Tell us a little about your experience in the RSD program.
At the conclusion of my clinical doctorate (DPT), I had the opportunity to enter directly into the Rehabilitation Science Ph.D. program under the mentorship of Dr. Mark Bishop. In the seven years from starting and completing my DPT, MPH and PhD at the University of Florida, I served as a research coordinator for multiple grants funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIAMS, NCMMR and NCCAM) and the University of Florida (Internal funding) under Dr. Mark Bishop and Dr. Joel Bialosky. The areas of research for these grants were investigating low back pain from mechanistic and interventional perspectives and examining how psychological, biopsychosocial and physiological factors change in response to a manual therapy intervention in the presence of acute low back pain. I have coauthored work from these grants that have been published in multiple journals such as Journal of Pain, Journal of Pain Research, and Spine Journal (cite).
This research experience was invaluable and above what my doctoral cohort have had the opportunity to experience at the same stage in their career and provided me with the tools and practical experience to successfully manage my future research career. I immersed myself in additional public health courses addressing statistical analysis, policy and 1,2 and 3. I used this training in analyzing my dissertation in patients with spine problems (neck). We found that X Y Z, but what was less understood was how the patterns of care (who and when) affect outcomes and how this related to downstream costs. These unanswered questions were the foundation for my post-doctoral proposal.
What types of jobs or activities have you engaged in since graduation? And how does the training in the RSD program contribute to those activities?
I am currently an assistant professor in the doctor of physical therapy program in the department of orthopaedic surgery at Duke where I teach gross anatomy. Additionally, I’m the Co-Principle Investigator of an award funded by the Duke Research Scholars Program, a collaboration between Duke SCORES and Duke MSK.I am also the director or Comprehensive Outcomes in Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Data System (COORDS). The mission of COORDS is to create a learning health system supported by a data infrastructure to optimize patient-centered, data-driven and valued-based clinical decision making. My primary role is to manage the department’s datamart as well as partnering with faculty and division leadership to facilitate data-driven initiatives.