Apr 06 2022

Ward, Roosevelt

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Professional Goal Statement

My time with the UNC DPT program has taught me to be a well rounded physical therapist who applies an evidence based approach when delivering my evaluation techniques and treatment approaches to future patients. Following graduation, I aim to work as a licensed physical therapy with general orthopedic patients and athletes in the triangle. I would like to positively contribute to a working environment with other passionate physical therapists and develop relationships with mentors that will help with growth as a new clinician. In addition to working on the clinical side, I want to push the field of physical therapy forward by increasing my organizational management knowledge and promoting advocacy for both clinicians and patients alike.


Career Plan

Prior Experiences

  • Semi-Professional Ultimate Frisbee Player 2014-2020: Played in the AUDL for the New York Empire and Raleigh Flyers.
  • College Football 2014-2016: Played WR for Western Connecticut State University
  • December 2016 – Graduated BA economics from Western Connecticut State University
  • Lumesis 2017 – Financial analyst analyzing municipal bonds
  • Opened multiple small businesses 2017-2022: Real estate, ecommerce


Physical Therapy Education and Experiences


Anticipated Graduation August 2022: Doctor of Physical Therapy – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Clinical Affiliations:

  • October-December 2020, 8 weeks: Outpatient Orthopedics – UNC Wayne Outpatient Physical Therapy, Goldsboro, NC
    • General musculoskeletal diagnoses and post-operative surgeries (rotator cuff, ACL, PCL, Total knee replacement, Total Hip Replacement, Menisectomy)
  • March-April 2021, 8 weeks: Inpatient Rehabilitation – Wakemed Hospital Raleigh, NC
    • Stroke rehabilitation, lower extremity amputation, low back surgeries, cardiopulmonary conditions and aquatic therapy
  • May-June 2021, 8 weeks: Acute Care – UNC medical center in Chapel Hill, NC
    • Primarily on the oncology and bone marrow transplant floor, also floated to post-operative elective orthopedic surgeries, cardiopulmonary, TBI and stroke rehabilitation
  • April-May 2022, 4 weeks: Out patient Orthopedics Integrated Clinical Experience – UNC in Hillsborough, NC
    • General musculoskeletal diagnoses including chronic low back pain, general deconditioning, lateral ankle sprain, total knee replacement, cervicogenic headaches, rotator cuff, tennis elbow
  • June-July 2022, 8 weeks: Outpatient Orthopedics – UNC Ambulatory Care Center in Chapel Hill, NC
    • Treated patients with general orthopedic diagnoses through out the life span with conditions in the hip, knee, ankle, spine and shoulder.  Other conditions treated were CRPS, TMD, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, post concussion, return to sport. Provided telehealth and aquatic therapy services.


Professional Development and Experiences:

  • 2022 – Present: Member of American Physical Therapy Academy, North Carolina Physical Therapy Association, American Academy of Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • March 2020 – February 2021: Networking Committee member of UNC Student Physical Therapy Association
  • Participated in a physical fitness assessment for Special Olympic athletes in the triangle
  • PT evaluation at Urban Ministries of Durham
  • Sideline medical volunteer for youth ultimate frisbee in North Carolina and beach national championships in Virginia
  • Sports Physical Therapy and Advanced Orthopedic elective courses during my third year
  • Teachers assistant demonstrating hands instruction of special tests, manual therapy, patient case decisions and content presentation


Future Goals

  • Graduate from UNC with Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree August 2022
  • Sit for the Physical Therapy licensure exam October 27, 2022
  • Begin my career work in outpatient orthopedics in an environment that encourages clinical growth and development for physical therapists early in career
  • Obtain OCS and aquatic certification within the first 3 years of practicing to expand knowledge base to provide improved quality of care for my patients
  • Volunteer with the NCPTA to continue advancing advocacy in the areas of reimbursement, clinician burn out and patient care
  • Pursue leadership opportunities with my employer




  • Communication
    • A combination of my general interest in others, welcoming demeanor and background working in economics has taught me about the importance and rejuvenation I feel when connecting with others.
  • Empathetic
    • I have a soft spot for others who are experiencing physical and emotional pain. I chose to change careers because I believe a life of serving others is a life worth living. I strive to understand others so I can best address their needs.
  • Innovative
    • I have started a handful of businesses during my 20s, I enjoy learning new things and stretching the boundaries of my comfort zone. In the clinic, I strive to keep up with research and fresh ideas to care best for my patients.
  • Flexible
    • Learning adaptability has been a central theme of my life for the last decade. Changing careers and going to school during a pandemic has given me the strength and resilience to adapt to my future endeavors in physical therapy.


Areas for Professional Development

  • Clinical Reasoning application: During my time at UNC DPT I gained great clinical reasoning skills for identifying patient diagnosis, evaluation and plan of care. Although, I would like to further increase my knowledge of how to best address all impairments identified. Experience is necessary in further honing this skill.
  • Increase my knowledge base for interventions and applicable outcome measures: I have developed a good base of interventions and outcome measures, but I think it will be valuable to further expand my interventions/outcome measure options so I can address all areas of the entire patient according to the ICF model.
  • Further skills of motivational interviewing: I have decent interviewing skills, but I would like to continue working on identifying things that will increase patient’s own self efficacy. I want to help patient’s identify where they are, where they want to be and how I can support them on that path.



  • Gain a strong background in treating patients from all backgrounds including my
  • Graduate from UNC DPT and pass the NPTE to obtain PT licensure
  • Find employment from an outpatient clinic in the triangle that will allow me to further my clinical skills and have mentorship opportunities to grow as a clinician early in my career
  • Obtain OCS certification within the first 3 years of practicing as a clinician to allow for improved care for my patients


Specific Strategies for Success

  • During my last rotation, pursue opportunities to further develop my evidence-based approach to patient treatment and evaluation
  • Take PEAT exam in July 2022, stay consistent with NPTE study schedule and participate in “crash course” following graduation to prepare for licensure exam
  • Continue to shadow mentors, clinicians and faculty to develop clinical skills


Sample of Work during DPT Curriculum

  • Capstone: Burn out in Physical Therapy
    • Lecture presentation on the impact of burn out in physical therapy and how physical therapists and management can address the issue/start the conversation.
  • Teacher-Scholar Lecture: Physical Therapy Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • Presented to 1st year physical therapy students in MSK 1 as part of my Teacher Scholar experience
  • Sports Elective Presentation: Return to sport for Ultimate Frisbee Athletes
    • Presented as final project in PHYT 874 Topic in Sports Elective


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

In the summer of 2020, I viewed the online presentation of the APTA’s Dr. Lynda Woodruff Lecture series. Dr. Woodruff was a black physical therapist who was a leader and champion for expanding diversity in physical therapy school admission and clinical practice. The lecture series outlined a number of diversity issues in the field of physical therapy today, at the forefront was the underrepresentation of black physical therapists in both physical therapy admissions and clinical practice. The current representation of black physical therapists is significantly below the number of black Americans in the United States. Panelists presented research that highlighted healthcare inequities that black Americans experience in the healthcare system, especially in rehabilitation. It was inspiring to hear from the leaders in our field who are pushing forward initiatives to increase access to care and physical therapy school admission for black Americans. Near the end of the presentation, panelists suggested areas to focus on for change; education on the issue, education on the history of inequality, understanding individual biases, creating pipelines for increasing diversity and having hard conversations with those who are different than oneself.

As a white American, who has received countless benefits and privileges from my skin color, I learned much from the suggestions from the panelists. One of the first things I wanted to do was educate myself more on the history of systemic racism in the United States. A book called “The Color of Law” was highly recommended by panelists in this event. I learned from this book that black Americans have a deep history of social economic inequities that stem from injustices. One of these injustices was the restriction of home ownership in the 1900s. A mixture of deliberate and intentional laws were created to restrict housing ownership to white Americans. From a financial perspective, owning a piece of property in the United States is one of the best passive ways to develop generational wealth. Without knowing it many white Americans, including my family, have indirectly and directly benefitted financially from laws that segregated home ownership. Coming to understand this financial inequity from a theoretical framework has been beneficial for me in cementing my desire to support further initiatives to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in the both the profession of physical therapy and access to services.


Reflective Statement

Four years ago, I took a big risk to change careers and move to North Carolina. At times it has been difficult to make these changes and uproot my old life, but I cannot be happier that I made the decision. I am proud to say that in a short time period I will be a graduate of the University of North Carolina DPT program. Carolina has challenged me to be a clinician who is equipped to keep up with current research, treat the whole patient, be inquisitive, advocate for others and strive to always have a patient centered mindset. I cannot begin to thank the faculty and staff who have helped me get through these 3 years and mold me into the clinician I am today.

From the first day I started class with my classmates and faculty, I knew that my career outlook was going to be very different. I wanted to work with other people who were striving to make a change in the lives of others and I have found that with this phenomenal group of people. The didactic courses at Carolina have provided me the skills to be a well rounded physical therapist that can treat patients with many different evaluation and treatment strategies. I feel incredibly blessed to have had a well rounded clinical experience, with excellent clinical instructors that have prepared me to treat patients with many conditions and walks of life. I have learned through this experience that I gain an immense amount of satisfaction in treating patients and helping them toward their goals. During these 3 years, I have learned to overcome challenges, celebrate the victories in life and truly embrace the process of growth. Following UNC DPT, I cannot wait to continue learning, growing and developing to be the best person and physical therapist I can be.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Ward, Roosevelt”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 11 Jul 2022 at 1:32 pm

    Nice to see the fruits of your labor. I am glad you have been pleased with the opportunities and learning experiences you have had within the program. I look forward to hearing more about your career as you continue to develop in the coming years. Good luck to you!


  2.   Andrea Joneson 29 Dec 2022 at 1:00 am

    So proud of you, Ross!!! When are you available to help with my realignment and hip strength exercises?? Looking forward to see where you go and how high you reach in your career! Onward and upward, Godspeed brother!


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