Apr 06 2022

Hummel, Cameron

Published by

Cameron Hummel


Professional Goals Statement

As I graduate from UNC’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program and pass the NPTE, I plan to use the foundations I’ve acquired in school to establish myself as a well-rounded, thoughtful, entry-level clinician. In this endeavor I hope to refine the skills I have already developed and expand my knowledge base past what is offered in the DPT curriculum. The more I learn about physical therapy and the human body, the more I realize I’ve only scratched the surface of knowledge and skills that will make me a successful clinician. I hope to work for a few years in the setting of outpatient orthopedics to gain valuable clinical experience and then pursue more formal continuing education in order to become an orthopedic clinical specialist. I also plan to use my athletic training certification to specialize in sports orthopedics. While I would like to continue treating patients of all ages and activity levels, I hope to also work with highly motivated athletes, whether it be with acute game coverage or longer-term rehabilitation. Whatever the population, I hope to come alongside people who are in pain and have functional mobility deficits to help them meet their goals and be empowered to improve their overall health.

Career Plan

Professional Accomplishments

  • BOC certified Athletic Trainer
  • Licensed Athletic Trainer in the State of North Carolina
  • Certified in Dry Needling
  • Student Member of APTA


  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Bachelor of Arts in Exercise and Sport Science with a Concentration in Athletic Training, Class of 2019
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Doctor of Physical Therapy Candidate, Class of 2022

Doctoral Studies

  • Clinical Rotations
    • May 2022 – July 2022: UNC Carolina Pointe II, outpatient orthopedic
    • October 2021 – November 2021: UNC Family Medicine, outpatient orthopedic integrated clinical experience
    • April 2021 – June 2021: Atrium Mercy Hospital, acute care
    • March 2021 – April 2021: UNC Medical Center, acute inpatient rehabilitation
    • October 2020 – December 2020: Brunswick Physical Therapy Associates, outpatient orthopedics
  • Elective Courses:
    • PHYT 875: Advanced Orthopedics Assessment and Intervention
    • PHYT 870: Integrated Clinical Experience
    • PHYT 800: Service Learning on Cardiothoracic Stepdown Unit (CTSU)
    • PHYT 872: Teacher Scholar Program – MSK I
    • PHYT 800: Dry Needling Independent Study

Future Goals + Objectives

  • July 2022: NPTE and Physical Therapy Licensure
  • July 2022: Graduate with Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • September – October 2022: Obtain employment from an outpatient orthopedic clinic as a licensed physical therapist and athletic trainer
  • By 2026: Take and pass Orthopedic Certified Specialty (OCS) Exam
  • By 2027: Become a credentialed clinical instructor in order to mentor students
  • Attend CSM, orthopedic conferences, and continuing education classes to facilitate lifelong learning
    • Take continuing education courses in upper and lower extremity manual therapy, vestibular rehabilitation, and concussion management
  • Maintain APTA membership and join orthopedic section
  • Form a strong referral network of physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, physicians, and other specialists to ensure my patients are in front of the right healthcare professionals

Specific Strategies

  • Follow a detailed study plan with set-aside time dedicated to studying for the NPTE in July 2022
  • Ensure all graduation criteria are met, including finishing all coursework and achieving competency as an entry-level clinician on my final clinical rotation
  • Utilize my personal and professional network to prepare my resume and interview skills in order to obtain employment
  • Attend continuing education courses and advocate for funding from employers to attend CSM and other conferences
  • Utilize formal and informal mentorship to hone my skills as a new graduate physical therapist
  • Maintain APTA membership to stay current on advocacy efforts, professional opportunities, and research initiatives



  • Good communication skills with patients, co-workers, and other health professionals
  • Building rapport with patients
  • Strong work ethic and drive for lifelong learning
  • Ability to use patient goals to creatively inform treatment interventions
  • Strong problem solving and clinical reasoning skills in orthopedic physical therapy

Areas for Professional Development

  • Continued growth in evaluation and intervention skills for moderate- to high-complexity patients
  • Greater understanding of payment structures, including private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and cash-based
  • Improve efficiency of documentation in order to manage a full caseload while maintaining a healthy work-life balance
  • Involvement in professional organizations and political advocacy for PT

Product Examples

  • Pain Neuroscience in the DPT Curriculum: This is a link to my DPT Capstone Website. My project was focused on creating a Pain Neuroscience Module for PHYT 722: Therapeutic Modalities. The module includes 8 hours of lecture + lab materials that I presented to first-year DPT students in April 2022
  • Wheelchair Patient Education Handout: This is a patient education handout I created for UNC Health’s Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Team. This handout can be used during family trainings to teach patients and caregivers about wheelchair parts, how to break down a standard wheelchair, and how to easily load a wheelchair into a car using good body mechanics
  • Posterior Chain Strengthening for Low Back Pain: This is a presentation created for PHYT 732: MSK 1 as a part of the Teacher/Scholar elective. The presentation outlines the research support for exercise and posterior chain strengthening in patients with low back pain and then discusses the biomechanics of various deadlifting techniques
  • Type 2 Diabetes Community Program: This is the proposal for a community health promotion program designed for people with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. It is an evidence-based program that involves balance training, strength training, aerobic training, and an educational component

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

PT school is a whirlwind of classes, clinical rotations, and various other responsibilities. It’s easy to feel beholden to these responsibilities, even when major world events are taking place around you. I think back specifically to the summer of 2020 in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the ensuing nationwide response. We were in the thick of midterms for our cardiopulmonary class and two other classes, all over zoom. We had so much schoolwork at the time that it felt like I couldn’t invest enough time and energy into sorting through all of the grief, outrage, and social change occurring around me. I wanted to read more, advocate more, and digest all that was happening, but I simply didn’t have the time. I think it is a really positive thing to facilitate more activities related to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion into the DPT curriculum. I believe the time dedicated to this in the curriculum should reflect its importance so that students will have the time to truly invest in these topics.

One way I tried to maximize these experiences was by listening to podcasts and audiobooks that discuss JEDI topics and challenge my preconceived notions. One of the more interesting things I listened to was a podcast by NPR about Fredrick Douglass called, The most Sacred Right. In a society with institutions like the electoral college, gerrymandering and hyper-partisan politics, it is easy to become disheartened and believe your vote doesn’t really matter. But hearing the perspective of Frederick Douglass, a man who fought his entire life to secure this right for people who looked like him, changed my perspective on just how sacred voting is. It gives me drive to support things that ensure access to voting and fight against things that restrict people’s voting power. For example, gerrymandering as a practice leaves people in affected districts with less say in which party and which representatives have the power in their state. Though they still technically have their “sacred” right to vote, its power has been stripped. As a result, I support policies and advocacy efforts to limit gerrymandering in states like North Carolina. Though this may not seem directly related to my career, the topic of voting has spurred on many interesting conversations with patients in my first clinical rotation around the 2020 election. While I don’t like to discuss politics with patients, I find that the issue of voting and people’s right to vote is one that I am able to advocate for with my patients without getting deep into partisan politics.

Another resource I listened to was the audiobook, Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. This book tells the story of the criminal justice system through the eyes of a lawyer who has fought for the rights on death row inmates and other marginalized people in the deep south his whole career. While this again doesn’t seem directly related to the practice of physical therapy, I believe a broader understanding of the the criminal justice system and the experiences of African Americans throughout our history will make me a more effective and empathetic healthcare professional for all my patients.

Reflective Statement

I came into UNC’s DPT program fresh out of my undergraduate studies and didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do within the diverse field of PT. While I had an idea that athletics and orthopedics interested me, I wanted to keep an open mind to all of the different populations we learn to treat. As I finish up PT school, I still don’t have all the answers about what my future career holds. But I have been affirmed in my desire to treat patients with a wide variety of orthopedic conditions, from low back pain to post-operative rehabilitation to chronic pain management. I really value starting broad at the beginning of my orthopedic career in order to establish a strong foundation before finding any areas where I’d like to specialize. I can also foresee myself pivoting to other specialties within PT as my career progresses, such as inpatient rehabilitation, oncology rehabilitation, or academia. The beauty of physical therapy is the ability to choose from such a diverse spectrum of settings and patient populations.

As I reflect on my time in PT school, I can’t help but ignore the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has played on learning opportunities and personal moral. The faculty and staff worked tirelessly to provide us with the best education possible under the circumstances, but it would be dishonest to act like our class had a “normal” PT school experience. Out of all the difficulties we’ve faced – trying to learn hands-on concepts virtually, practicing PT skills with only a single partner, enduring months of 4+ hour zoom classes, and navigating clinical experiences amidst a pandemic – we have certainly learned the values of perseverance and resolve. We will leave PT school already exposed to the ever-changing environment of healthcare and have experience adapting to whatever changes come our way. Whatever the future may bring, I am excited to use the knowledge and tools I’ve learned in PT school to have a positive impact on the people around me.

I would like to formally thank all of the faculty, staff, clinical mentors, and classmates who helped me along this journey over the past 3 years. I would not be the clinician or person I am today without them.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Hummel, Cameron”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 06 Jun 2022 at 10:12 am


    Congrats on a job well done! I am excited to see all of your hard work. You have grown and changed over these 3 years and it is evident in your work that you are ready to begin an exciting career. Great job! Lisa


  2.   Jennifer Cookeon 14 Jun 2022 at 9:07 pm

    You have a good foundation of plans for yourself as you graduate from our program! I like that you are keeping your career options open for the potential opportunities that come your way. You will be an excellent addition to the profession and I look forward to hearing where physical therapy takes you! Congratulations!


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