kabooya

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Mar 18, 2013
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I recently bought the PM&R pocketpedia to prepare for 4th year PM&R rotations and started reading the chapter on gait. I'm generally interested in most things in medicine, but I really struggled to get through that chapter. Is it just me that finds gait to be so incredibly boring? It actually made me a bit concerned that I really hated a topic that important to the field of PM&R. Are a lot of you guys who are in the field genuinely interested in that topic, or is it more something you just put up with? Just wondering. Thanks
 
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j4pac

Prior Flight Surgeon PM&R attending guy
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Gait is something, like EMG, that you learn best by doing. I'm pretty sure that 95+% of people feel that reading on gait is AWFUL. I forced my way through the Braddom chapter and boy it was a challenge. Just have a basic working knowledge of gait to serve as a background...and it'll be much easier to digest once you are actually seeing patients. I feel like EMG is the same way. I love EMG...but reading about it is just awful unless I have a clinical context to tie it to.
 

kabooya

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Ah I see. That makes me feel better. Thanks! The prosthetics chapter was also kind of rough too. I'm worried I may not be into msk as I initially thought.
 

j4pac

Prior Flight Surgeon PM&R attending guy
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Ah I see. That makes me feel better. Thanks! The prosthetics chapter was also kind of rough too. I'm worried I may not be into msk as I initially thought.

Prosthetics is also a chapter that is rough while reading. I had time to read before starting residency...and gait and amputee were kind of pointless to read ahead of time. You typically don't get a amputee rotation until your PGY-3 year, so everything I read I'm sure I will have forgotten by the time the actual rotation comes around. Gait is something that you will read a dozen times during your residency...and even then it still probably won't stick. If it does stick it will probably be because of interactions with patients. What I did believe helped as a review of anatomy and neuroanatomy. I also read SCI and brain and related chapters, which I felt helped me pick things up a bit faster once I was on the wards. As a MS-4...you'd impress me by knowing anatomy more than anything else. Everything else, you will learn on your rotations.

The good thing about PM&R is that it's ok to not enjoy a particular facet of the specialty because there is so many ways to gain employment. If you hate inpatient...that's fine. If you hate amputee...that's fine. I think that you should probably have a general interest in the musculoskeletal system and trying to find ways to improve patient's with neuromuscular ailments quality of life...that's probably enough to find something within PM&R that you like. But definitely try to get as much exposure to the profession (both inpatient and outpatient) as possible before making your decision. PM&R has a pretty high burn out rate and I think that the two big reasons are the types of patients (psychosocial issues) you see and many PM&R docs getting into the profession liking the "idea" of PM&R much more than actually doing the work.
 
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