Dec 03 2020

Solheim, Katie

Published by

Professional Goal Statement

Upon graduation I will strive to be a well-rounded and compassionate generalist practitioner who views each patient holistically, from a biopsychosocial lens. I hope to demonstrate professional humility, continue to grow professionally and personally with the guidance of my mentors, and be a respected team member. I aspire to continue to be a lifelong learner and provide my patients with the best evidence-based interventions. Ideally, my goal is to work in the acute care setting and potentially work more closely with the neurologic, military, and potentially pediatric populations.

Career Plan 

  • May 2018: Received a B.A. in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • August 2018: Began UNC-CH DPT Program
    • Clinical Affiliation I (8 weeks) 2019: FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, Acute Care
    • Clinical Affiliation II (2 weeks) 2020: Wake County Public School System, Neuro/Pediatrics
    • Clinical Affiliation III (9 weeks) 2021: Cape Fear Valley Hospital, OP Pediatrics
    • Clinical Affiliation IV (12 weeks) 2021: Cape Fear Valley Hospital, OP Orthopedics
  • July 2021: Sit for PT Licensure Exam
  • July 2021: Graduate with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • August-September 2021: Begin my career as an acute care physical therapist in North Carolina
  • 2023: Serve as a Clinical Instructor
  • 2026: Sit for a specialist exam and become a board-certified Neurological or Pediatric Clinical Specialist

Self Assessment

  • Strengths
    • Personable and communicate well with patients and colleagues
    • Eager to learn, driven, and take initiative
    • Strong time management and organization skills
    • Accountable and professional in my interactions with patients and clients
    • Open to constructive feedback and recognize when I need to seek assistance or advice from my peers or colleagues
    • Adaptive and strong team player
    • Levelheaded and have a desire to bring a positive attitude to any environment
  • Areas for Professional Development
    • Advocacy for the profession at various levels
    • Understanding of reimbursement and administrative topics
    • Improving manual therapy skills
    • Supervising other physical therapy staff, such as PTAs and techs
    • Foreign language skills


  • Reach entry level status and carry a full caseload upon completion of my final OP Orthopedic clinical rotation
  • Graduate with a DPT degree from UNC Chapel Hill in July 2021
  • Pass the National Physical Therapy Examination in July 2021 by proactively studying 9 weeks leading up to the NPTE
  • Begin working full time in the acute care setting in North Carolina in September 2021
  • Become a Clinical Instructor in 2023 to further motivate and educate physical therapy students
  • Within 5 years of graduation apply to neuro residencies in North Carolina to become a Neurological Clinical Specialist (NCS) or possibly pursue a Pediatric Clinical Specialist (PCS) board certification
  • Throughout my career continue to stay informed and active regarding issues and policy changes surrounding the profession by maintaining an APTA membership

Specific Strategies

  • Create and follow a specific study plan to prepare for the NPTE in the spring and summer of 2021
    • Utilize multiple resources (such as Score Builders, Final Frontier, textbooks, class notes)
  • Complete my last clinical rotation and all required coursework to qualify for graduation
  • Complete my Capstone project on Heart Rate Variability and Exertional Task Analysis in the Recovery of mTBI under the guidance of Dr.McCulloch
  • Create and update a resume and LinkedIn account in preparation for job applications
  • Obtain a job in the acute care setting under mentors devoted to helping me continue to grow in my knowledge base and skillset
  • Remain an active member of the APTA and participate in networking and advocacy events
  • Build and maintain relationships with clinical instructors to further broaden my PT network

Clinical Rotations 

  • Clinical 1: First Health Moore Regional Hospital, Acute Rotation (Summer 2019). Evaluated and treated patients in acute care setting, specifically on the neurologic floor/stroke unit with diagnoses such as CVA, TIA, or status post spine surgery.
  • Clinical 2: Wake County Public School System (WCPSS), Neuro and Pediatric Rotation (March 2020). Evaluated and treated students pre-K through high school to improve access and participation in the total school environment. Learned about adaptive equipment and orthotics.
  • Clinical 3: Cape Fear Valley Health Care System, Outpatient Pediatric Rotation (Spring 2021). Outpatient pediatric physical therapy clinic attached to the main hospital with a focus on treating a variety of etiologies involving developmental delays, orthopedic disorders, brain injuries, and multiple congenital disorders. Consults and treatments performed for infants in the NICU as needed, and follow-up evaluations performed for infants who had graduated from the NICU.
  • Clinical 4: Cape Fear Valley Health Care System, Outpatient Orthopedic Rotation (Summer 2021). Outpatient physical therapy clinic with focus on treating cervical, thoracic, and lumbar back pain and radiculopathy, post-op orthopedic patients, status-post gunshot wounds, and a multitude of orthopedic conditions.


  • Fall 2020
    • PHYT 880 Child and Family Assessment and Intervention (3 credit hours)
  • Spring 2021
    • PHYT 885 Advanced Neuromuscular Intervention (3 credit hours)

Capstone: Heart Rate Variability and Exertional Task Analysis in the Recovery of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Service Members (HEARTS) 

Additional Products 

Reflections of DEI Experiences 

Reflective Statement

Since a young age I have always had a desire to serve others in some capacity. Being the oldest of three girls, with an active-duty Army father, I often had to step up and take on responsibilities to help my mom. It was not until my freshman year of high school that my eyes were opened to the world of physical therapy, a profession centered around optimizing the movement of individuals and promoting improved quality of life. In 2014 I become close friends with a boy whose father had a right lower extremity below the knee amputation from wounds sustained during a firefight in Iraq. I came to learn about the tremendous impact physical therapy played in his life during his recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Today this man continues to serve as an active-duty soldier, run long distances, cycle, rock climb, scuba dive, and participate in any physical activity he sets his mind to. UNC’s DPT program has continued to fuel my passion and excitement for the field of physical therapy and has given me a more clear idea of opportunities available to serve others in a meaningful way. Both my professors and peers have been invested in my success, and have aided in my professional and personal development. My passion for the military community and the acute care setting has motivated me to pursue this path upon graduation. While I am uncertain where this profession will take me, I am confident I will nonetheless have the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, and for that I am appreciative of UNC’s DPT program.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Solheim, Katie”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 01 Jun 2021 at 7:48 pm

    Katie: Thank you for sharing your portfolio. You have had some varied and interesting experiences and projects! Great job, your hard work shows! Congrats on all you have accomplished and good luck to you! Take care, Lisa


  2.   Vicki Merceron 05 Jun 2021 at 9:32 pm

    Glad to see you are considering getting your NCS! I wish you the best in whatever career path you choose. I know you’ll do great things!!



Comments RSS

Leave a Reply