Feb 29 2024

Phinizy, Tyler

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Professional Goal Statement

After obtaining my DPT this July and subsequent licensure, I plan to work in the outpatient orthopedic setting in North Carolina. My clinical experiences, course work, and interests have led me to pursue this setting. I intend to provide high quality, patient-centered care that is rooted in evidence, and enable individuals to maximize their physical function and lead healthier lifestyles. My approach to patient care will be largely collaborative – one that is considerate of each patient’s unique needs, goals, interests, and enabling of their participation in the decision-making process.

Career Plan

Undergraduate Education

  • Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology, East Carolina University – May 2021

Clinical Experience

  • UNC Hospitals, Chapel Hill, NC – acute hospital (8 weeks)
  • UNC Therapy Services, Cary, NC – outpatient orthopedic (8 weeks)
  • UNC Nash, Bryant T. Aldridge Rehabilitation Center, Rocky Mount, NC – acute inpatient rehab (8 weeks)
  • Bull City Physical Therapy, Durham, NC – outpatient orthopedic (12 weeks)


  • Graduate with DPT in July 2024
  • Pass the NPTE in July 2024
  • Work in an outpatient orthopedic clinic in NC; seek out early mentorship from one or more experienced clinicians to enhance transition to full time clinical practice
  • Obtain dry needling certification
  • Consider pursuing board certification as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS)
  • Consider becoming a clinical instructor after 2-3 years of practice



  • Accountability
  • Patient centered care, rapport building
  • Openness to feedback and different perspectives
  • Desire to learn and provide evidence-based care

Areas for Professional Development:

  • Profession advocacy; involvement in the APTA
  • Advance understanding of insurance and reimbursement policies
  • Clinical reasoning

Strategies to Achieve Professional Goals


  • PHYT 874 Topics in Sports Physical Therapy
  • PHYT 875 Advanced Orthopedic Assessment and Intervention
  • PHYT 885 Advanced Neuromuscular Intervention

Work experience during PT school:

  • Graduate Research Assistant – Division of Physical Therapy, UNC-CH
    • Helped with recruitment for a study conducted by Chris Lane focused on exploring treatment selection following ACL injury
  • Front Office Staff – University Physical Therapy, Hillsborough, NC
    • Gained experience in managing patient appointments and handling billing/insurance queries

Completion of clinical experiences that provide exposure to different settings and patient populations to narrow interests

Completion of Capstone Project that aligns with professional interests

Diversity and Interprofessionalism

I had the opportunity to participate in some Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) courses provided by the UNC School of Medicine. I elaborated upon my implicit bias awareness with other professionals and discussed strategies to minimize the influence of bias. I will always strive to provide the same level of care to all my patients and advocate for our profession to be representative of these values. These courses have inspired me to further diversify my personal and professional relationships, spread the word about physical therapy to underrepresented students, and better exhibit cultural humility in practice. Developing good patient rapport is such a large part of PT, and I feel confident in my ability to do so.

My interactions with other disciplines, such as SLP and OT, have further emphasized the importance of a collaborative rehab approach. I had the opportunity to put this into practice on my inpatient rehab rotation, working closely with rehab disciplines but also nursing and medical providers. Weekly team rounds provided me the opportunity to represent the PT perspective in determining further patient care needs and discharge decisions.

I was able to help interview the next UNC DPT class this past year, and had the chance to talk with some great individuals that one day could represent the profession in a positive way.


Capstone Project – “Loading Approach for Patellar Tendinopathy: An Overview of Current Evidence”

  • Presentation with clinic handout delivered to PT students and faculty

Inservice Presentation – “Effective Dosing of Physical Therapy Interventions for Patients with Deconditioning in the Inpatient Rehabilitation Setting”

  • Presentation delivered to the rehab therapies team at Bryant T. Aldridge Rehabilitation Center, Nash UNC Health Care

Reflective Statement

I am proud of how far I have advanced both personally and professionally since beginning the DPT program at UNC. The numerous hours spent studying, completing projects, practicing clinical skills, and working with patients have all been worthwhile in shaping me as a clinician. While I had previously thought most answers to clinical questions to be black and white, I got used to hearing “it depends.” Now more than ever, as I complete my final clinical rotation, I understand this to be true. Individualized care cannot follow a “one size fits all” approach for managing a particular condition or impairment. I continue to grow more comfortable navigating these gray areas, and I look forward to becoming a better clinician each day. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from expert faculty as well as my talented classmates — I know you will all do great things in the future. I appreciate the value UNC places on evidence-based practice and fostering a commitment to lifelong learning so that we may strive to always provide high quality patient care.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Phinizy, Tyler”

  1.   KMacon 30 May 2024 at 12:51 pm

    Glad to heat that you’re gaining comfort with the gray that is much of PT practice, Tyler….you are thoughtful and careful in your work and i’m sure will put that to good use in your ortho practice!!!


  2.   Lisa Johnstonon 03 Jun 2024 at 1:19 pm

    Tyler- Congrats on all you have learned and accomplished over the past 3 short years. You have much to be proud of. Good luck to you in the next chapter. You will be great! Lisa


  3.   Jennifer Cookeon 13 Jun 2024 at 9:56 am

    Tyler – it has been great getting to know you in the classroom, through clinicals and even at our faculty practice. I personally appreciate your help and willingness to learn at our practice! You have a great path laid out ahead of you and I look forward to watching it take shape!


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