Apr 06 2022

Pierson, Ethan

Published by

Professional Goal Statement:

Upon graduation of University of North Carolina’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, I intend to become licensed in the state of North Carolina and to serve my local community with the services of Physical Therapy. I aim to become a well-rounded physical therapist, serving orthopedic and musculoskeletal populations of all age ranges and backgrounds. I am dedicated to providing evidence-based care that is patient-oriented, that is thoughtful and compassionate. My goal is to build upon my entry level knowledge base post-graduation, and continue to refine my clinical skills beyond my DPT curriculum. I plan to pursue specialty certifications that will assist me in achieving these goals, and that will continue to offer my patient’s the best possible care. I have specialty interests in sports and athletic populations, but am committed to providing care to all patients across the lifespan and differing backgrounds. My goal is to meet my patients where they are with their current functional limitations and/or impairments, and work alongside them to meet their goals to empower them to return to their meaningful life activities and promote general wellness and overall wellbeing.

Career Plan:


  • Campbell University- Bachelors of Arts in Kinesiology, Class of 2018
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill- Doctor of Physical Therapy Candidate, Class of 2022
Clinical Education:
  • May-July 2022: UNC Health Inpatient Rehabilitation
  • September-November 2021: UNC Health Durham Faculty Clinic, Integrated Clinical Experience in          orthopedics
  • April-June 2021: Onslow Memorial Hospital; outpatient neuro and orthopedics, pediatric neuro and          orthopedics
  • March-April 2021: WakeMed, ICU acute care setting
  • October-December 2020: Novant Matthews, outpatient orthopedics
Elective Coursework:
  • PHYT 875: Advanced Orthopedics Assessment and Intervention
  • PHYT 870: Integrated Clinical Experience
  • NURS 609: Service Learning Trip
  • PHYT 874: Topics in Sports Physical Therapy
  • 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 2022: Obtain employment from an outpatient orthopedic clinic as a licensed physical therapist
  • By 2026: Obtain specialty certification in area of interest
  • By 2026: Become a credentialed clinical instructor
  • Attend continuing education courses related to patient populations of care that specialize in assessment and intervention
  • Formulate strong referral network in local community
Specific Strategies:
  • Follow detailed study plan and dedicate time each day towards studying for NPTE in July 2022
  • Finish all coursework, submit Capstone materials, demonstrate independence with entry level clinical skills in final rotation in preparation for graduation in July 2022
  • Update professional resume and research potential employers in preparation for gaining employment
  • Attend professional development and continuing education courses in areas of interest
  • obtain professional mentorship to improve my skills as new graduate physical therapist


  • Professional communication with co-workers, staff, patients – able to communicate via medical and lay-person terminology
  • Ability to develop strong patient-therapist alliance and rapport with patients
  • Adaptability and able to adjust and thrive with unforeseen circumstances
  • Strong work ethic, drive to improve level of care and professional abilities
  • Willing to serve local community in regards to health promotion and overall wellness
  • Ability to offer individualize care and intervention planning that is collaborative and incorporates patients’ goals
Areas for Professional Development:
  • Continued growth in assessment, evaluation, and intervention skills with higher complexity patients
  • Efficiency with new graduate documentation, and non-patient care related tasks associated with physical therapy practice
  • Continued growth in understanding of payment structures, allowable visits, access to DME, etc. regarding patient care
  • Ability to manage full caseload as a new graduate while maintaining healthy work-life balance
  • Continue to progress advocacy of the profession of physical therapy in my local community as well as policy advocation

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Reflection:

It can be challenging to find the time for social engagement outside didactic and clinical work during physical therapy school. The outside world changes daily as we are encouraged to continue along with our schooling. Often times, we don’t get the chance to reflect on much outside of coursework in our schooling. I think it is very easy to press towards general knowledge that we learn in our curriculum and the baseline standard for a practicing clinicians, as the volume of information we receive can become overwhelming in itself. This third year of PT school has given me the opportunity to self-reflect on the many areas of impact we as healthcare professionals can make on our co-workers, patients, and communities outside of just ‘the standard of practice’ of a physical therapy clinician. The Tyrrell County service learning trip was in my opinion an invaluable experience that allowed me to grow as a young clinician and healthcare provider. During this trip, I experienced areas with high poverty and overall low health literacy. My peers and I were tasked with problem solving, and using our clinical reasoning to best serve this community in rural North Carolina, knowing that they did not have the same access as other communities in the state. Their nearest primary care doctors and hospital were an hour drive away. On this trip, we were able to preform falls risk screening assessments at the local senior center where we evaluated and educated patients on their risk for falling and strategies to prevent this. We also were able to perform in-home visits to individuals and assist members of the community in improving accessibility in their homes and and making meaningful changes to improve safety. In one instance, we were able to partner with a local hardware store owner whose family has lived in the community for generations, and was generous enough to donate lumber for our group to build a step for an elderly lady to improve the ability to get into her home as a recent storm swept away her old step. I learned valuable lessons on this trip that improving access to those who lack access to healthcare can most often happen at the community level. Everyone has the opportunity to help someone, and taking that step towards equity to improve care of those individuals who lack resources and treating them holistically using the biopsychosocial model is a step we can each make toward lasting change in our communities.



Dementia Info Graphic

Skin Cancer Handout

Inservice Presentation 2020

SCI Inservice 2021

Reflective Statement:

My journey into the physical therapy profession has been non-traditional in the fact that I did not have an injury requiring physical therapy through youth sports, and I have never had a family member with physical therapy needs; I learned about physical therapy in early undergraduate when my alma mater was promoting their new physical therapy program they had recently begun. My athletics background immediate drew me to this profession, that allowed me to be on my feet, learn more about the human body and specialize in human movement. My personality and ability to come alongside people and help serve them where they are, also drew me to this profession. My 3 years since beginning physical therapy school, and the rotations I’ve been on, have affirmed that I am in the correct field and am on a path that fits my interests, personal traits, and strengths to make a difference in my community. I’ve been exposed to a variety of different patient populations while on my rotations, from intensive care patients, to geriatrics, pediatrics, general orthopedics, adult neuro, and most recently spinal cord injury patients in the intensive rehab setting. I’ve found that while I enjoy different things about each setting, there is a commonality with each the chance to make a meaningful impact on another person in their rehab journey. I have very much enjoyed my time learning and growing into the physical therapy professional that I have developed into during my time at UNC and look forward to continuing onward as a clinician. Progressing through physical therapy school during a global pandemic offered its own challenges to navigate, but if nothing else it afforded me the opportunity to demonstrate resiliency in the face of unforeseen and non-ideal circumstances. I feel confident that I will be able to ‘roll with the punches’ in the ever-changing healthcare landscape and formulate a plan to make a positive impact on those I encounter.

One response so far

One Response to “Pierson, Ethan”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 13 Jun 2022 at 10:31 pm

    Great job on your portfolio. It was really nice to read your reflection including your reflection about Tyrrell Co. It is really nice to see this experience had a meaningful impact for you. It seems like you are leaving the program maybe with more interests than when you started. It has been nice to see your openness to learning and experiencing the profession and all it has to offer. Good luck to you! Lisa


Comments RSS

Leave a Reply