Apr 06 2022

Callison, Patricia

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Professional Goal Statement

Upon graduation from UNC’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program and becoming a licensed therapist, I plan to pursue a career in outpatient orthopedics in North Carolina.

I have a special interest in extremity-related pathologies including knee, shoulder, and foot/ankle impairments. I am still discovering new avenues of interest every day. I intent to combine these clinical interests with my prior professional experience as a personal trainer to empower patients in their recovery from musculoskeletal injuries and return to meaningful life activities, whether that be recreational exercise, athletic performance, or simply activities of daily living.

Career Plan

Past Experience

  • 2013 – Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
  • 2016-2019 – Personal Trainer at UNC Campus Recreation
  • 2018 – BA in Exercise and Sport Science at UNC Chapel Hill
  • 2018-2019 – Fitness and Wellness Intern for UNC Campus Recreation
  • 2018-2020 – Personal Trainer at Snap Fitness in Chapel Hill, NC
  • 2019-Present – Personal Trainer at Chapel Hill Training

Clinical Experience

  • Clinical Affiliation I: Acute Care (8 weeks)
    • Central Carolina Hospital | Sanford, NC
  • Clinical Affiliation II: Outpatient Neurologic (8 weeks)
    • The Rehabilitation Center at Appalachian Regional Health System | Boone, NC
  • Clinical Affiliation III: Outpatient Orthopedic (8 weeks)
    • Duke Raleigh Hospital | Raleigh, NC
  • Clinical Affiliation IV: Outpatient Sports (12 weeks)
    • Raleigh Orthopedic Performance Center | Raleigh, NC

Future Plans

  • 2022
    • Pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) on July 27th, 2022
    • Graduate from UNC DPT Program on July 30th, 2022
    • Begin working as a physical therapist in the Triangle area
  • By 2026:
    • Pursue a specialist education in Orthopedics and become a orthopedic clinical specialist (OCS)



  • Quality of documentation
  • Building a therapeutic alliance and establishing patient rapport
  • Professional and ethical behavior
  • Continuously seeking feedback from mentors to improve skills and contribute my genuine desire for lifelong learning

Areas for Professional Development

  • Involvement in the APTA and understanding of current policies
  • Competence with billing and reimbursement for various insurance providers, including Medicare and Medicaid
  • Attending conferences and continuing education experiences to further enhance evidence-based practice


  • Pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) in 2022
  • Graduate with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from UNC-Chapel Hill in July of 2022
  • Begin working in the State of North Carolina as a physical therapist by October 2022
  • Sit for Orthopedic Clinical Specialist Board Certification Exam by 2026

Specific Strategies

  • Create a study plan for the NPTE
  • Obtain an APTA membership to stay involved and up to date on current policies and evidence based practice
  • Electives:
    • Advanced Orthopedic Assessment and Intervention
    • Teacher Scholar Program – MSK II
    • Integrated Clinical Experience in outpatient orthopedics
    • Topics in Sports Physical Therapy

Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The 2020 racial justice movement caused a pivotal shift in the way I viewed topics related to justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. It opened my eyes to the true extent of systemic inequalities that exist in society for members of marginalized groups. Being a healthcare provider comes with the duty to ensure that all patients are given the highest quality of care, regardless of their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, physical ability, age, or political perspective. One important aspect of building a therapeutic alliance with patients is through representation and being able to relate through common life experiences. As a member of the SPTA Diversity Committee, I have helped the committee to lay the foundation for initiatives for UNC’s DPT program to increase the number of minority applicants, with the goal of improving minority representation in the field of physical therapy. We have worked together with faculty to brainstorm strategies such as eliminating the GRE as a prerequisite for UNC applicants, as well as networking with local HBCU’s to spread awareness of the field of PT as a career. Hopefully future generations of PT students on the DEI Committee will see these projects through to fruition.


Capstone Project

For my capstone project, I presented a lecture as part of the first-year DPT course, Exercise Foundations and Prescription for Physical Therapists (PHYT 726). This lecture was split into two components: 1) A brief recorded lecture (24 minutes) on basic principles of exercise prescription, to be viewed before the class session, and 2) An in-person lecture and lab session (~2.5 hours) focused on Exercise Selection for the Upper Extremity, with case discussions. I chose to focus on upper extremity exercise selection because my 3rd clinical rotation was located at a clinic that received a high volume of referrals from an orthopedic shoulder surgeon in the Duke system. Therefore, I had a lot of experience with exercise prescription for the shoulder, and felt that I could provide good clinical insight on this topic during in-class discussions. I also created an evidence table of current concepts of periodization in individuals participating in resistance training, and a template for tracking exercises in treatment notes.

My capstone materials can be viewed here.

Presentation – Topics in Sports PT (PHYT 874)

This presentation provides an evidence-based comparison of surgical vs. non-surgical outcomes and return-to-sports progressions for overhead athletes with SLAP lesions.

Link to presentation: SLAP Lesions in Overhead Athletes: Non-Operative Management and Return to Sport


Reflective Statement

Looking back on the past three years, I am amazed by how much I have learned and grown as a professional. To have made it through this program in the face of adversity and unforeseen circumstances provides a sense of accomplishment that is uniquely gratifying. Not only have I gained the skills and knowledge to be a successful physical therapist, but I have developed invaluable life skills in critical thinking and problem solving, a passion for patient advocacy, and not to mention a cohort of great friends. I would like to thank all of my mentors and the UNC PT faculty for their endless support and perseverance through the many unprecedented obstacles that arose amid the COVID pandemic. Thank you for all you have done to get us through without sacrificing the quality of our education. I am so excited to finally start the career I have dreamt of for so long, and I hope to make the UNC PT family proud.

One response so far

One Response to “Callison, Patricia”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 15 Jun 2022 at 12:14 pm

    Congrats on an excellent job on your portfolio and for all you have accomplished. It was really nice to get a chance to review some of your work and to see your goals for the future. You have demonstrated so much success, I know you will continue to do great things. Good luck to you! Lisa


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