands-on skills
    • Attending conferences to expand my knowledge base and network for potential job opportunities
  • Areas for Professional Development
    • Involvement in special interest groups and the APTA to lobby for the profession and pertinent bills to improve patient care
    • Staying in the loop about the most recent evidence-based practice and implementing it into practice
    • Proficiency in billing government insurers, including Tricare, Medicare, and Medicaid
    • Confidence in working with patients presenting with neurological conditions

Special Areas of Interest

  • Outpatient orthopedics
  • Sports Rehabilitation
  • Work Conditioning & Hardening Therapy


  • Pass the National Physical Therapy Board Exam in 2021 and begin working as a licensed travel physical therapist within 3 months of licensure
  • Graduate with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in August 2021
  • Obtain Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Certification by 2025
  • Complete the Credentialed Clinical Instructor Program (CCIP) through the APTA to become a credentialed clinical instructor within 6 months of transitioning to a permanent position

Specific Strategies

  • Enroll in an NPTE prep course 3-6 months prior to sitting for the exam and maintain compliance to a strict study schedule using the Scorebuilders complete study guide book and Final Frontier course
  • Continue to attend conferences to seek out learning and networking opportunities
  • Complete continuing education classes, like dry needling, to increase my scope of practice and available interventions for my patients in the outpatient setting
  • Continue to be a member of the APTA to lobby for important bills and advocate for the profession


  • SOCW 5105- Social Work Practice with Individuals & Families (Fall 2020 @ NCCU)
  • PHYT 885- Advanced Neuromuscular Intervention (Spring 2021)
  • Capstone: Use of Graston Technique and Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (Mentor- Jon Hacke)

Product Examples

Reflection of DEI Experiences 

The professors, faculty, and students in our DPT program have done an excellent job incorporating topics relating to diversity into our classes and monthly Zoom meetings. Throughout my clinical rotations, I had the opportunity to work with patients from a variety of cultural, ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds. This experience has opened my eyes to the strides we need to take to ensure equality among all patients in physical therapy field, and healthcare profession as a whole. Goddu et al conducted a research study to determine if clinician bias in written medical records is transmitted from one clinician to another. I was not surprised to learn clinician bias often transmits from one clinician to another and impacts their attitude and treatment. To reduce this potential bias, and associated negative impacts on patient care, documentation should focus on objective measures using neutral language. Personally, I think this is especially important for physical therapists, as our documentation is frequently sent to the patients referring physician and it is important for them to have unbiased, objective information relating to the patients progress and continued limitations. This will allow the referring physician to make an unbiased recommendation on the most appropriate plan of care, such as continued therapy, medications, surgery, or other interventions. The Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (J.E.D.I.) Toolkit details tips to reduce bias, overcome our biases, and respond to bias when it emerges. Verna Myers TED Talk, How to Overcome our Biases? Walk Boldly Toward Them, was eye opening, as she discussed how our biases and subconscious attitudes negatively impact our actions. Following this TED talk I was intrigued to do my own implicit association test to identify my subconscious biases that could potentially impact me as a clinician, and I was surprised to see some of the results that I would not have initially identified. I would encourage everyone in the healthcare field, as well as those in other professions, to take the implicit association test to be more aware of how biases may show up without thought. This will allow us to overcome our conscious and subconscious biases, and improve equality and inclusion among all patients.

  • 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
  • Vernā Myers: How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them | TED Talk Subtitles and Transcript | TED. Accessed June 15, 2021.

Reflective Statement

I started playing sports at a young age and was always intrigued by human anatomy and physiology. In high school I began playing lacrosse and suffered from ankle pain during the season. I was referred to physical therapy and after my first visit I was very interested in the profession and the education required to become a physical therapist. At the time, little did I know I would one day be accepted to my dream school, to purse my dream degree. Throughout my three years at UNC I have gained lifelong friends, learned from some of the most inspiring professors and guest lecturers, and had excellent clinical rotations that have shaped me as a future clinician. As much as I enjoy my sleep, I always looked forward to 8am classes to practice new skills and techniques on my lab partner (shout out to Ashley Sanchez) and other classmates. While the days leading up to exams were often chaotic, forming study groups and sharing study guides made everything a little better. I am very appreciative of the countless guest lecturers and patients who joined our classes to share their knowledge and allow for hands-on practice. While COVID-19 may have caused some disruption in our 2nd clinical rotation and class schedule, I will forever be grateful for all of the hard work and dedication put into ensuring we graduated on time and were placed in new clinicals to further our skills as clinicians.

Prior to PT school I was set on working in an outpatient orthopedic setting, and throughout my 20 weeks of rotations at Select Physical Therapy, my love for orthopedics has been further solidified. I never expected to be placed at a clinical site that put so much emphasis on additional learning opportunities. My clinical instructors at Select Physical Therapy, TJ Scott, MPT, OMT-C and Morgan Ahl, MPT, OMT-C pushed me to be a better clinician through constant clinical reasoning and teaching opportunities throughout my patient care experiences. Some of my additional experiences included observing reverse total shoulder and rotator cuff repair surgeries at Roper Hospital with Dr. DeMarco, observing a physical therapist treat patients at C.R. Bard (catheter factory in Monks Corner, SC), observing and assisting with a seating assessment in a workplace and in a home office, volunteering at a triathlon providing consultations and treatment to racers, and conducting several Functional Capacity Evaluations. These invaluable experiences opened my eyes to the various roles physical therapists play and made me even more excited for the endless opportunities to come. Onto the next chapter, and of course, Go Heels!


One response so far

One Response to “Carr, Melissa”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 01 Jun 2021 at 7:39 pm

    Melissa: Great job on your portfolio! Nice to see samples of your hard work. It is also great to see your excitement about the future and the profession! Good luck to you!! Lisa


Comments RSS

Leave a Reply