Apr 06 2022

Hayworth, Emily

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Professional Goal Statement

Upon graduating with my Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel hill my plan is to work full-time in the inpatient or acute care setting. I enjoy working with a variety of patients but would like to focus on treating a patient population with neurological conditions. As an entry-level therapist, my goal is to provide empathetic, evidence-based, and patient-centered care.

Ultimately, I want to continuously grow and expand my knowledge base as a clinician. Physical therapy is an ever-evolving field, and I plan to continue growing and learning in order to provide the best care for my patients. I aim to eventually earn a neurologic specialist certification (NCS), ideally through the completion of a neurological residency program. As I move through my career, I intend to keep an open mind as my goals and plans may shift with professional experiences.

Academic Career

  • August 2017: Exercise and Sport Science, B.S. (Biology Minor), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • August 2019-2022: Doctor of Physical Therapy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (anticipated July 2022)
    • Clinical Rotations
      • UNC Health Hillsborough Hospital (Acute Care), Hillsborough NC
      • FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers (Outpatient Ortho), Brevard NC
      • UNC Center for Rehabilitation Care (Outpatient Neuro), Chapel Hill, NC
      • Integrated Clinical Experience at UNC Health for 60 hours (Outpatient Ortho), Chapel Hill, NC
      • Atrium Health Carolinas Rehabilitation (Inpatient Neuro), Charlotte, NC
    • Electives
      • Tyrrell County Interdisciplinary Service-Learning Trip (2020)
      • Teaching Assistant (Intro to PT Intervention) (2021)
      • Research Elective (ReGain Lab) with Dr. Mike Lewek (2021-2022)
      • Orthopedic Integrated Clinical Experience (2022)
    • Capstone Project
      • Assessing Limb Propulsion and Gait Kinetics Using Resistance in Early-Stage Parkinson’s Disease
    • Vice President of the Student of Physical Therapy Association (SPTA) at UNC (2019-2020)
    • Neuro STEP UP Scholar (2020-2022)

Examples of Work 

Professional Objectives

  • Take the NPTE and obtain PT licensure in NC (July 2022)
  • Enter employment in either acute or inpatient setting seeing a variety of patients, including patients with neurological conditions (July-August 2022)
  • Continue to maintain APTA membership (including Neurological and Acute Care Sections)
  • Become a clinical instructor (2024)
  • Complete a neurologic residency, or independently study for the NCS exam (2025)
  • Teach or guest lecture in a DPT program (2032)

Strategies for Obtaining Professional Objectives 

  • Prepare for NPTE by utilizing a daily study plan, and incorporating wellness strategies
  • Obtain employment with a company that values and supports mentorship and continuing education opportunities
  • Take the APTA credentialed instructor courses
  • Maintain relationship with UNC DPT, UNC Neuro STEP Up, and volunteer at local DPT/PTA programs to be a teaching assistant for courses relevant to my areas of expertise


  • Strengths
    • Adaptability
    •  Professionalism
    • Interpersonal skills
    • Communication skills
    • Research experience
  • Areas for professional development
    • Maintaining a healthy work-life balance
    • Gaining more experience and knowledge with healthcare structure including insurance payors, billing, and reimbursement
    • Actively participating in local, state, and national professional APTA activities and outreach

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

While working in healthcare it is important to have an understanding of the disparities and lack of diversity that can impact our patient’s wellbeing. During our Psychological Aspects of Disability and Illness course, we read Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Bajaji, and took quizzes for our own implicit biases. This experience educated and enabled me to self-reflect on my personal contribution to these issues. Additionally, I gained first-hand insight during my service-learning trip to Tyrell County on how social determinants of health can impact communities on a broad level. As a physical therapist, it is important to be aware of these important issues and make sure we directly address disparities and provide resources to our patients that help combat these issues.

During my time at UNC, I wanted to help create actionable steps toward addressing and supporting diversity in our population of providers. As Vice President of SPTA, I was able to help initiate the Minority Mentorship Match program with our Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion committee chairs. This initiative supports current students by connecting them with alumni mentors who have similar backgrounds and professional interests. I plan to continue and apply this awareness during my career as a physical therapist and actively self-reflect and be open-minded while caring for individuals with diverse backgrounds.

Reflective Experience

My time in the UNC DPT program has allowed me to grow and evolve in many different aspects. I have gained the academic knowledge and clinical skills needed to evaluate, and treat neurological and musculoskeletal disorders of human movement. Through the support of my professors and clinical instructors, I have grown both competent and capable of working with a variety of patient populations. I have learned the importance of incorporating psychosocial aspects in patient-centered care to truly improve the well-being of my patients. I especially valued the insight, exposure, and mentorship I gained through being a Neuro STEP UP scholar. My understanding of not only how to treat neurodegenerative diseases, but all aspects of care including caregiver support, available resources, and interdisciplinary care has been enlightening. Overall, I cannot be more thankful for the wealth of knowledge/expertise, support, and guidance that I received through UNC DPT’s program for shaping me into a well-rounded clinician.

In addition to clinical skills, I have been able to grow and practice valuable life skills including empathy, adaptability, perseverance, determination, and accountability. The program and clinical rotations helped to expand these attributes by navigating through a tough curriculum and interacting with patients with a variety of ailments. I am proud to be joining a profession full of leaders and mentors that exemplify all of these qualities.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Hayworth, Emily”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 28 Jun 2022 at 1:30 pm

    Great job on your portfolio! So nice to see all the amazing things you have accomplished and your goals for the future. You have been a great Neuro scholar. Congrats and good luck! Lisa


  2.   Mike Lewekon 29 Jun 2022 at 5:07 pm

    Hi Emily
    You did a great job this past year with Stephanie on your research capstone. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to work with you both. You both continued to raise the bar for future cohorts! Looking forward to having your manuscript published. Please keep in touch.


  3.   jcassidyon 18 Jul 2022 at 11:12 am


    I’ve enjoyed interacting with you through our STEP UP program. You and Stephanie have done a phenomenal job representing our program– well-attended journal clubs, DPT grand rounds presentation, and a fantastic research capstone with Dr. Lewek. I wish you nothing but the very best, and I look forward to keeping in touch.




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