SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

Did you know right away?

Discussion in 'PM&R' started by Rogerswife, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. Rogerswife

    Rogerswife 2+ Year Member

    Feb 7, 2007
    Ontario, CA
    Hi everybody. I just wanted to pose a quick question to you guys who are in PM&R. When did you guys know that you wanted to go into PM&R? I'm wondering because I had never heard about it before I got onto SDN :oops: , but the more I learn about what PM&R is the more I'm interested. I'm just curious if this is a field where most people decided it's what they wanted before they even went to med school, or if most people decided to go into after rotations. Also, would it be helpful to shadow a physiatrist before I start school (I start at Western-COMP this fall), or should I just wait until rotations come around? Thanks for your advice!
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. drusso

    drusso Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Nov 21, 1998
    Over the rainbow
    I knew about the field before I applied to medical school, but didn't commit until after having done some rotations in it. I would suggest the same for you. Having said that, there are also some summer externship programs available in some PM&R departments and rehab hospitals for medical students. You can also arrange experiences through NIH. These would be excellent experiences to have in your 1st and 2nd years if you want to more in depth exposure to the specialty.
  4. Rogerswife

    Rogerswife 2+ Year Member

    Feb 7, 2007
    Ontario, CA
    This may be a dumb question, but are most of you who are in/going into PM&R the athletic type? I'm very interested in fitness & exercise regularly, but I'm definitely not what I would consider to be an athlete, as in it's just not very natural for me.
  5. oreosandsake

    oreosandsake 10+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    I'm going to RIC this summer! I didn't know that there were other summer PM&R programs, could you enlighten me on where these are located?

    thank you :)
  6. rehab_sports_dr

    rehab_sports_dr Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 21, 2004
    I went into medical school thinking I was going to be an orthopedist. I first learned about PM+R when I was a first year from a classmate who had been a PT prior to medical school. By the end of my first year, I knew I wanted to be a physiatrist.
  7. freddydpt

    freddydpt Physician 10+ Year Member

    Apr 1, 2004
    That seemed to skip a few steps. Could you elaborate why you switched?
  8. SCIronMike

    SCIronMike Member Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jul 22, 2002
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I didn't learn about PM&R until the beginning of my fourth year of med school. I went down to UCI and met the assistant program director at the time (he's now the program director). He sat down and discussed the field with me. He encouraged me to do a rotation. I rotated........ loved the field and loved the program at UCI. Applied and got into UCI.
  9. jonnylingo

    jonnylingo Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 7, 2006
    I didn't learn about PM&R until late 3rd year. We've got a great program here in Utah, but not much connection between students and dept. I'm the only one going into PM&R in my class of 100 (no doubt because of ignorance, not because of lack of interest), and I just happened to find out about it through an intern going into PM&R. Do not wait until a rotation comes around. Call some rehab/sports med docs in your community and get with them. I just googled PM&R or physiatrist and Salt Lake City and started calling contacts, asking if I could shadow for a half day. After following three, I had enough of an idea what they did and decided to pursue if further. Best decision I ever made. Bottom line, get on it now so you can get going on research and volunteer stuff. Good luck, PM with questions.
  10. rehab_sports_dr

    rehab_sports_dr Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 21, 2004
    Sure. I had torn my PCL in a triathlon training injury. While I was rehabbing, I spent a lot of time asking my therapists why they used the particular rehab protocols that they did. I realized many of them were arbitrary and not based on evidence.

    As I continued to pursue the rehabilitation of sports injuries, I met my friend who was a PT and steered me into PM+R. As I read the PM+R literature, I realized that their focus on improving function was more consistent with my interests, as opposed to the orthopedic approach (which, while it did care about function, was most focused on indications for surgery and choosing the appropriate surgical approach).

    Once I made the decision to pursue PM+R, I never looked back. I was in a combined MD/PhD program, so I spent 6 years from the time I decided to into PM+R and when I actually matched. This was great for me, because for most of my med school career, I was always able to think about things in terms of how it would impact PM+R.
  11. OMMFellow06

    OMMFellow06 PM&R Resident 10+ Year Member

    Apr 12, 2003
    The 1st 2 years of medical school I wanted to go into Family Practice. I also got very interested in OMM. Luckily I did my FP rotation early on and knew that it wasn't what I wanted to do. I talked to some of my friends that were going into PM&R and they told me to take a serious look into PM&R b/c they knew of my interest in OMM(as you can see by my name I was an OMM Fellow) and the MSK system. Of course my question to them was, what the heck did you do as a PM&R doctor? They then went on to the difficult task of explaining PM&R to me. And then I kept on saying but "what did you DO?" The answer that I wanted was how much hands on treatment did you do and they told me that you didn't do much of the hands on treatment, but you did do alot of hands on diagnosis. I wasn't satisfied, I was and am still big on hands on treatment so I kept it in the back of my mind. My third year went on and I was still confused. I met some of those friends again who continued to try to convince me and I continued to ask the same questions. I finally started researching it some more and talking to even more people. I can't say that I did an externship or even shadowed someone, but one of the attendings in the OMM dept was in it and she was also an OMM fellow during medical school. Talked to her some and decided that it was likely the field that I wanted to go into. I ended up doing 3 PM&R electives that confirmed how much I thought I would like it. Applied and I'll be starting at UT/Baylor in a few months! Definitely excited.

    Now I'm not saying that OMM/MSK is my only interest. It is only what got me interested in PM&R. I found out how much I liked the whole approach to getting a patient better as well as how much I liked TBI.

    There are so many reasons for people going into PM&R, it is such a BROAD field that in the end has the same reason for doing what we do, improving a patients day to day functioning. Hopefully for all of you looking into the field, you'll find what your interest is. Good luck and if you anyone has any questions feel free to ask.
  12. thewza

    thewza 10+ Year Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    I was very lucky. I found a great mentor during my 1st year of med school. A physiatrist taught some of the anatomy lectures. He was dynamic. I had to meet him. I didn't know what PM&R was at the time. I hunted him down. He took me under his wing and showed me what this field is all about. I was pretty much sold from my first year. More rotations just solidified my decision.
  13. melancholy

    melancholy 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 19, 2000
    Hi there,
    As a graduate from COMP, it took talking to osteopathic teaching fellows to actually learn about the field of PM&R. I don't recall having any exposure to it at all during my first two years of school. We really don't have much of a PM&R presence/awareness at our school which is a shame. I would agree with all the above statements regarding trying to get early exposure due to this lack of exposure.

    As far as possible places to shadow around the LA/OC/SB area, I would suggest looking at places like Casa Colina (just up Garey Ave.), Rancho Los Amigos (in Downey), places that have residency programs such as UCI, Loma Linda, and UCLA-GLAVA. There are very few physiatrists on our private preceptor list which you can try to contact. I would also look into the Kaiser system which does employ physiatrists as well.

    I know of a few efforts at our school to try and start a PM&R awareness club and one of our former graduates who will be finishing his PM&R residency at UC-Davis may start teaching at our school which would provide opportunities to boost awareness on our campus.

    Please feel free to PM me if you have any more questions or have any interest in helping out at school with the new organization (I believe Dr. Foley is currently the faculty advisor).
  14. caedmon

    caedmon Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    My school did not have a PM&R program and really had only two physiatrists at the entire hospital, one pediatric and the other who worked in the neurosurgery department.

    Prior to medical school I thought I wanted to do orthopedics and shadowed several surgeons and did some research too. One of the orthopods I shadowed graduated with some friends that went into physiatry and he said they were happy, and that if I liked orthopedics, but didn't really like the hours or OR, I should consider it. So I did. Found out a lot about the field here on SDN and pursued audition rotations. My first audition rotation was great. I actually got to do 15-20 EMG's, some EMG guided Botox injections, MSK medicine and general inpatient. I loved the variety.

    During medical school I really liked neurology, orthopedics and radiology as well. In the end, it came down to PM&R vs. Rads. I thought I would be miserable in a dark room all day and reading endless films. Also, I like the fact that in PM&R you can use images as a tool. Ultrasonography is becoming huge, and there is interventional practice using images for guidance, as well as reviewing images for a lot of commonly treated physiatric problems. And, unlike rads, you have the opportunity to see patients regularly.

    Just my 2 cents

Share This Page