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Penn State College of Medicine accepts visiting student applications through VSAS.
This elective is for third- and fourth-year medical students interested in gaining experience in the field of adult and pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation, improving diagnostic skills related to the complications of disability, and improving neurologic and musculoskeletal examination skills.
Medical Student Elective Director: Natasha Romanoski, DO
Education and Residency Program Coordinator: Michelle Osterlund
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
500 University Dr.
P.O. Box 850, MC HP28
Hershey, PA 17033
PMR 730: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation elective
Credit: One elective for medical school
Prerequisite: Successful completion of the second year of medical school
Faculty: Natasha Romanoski, DO, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
When offered: At approximate four-week intervals throughout the academic year
Number of students: Enrollment of four to six students yearly, in individual sessions (elective enrollment limited to two students per session)
Overview: The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation elective provides basic training in PM&R evaluations with a strong focus on neurologic and musculoskeletal rehabilitation. The elective exposes the medical student to the broad field of PM&R including sports injuries, congenital and acquired disabilities, complications of disability, and the restoration and maintenance of function. Time will be spent on the rehabilitation consult service, the inpatient rehabilitation service, and in the various outpatient clinics. The student will be exposed to therapies, medications and procedures typically used in PM&R practice.
Topics: Topics included for this rotation will include the general role of a physiatrist and the staff, the work in the interdisciplinary teams, evaluation of function, description of functional loss, and treatment of physical dysfunction. The rotation can be tailored to some extent depending on the availability of diagnoses that match the students interest.
Objectives: By the end of the four-week elective, the medical student will be able to:
- Describe the role of physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists in the evaluation for patients diagnosed with a variety of conditions, including but not limited to stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, amputations, multi-trauma, cerebral palsy and spina bifida.
- Reproducibly describe and demonstrate the evaluation of function through a comprehensive musculoskeletal and neurological examination as indicated within the musculoskeletal and neurological examination checklist, including the neurologic classification of spinal cord injury.
- Describe the impact of impaired function on health and disease.
- Detail a prescription for treatment of physical dysfunction including therapies, modalities, medications, durable medical equipment and interventional procedures.
- Relate a topic of interest that pertains to Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation to the faculty and staff in a presentation format.
Description: The medical students will participate in PM&R evaluations, care for patients on the inpatient rehabilitation service and management of patients within the outpatient clinics. The elective will allow the student to improve their physical examination and diagnostic skills through clinical observation, practice and feedback provided by the attending physicians. They will participate in team management and team building at various points in the rotation.
The student will be exposed to:
- Physical, occupational and speech language therapies
- Medications specific to stroke, spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury recovery
- Procedures typically used in PM&R practice such as electromyography, Botox type A injections, joint corticosteroid injections, joint aspirations and trigger/tender point injections
- An interactive disability day where students experience life in a wheelchair for one day of the elective
Didactics will be given weekly on core subjects within the PM&R topics of:
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Cerebral palsy
- Spina bifida
Pertinent readings will be provided on the first day of the elective.
PMR 740: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Acting Internship
Description: The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Acting Internship will provide an advanced training in physical medicine and rehabilitation evaluations with a strong focus on neurologic and musculoskeletal rehabilitation.
The course will expose the medical student to the broad field of physical medicine and rehabilitation, including sports injuries, congenital and acquired disabilities, complications of disability, and the restoration and maintenance of function.
Time will be spent on the rehabilitation consult service, the inpatient rehabilitation service, and in the various outpatient clinics.
The student will be involved in managing therapies, medications, and procedures typically used in physical medicine and rehabilitation practice.
PMR 797: Spinal Cord Injury Special Topics Course
Faculty: Natasha Romanoski, DO: Assistant Professor, Assistant Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Program Director
Description: The Spinal Cord Injury Special Topics Course is designed to give the student an in-depth exposure to the field of spinal cord injury medicine. It consists of daily rounds and patient assignment with the SCI attending physician, weekly chair rounds, hands-on exposure to multidisciplinary teaching, therapies and diagnostic tools essential through the SCI continuum of care.
In addition to inpatient and outpatient exposure, the student is expected to complete reading assignments (SCI Consortium Guidelines) and attend lectures on the SCI special topics provided every week, as well as participate in SCI support group activities that month.
Typical hours are weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but may include additional time for participation in Chair Rounds and SCI Support Group activities. By the end of the rotation, the student is expected to complete an academically focused PowerPoint (or equivalent) presentation on an SCI-related topic of their choice. Grading is based on professionalism, participation, knowledge acquisition, and demonstration under both formal and informal conditions.