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I learned about PM&R just few days ago literally. I feel as if I have finally met my true specialty. I am very excited and grateful to have found this perfect specialty for me.

Until few days ago the specialty I've been aiming for was Neurology. Nervous system is my primary interest and passion. More specifically how the NS controls and effects the rest of the body. My worry with Neurology was its lack of much treatment and procedures. I am as cerebral as hand-on type. PM&R seems to deal with not just NS but its function on muscles in terms of movement and general recovery of the full body. Plus, there is much more procedures and patient satisfaction.

I will certainly look for a practicing physiatrist in our school. Meanwhile, if you could give me your experienced view on my switch of interest from Neurology to PM&R, it would be greatly appreciated.
 

PMR 4 MSK

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PM&R is functional-based. I.e. what can't the patient do? How can we improve that? We deal with impairments, disabilities and pain. We focus on the whole body and mind.

Neurology is more anatomical and specific-condion based. They diagnose and treat, mostly with meds and/or PT. They are phenominal diagnosticians. There are not as many procedures as in PM&R. Their field is much more recognized and defined than PM&R.

Make sure you try out both the inpt and outpt aspects of PM&R to make sure its what you like. Many residencies tend to be heavily inpt, while private practice is moving more toward outpt.
 

Believe2008

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I am in exactly the same boat! Since my neuroanatomy coarse I have been deadset on neurology but recently have become more interested in PM&R. Please let me know if you find out anything interesting:)
 
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drusso

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Contemplate on this question like a Zen Koan and your specialty decision will come to you clearly:

"Do you like taking care of patients who fall down and shake?"
 

Llenroc

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Neurologists are creepy people, all obsessed with looking at squishy brains all day.
 

phoenix0610

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Contemplate on this question like a Zen Koan and your specialty decision will come to you clearly:

"Do you like taking care of patients who fall down and shake?"
This is SO true. Seizure clinic killed me, as did headache clinic. Cognitive/neurodegenerative diseases didn't do as much for me as I thought they would. I've always had an affinity for the spinal cord, NMJ, movement disorders. Plus I loved MSK/sports medicine way more than I ever though I would--made my decision pretty clear.
 

HarveyCushing

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This is SO true. Seizure clinic killed me, as did headache clinic. Cognitive/neurodegenerative diseases didn't do as much for me as I thought they would. I've always had an affinity for the spinal cord, NMJ, movement disorders. Plus I loved MSK/sports medicine way more than I ever though I would--made my decision pretty clear.
As a MSII I am also interested in neuro and PM&R. I have been trying to get some shadowing in of the two specialties during my free time. However I assume that I won't get a clear understanding of the two until next year, right?
 

phoenix0610

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As a MSII I am also interested in neuro and PM&R. I have been trying to get some shadowing in of the two specialties during my free time. However I assume that I won't get a clear understanding of the two until next year, right?
For sure. I pretty much knew I wanted to do PM&R before I started clinics but I wanted to be receptive to everything and learn to become a good physician above all things. I've always loved geriatrics, but too much of IM gets on my nerves...fell in love with heme-onc...for about a month, again thinking of IM residency just makes me cry. I like IM, in small doses--so PM&R was just right for that. More than anything you find out what you don't like during clerkships--just be open to the process.
 

HarveyCushing

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For sure. I pretty much knew I wanted to do PM&R before I started clinics but I wanted to be receptive to everything and learn to become a good physician above all things. I've always loved geriatrics, but too much of IM gets on my nerves...fell in love with heme-onc...for about a month, again thinking of IM residency just makes me cry. I like IM, in small doses--so PM&R was just right for that. More than anything you find out what you don't like during clerkships--just be open to the process.
For a 3rd year elective in PM&R, would you recommend primarily in-patient? Out-patient? Or do half and half if possible? What is the best method?
 

SportsMed09

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Definitely mixed. Even if you want to pursue an outpatient life (as most people do nowadays), it pays to show that you have a broad exposure to PM&R, since alot of people interviewing you are inpatient practitioners. And if you discover that you want to pursue inpatient, then I don't think anyone will stand in your way.
 

topwise

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I was going between neuro and PM&R in med school and obviously, I picked PM&R. I think it was the right decision.

Reasons why neuro might have been better:
--More clearly defined field that everyone has heard of
--More jobs available
--Easier to get into certain fellowships that I have an interest in

Reasons why I'm glad I picked PM&R:
--I love procedures and PM&R has way many
--More opportunity to help people and actually observe them getting better
--I hate headaches
--For EMGs, I think you get a much better understanding of the peripheral nervous system and msk system from the PM&R route. I can't tell you how many EMG patients actually had msk problems that I would never have been able to diagnosis without my PM&R training.
--I discovered that I love msk.. surprise!
--Residency is easier, fewer emergencies
 
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