Apr 20 2017

Raiti, Cristina

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Professional Goal Statement

I intend on practicing evidence-based Physical Therapy in the state of North Carolina after earning my Doctorate in Physical Therapy in August 2017.  I plan on starting to work in an in-patient facility working with a neuromuscular population at a large teaching facility.  With additional time working with a neuromuscular  population, I plan to study on my own and become a Neurologic Certified Specialist to allow me to increase the amount of tools in my treatment “toolbox” to provide my patients with the best evidence-based care, and further me as a clinician.

I want to make an impact on the patients I am treating as well as on the current challenges that there are in neuromuscular rehabilitation.   I hope to better the physical therapy profession as a whole and be a mentor to aspiring physical therapists. I plan to continue to give back to the community through working with various organizations that strive to improve the health and wellness of the individuals of North Carolina.

Career Plan

  • May 2014: Graduate from the University of North Carolina with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology and a Minor in Human Development*
  • August 2017: Graduate from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy
  • August – October 2017: Search for a job in a large in-patient setting, or acute care.
  • October 2017: Pass the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy Examination
  • October 2017- 2020: Develop my skills as a practicing clinician and get involved in various organizations promoting wellness in the community.
  • August 2020: Explore residency interests
  • January 2022: Complete additional clinical specialty training (NCS)
  • January 2023 and beyond: Become a mentor to other aspiring physical therapists and continue with community service and developing my skills.

* = Completed



  • An extensive variety of clinical experience with various populations including: General acute care and ICU in a small rural hospital, outpatient orthopedics at WakeMed, neuromuscular in-patient rehabilitation at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Surgical and Cardiac ICU at the Durham VA
  • Strong communication skills with patient and co-workers
  • Flexible and open-minded
  • New graduate with newest evidence-based education and knowledge
  • Optimistic and motivated about a career in physical therapy
  • Developed positive relationships with my CI’s in Wilmington and the Triangle.

Areas for Further Development:

  • Experience with billing and reimbursement policies
  • Seeking opportunities to advance teaching and management skills
  • Performing self-assessments

Areas of Interest

  • Neuromuscular Rehabilitation
  • Cardiopulmonary focus in acute care setting
  • Outpatient Orthopedics


  1. Prepare and pass the National Physical Therapy Exam in October 2017.
  2. Attain a job in the Research Triangle area at an in-patient facility with access to mentorship to further my learning as a new therapist.
  3. Pursue continuing education in relation to neurology and/or developed a new passion through my experiences.
  4. Participate in health and wellness organizations to give back to my community.
  5. Develop clinical teaching skills to be an effective clinical instructor to aspiring physical therapists.

Specific Strategies

  1. Develop a plan for studying for the board exam throughout 3rd year and become even more vigilant for the months leading up to the board exam.
  2. Participate in 3 electives during 3rdyear of DPT school that will develop my skills in areas of interest.
  3. Identify mentors who could guide me through the process of job applications and provide me with opportunities to further develop and isolate my interests.
  4. Continuously develop my resume, contacts, and network with possible future employers throughout 3rd year and during my career.
  5. Use various organizations, such as the APTA, to build a network of colleagues to allow for the exploration of the many opportunities physical therapy has to offer.

Capstone Project

For my capstone, I decided to share the project I worked on during my research elective in the 2016 fall semester.  I utilized this research experience to further explore my interest in working with individuals with neurological disorders, specifically those who are post-stroke.  I worked with Dr. Michael Lewek, PT, PhD and my peer, Amanda Doty, to determine the capacity of the paretic limb during walking and to see if we could tap into the reserve capacity of the paretic limb to increase propulsive force. This was a single-session study that involved healthy, unimpaired participants as well as individuals who are post-stroke walking on a treadmill at their comfortable treadmill speed with a posterior pull-force applied to their center of mass for about 20 seconds at 0-10% of the participants’ body weight in 2.5% increments.  My Capstone Project was compiled of my abstract, which was selected for a poster presentation at the UNC’s Human Movement Science and Biomechanics Research Symposium in March 2017 and a completed Introduction and Methods section of a future manscript that I plan on completing later this year.

Coursework & Product Examples

  • Advanced Orthopedics (3 credits): This course allowed me to expand my knowledge in orthopedics and filled in the holes and remaining questions I had about this area of practice.  I used my interests and new knowledge learned in the class to create a final paper.
  • Research Elective (3 credits): I studied the effects of a posterior pull-force at the center of mass during treadmill walking on individuals who are post-stroke. During this time, I also began expanding my knowledge on the current literature by focusing on my critically appraised topic.
  • Integrated Clinical Experience (1 credit): I was able to practice and expand my knowledge in an outpatient setting working with Dr. Michael Gross, PT, PhD, FAPTA  examining and evaluating patients who require customize orthotics.

Reflective Statement

As I reflect on my experience in this Doctorate of Physical Therapy program I am amazed at how my interests in the profession has changed.  I have explored various avenues in physical therapy, and have been pleasantly surprised in my growing thirst for knowledge in all of these areas. My interest in physical therapy began with my exposure to outpatient orthopedics and through course work as well as clinical affiliations I have found that my passion for physical therapy goes beyond one setting and that I find myself interested in pursuing a career in neuromuscular rehabilitation and potentially cardiopulmonary acute care. I am grateful for finding a profession that allows me to expand my knowledge in different areas and have experience in various settings.

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