Apr 20 2017

Schilter, Megan

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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Doctoral Portfolio 2017

Professional Goal Statement

Upon completion of my DPT degree in August of 2017, I hope to begin my career working in an outpatient orthopedic setting. My goal is to become experienced in advanced orthopedic diagnosis and treatments, especially for complicated injuries and direct-access patients with underlying biomechanical dysfunction. With that being said, I also aim to maintain knowledge of recent research in orthopedic rehabilitation, via attendance of conferences, symposiums, and continuing education courses.

As a DPT graduate, I have had the opportunity to work in multiple different settings with many types of patients. Through excellent clinical rotations in outpatient, acute-care, and neuro settings, I developed particular enjoyment in working with complex orthopedic patients and the inpatient neuro setting alike. Recently, I have learned a great deal about a posture-related framework for assessment of various orthopedic conditions, through the instruction of my final clinical instructor. At this beginning point in my career, I do not yet know what niche setting I will “settle into,” but my goal is to maintain knowledge and interest in all possible fields of PT throughout my career, so that my opportunities as a clinician, as well as the treatment of patients, will be optimal.


Career Plan

December 2013: Bachelor of Health and Sport Science, University of Dayton

August 2014: Begin education at UNC-Chapel Hill in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

  • Rotation 1: Triangle Orthopedics, outpatient ortho, 8 weeks
  • Rotation 2: UNC Hospital, acute care, 8 weeks
  • Rotation 3: CarePartners Rehabilitation, inpatient neuro, 8 weeks
  • Rotation 4: Naval Medical Center-Naval Station Oceana, outpatient ortho, 12 weeks

July 2017: Pass National Physical Therapy Board Examination and become licensed in Virginia

August 2017: Doctor of Physical Therapy, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

September 2017: Full-time employment in Outpatient Physical Therapy setting; PRN employment in Inpatient Rehabilitation setting

January 2018 – January 2020: Participation in Continuing Education courses; specifically, interest in advanced biomechanic curriculum offered by Postural Restoration Institute, CSCS, & Great Lakes

September 2018: CSCS certification complete

September 2019: Begin working with students as a Clinical Instructor

September 2020: By this point, increase active participation in my state’s Physical Therapy association and continued role as CI.


Self Assessment


  • Compassionate and concerned for patients as whole persons
  • Professionalism in the workplace and with my peers
  • Highly motivated to provide excellent care through continuing ed & literature review
  • Good communicator
  • Strong documentation skills and efficient time management
  • Open-minded about various frameworks for treatment
  • Improved clinical reasoning with orthopedically complex patients

Areas for Improvement:

  • Understanding of insurance & appropriate billing
  • Efficiency of clinical rationale during initial examination



My special area of interest is currently outpatient orthopedics, but I also have developed a great passion in working with neurologically impaired patients.

  • By July 2017, I will pass the NPTE & begin a job search as a licensed physical therapist in the state of Virginia.
  • By September 2017, I will have a full-time position as a physical therapist in the outpatient setting.
  • By November 2017, I will have a part-time/PRN position as a physical therapist in an inpatient neuro facility.
  • Develop professional contacts and resources for expansion of career opportunity and continuing education in both orthopedics and neuro.


Specific Strategies

  • Reach out to previous employers in the rehabilitation setting; specifically, Pivot Physical Therapy where I worked for 7 months as a tech.
  • Make professional contacts through active membership in the Virginia Physical Therapy Association and American Physical Therapy Association
    • Advocate for our profession in this realm.
  • Enroll in continuing education courses within the first six months of practice in order to continue development of my clinical reasoning and treatment strategies.


Electives & Capstone

  • Advanced Orthopedic Assessment
    • Expanded upon orthopedic treatment concepts & biomechanical factors in injury and treatment
    • Improved my efficiency of clinical reasoning and creating treatment goals
  • Advanced Neuromuscular Intervention
    • Expanded upon neuromuscular conditions covered in our initial neuro coursework
    • Greatly improved my ability to address these patients and utilize evidence-based treatments when forming a plan of care.
  • Capstone: “Physical Therapy Implications for Complications of Breast Cancer Treatment”
    • Explored treatment of patients with history of breast cancer from perspective of an outpatient setting.
    • Gained valuable hands-on experience with a CLT in the outpatient setting
    • Learned about treatment & wrapping techniques beyond what is taught in entry-level courses


Product Examples

  • Advanced Orthopedics: Orthopedic Implications of Breast Cancer Treatment:

Schilter Advanced Orthopedics Breast Cancer MSK

  • Advanced Neuro: Considerations for Ambulatory Use of an Exoskeleton:

Ambulation with an Exoskeleton in the SCI & CVA Populations

  • Program Proposal for Childhood Obesity in the Hampton Roads, VA Area:

Health & Wellness Program Proposal Childhood Obesity

  • Capstone Project: Physical Therapy & Complications of Breast Cancer Treatment:

Capstone: Physical Therapy & Breast Cancer Population


Reflective Statement & Assessment of Progress Toward Goal

Reflecting upon my time at UNC Chapel Hill as a graduate student is incredibly humbling and uplifting. In less than three years’ time, I have grown on both professional and personal levels. I am a more clinically-minded learner who now seeks quality evidence with a critical eye to support treatments, where once I might have just accepted whatever popular protocol or modality was used. I have a strong desire to advocate for our profession as a vital player in both preventative and reactive care models, where once I may not have even considered physical therapy as the appropriate first choice for a variety of health conditions. In short, my perspective on this profession and its bright future has been broadened, and my own role as an advocate for patients and fellow clinicians alike has been affirmed.

Of course, I recognize that the conclusion of my graduate education does not signify the end of my own learning. Physical Therapy as a whole is an evolving profession with room to grow, expand, and reach a broader variety of patient populations than ever before. With that in mind, I hope to actively participate in our profession’s growth through advocacy and continuing education. On both national and statewide levels, I hope to become an involved participant in the APTA and VPTA as legislation, practice guidelines, and professional goals are produced. On a personal and practical level, I have a strong desire to continue learning so that my patients will receive the best, most up-to-date and evidence-driven treatments available. This degree has given us a solid foundation of tools and frameworks through which we view and treat patients. My job as a professional is to continuing seeking and applying the current, best-supported evidence. The spirit of learning is lifelong, and I am so excited to continue my education as a licensed physical therapist throughout the entirety of my career.

It has been an immense privilege to be a student in the Division of Physical Therapy at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. I will never forget the snowy day in Wisconsin when I received an acceptance letter to this program, the top on my list of several contenders, and I will always remember the elated anticipation to begin my professional education with such an excellent school. After hundreds of hours of class-time, study, literature review, and, most importantly, direct patient care, I can safely say that the expectations I held for this degree program have been exceeded tenfold. I am incredibly thankful to the supportive professors, clinical instructors, friends, and various other “cheerleaders” who have helped me reach this point.

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