International PM&R

pirate

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I was thinking past match and residency (crazy, I know) and wondering about opportunities for traveling and doing international rehab. Maybe I'm jealous of the plastic surgeons fixing cleft palates and the ID guys treating HIV, etc. PM&R doesn't strike me as being really conducive to this (bringing in therapists for weeks of rehab, boatloads of prosthetics/orthotics, etc). But when I'm an attending, I'd love to be able to take a trip every year and do this kind of stuff. Anyone know anything about opportunities in this arena?
 
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MSKalltheway

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Excellent post. I was actually wondering about this myself. I wouldn't be surprised if after residency, my girl made me pack everything up and practice in another country for a year or few. Not that I'd mind, so long as I could find work and have money to eat :D
 

axm397

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Excellent post. I was actually wondering about this myself. I wouldn't be surprised if after residency, my girl made me pack everything up and practice in another country for a year or few. Not that I'd mind, so long as I could find work and have money to eat :D

Seems that you guys are asking two different questions - one about VOLUNTEERING internationally as a Physiatrist and another about working in another country as a Physiatrist. Both depends on which area of the world you are looking to go to - working in another country can be more difficult - especially if that country does not accept JUST a US medical license to practice there.

Different countries have different ways of practicing rehab.
I was talking to a Physiatrist who was invited to Japan to give a lecture. There, Orthopedic Surgeons practice rehab - the Physiatrist was asked surgical questions about the best approach to pediatric spine, etc. Cultural differences also influence medical practice. He said that the Japanese doctors were very concerned about leaving a scar on a female pediatric patient after spinal surgery so they used a more tedious and time consuming laporascopic abdominal approach just so she wouldn't have a scar on her back. So need to consider those factors as well.

In terms of making money abroad, that's probably more difficult unless you are getting paid by an American non-profit organization.

Check this website out for resources: http://www.isprm.org/resources/
 
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TUCOMSam

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I was thinking past match and residency (crazy, I know) and wondering about opportunities for traveling and doing international rehab. Maybe I'm jealous of the plastic surgeons fixing cleft palates and the ID guys treating HIV, etc. PM&R doesn't strike me as being really conducive to this (bringing in therapists for weeks of rehab, boatloads of prosthetics/orthotics, etc). But when I'm an attending, I'd love to be able to take a trip every year and do this kind of stuff. Anyone know anything about opportunities in this arena?


Dr. Buschbacher at Indiana (PD) travels abroad every year either to France or Malaysia I believe. His residents also get financial help to do the same if they so choose.
 

nvrsumr

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At UM we have a project to start a rehab hospital in Ghana. Several of our residents have gone over already and a big group of med students are going over with 2 of our attendings this summer. In fact we have a fund raiser through the department this Friday.
 

caedmon

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Several residents from our institution have done international electives. One went to Africa (I've forgotten exactly where). It seemed to be a really cool experience, and I'm sure with other small hospitals throughout that country physiatrists could be of tremendous help. This hospital was a small country hospital originally established as a haven for patients with leprosy, and many that reside there still have the disease. Essentially, nursing assistants run the hospitals under supervision of a family doc. They had little to no knowledge of rehabilitation practices. They actually had an prosthetist who fashioned his own prostetics out of wood. This resident worked with the staff to develop a basic understanding of rehabilitation principles and helped them tremendously.
I'm sure there are plenty of opportunities out there where hospitals have not even the slightest understanding of physiatric therapies and could use our help.
 
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