Type of PM&R electives

Discussion in 'PM&R' started by hk2005, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. hk2005

    hk2005 Junior Member

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    This is my first post to the board although I've enjoyed reading the posts over the last year or so. I'm excited about a future in PM&R. Anyway I'm planning my M4 year now and my question is about away rotations. It sounds like most people reccommend doing 2 or 3 electives at places where you might want to go or at least interview. Do people usually do all just general PM&R rotations or like one basic one and a couple of SCI or peds or something else? It seems like it might be overkill to do more than one general rotation but on the other hand it also seems like it might be good to get a feeling for the entire program by having a variety of experiences. Any thoughts?

    Thanks!
     
  2. axm397

    axm397 SDN Moderator
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    I did a general rotation (4wks of spending days doing TBI, P&O, EMG, Ortho, Wheelchair, Nursing Home, pain, and acupuncture) and then a specific rotation (2wks TBI, 2wks SCI). I think the general one gave me a great overview of the field - and I was able to have a good interview with any interviewer in PM&R because of my exposure to almost all the aspects of PM&R. The specific ones helped - because it allowed me to get to know attendings well enough to get LORs out of them. If you know that a program is strong in a sub-field, it may be worth it to do a 2wk elective in that aspect - but also try to balance it out by rotating through other sub-fields. If you already have a specific interest, it may be of value to pursue an elective in that and perhaps do some research related to that interest. I think though, that many PDs look for compatibility of the applicant with the field and the more broad an exposure you have, the better you look.

    If you only had exposure/experience in one sub-field, say, Sports, how would the PD know if you can function as an effective resident during in-patient rehab rotations? Many of the residents who were unhappy/burnt out at their programs found out during their residency that they hated a certain aspect of the field. God forbid, it's one of the longer required rotations (ACGME), you're going to be one unhappy resident for those months. I think by showing them an understanding of what you are getting yourself into, you are showing a level of maturity and sophistication instead of a superficial desire to go into an easy-lifestyle field.
     
  3. Finally M3

    Finally M3 Senior Member
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    I would rather go for the one general, one or two specialized electives. Try to do the electives at places that you could see yourself applying to and use that time as a 'tryout' for the program.

    Good luck! :clap:
     
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  4. drvlad2004

    drvlad2004 Senior Member
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    I would 1 general PM&R rotation that includes both inpatient and outpatient. Try to get a little exposure in as many specialties in PM&R as you can (i.e. stroke, SCI, TBI, sports, P&O, msk, and even acupuncture) Although very few people are interested in inpatient PM&R, you still have to be competent in this area. For the other 1 or 2 electives, you can do a couple weeks of SCI, TBI, stroke, interventional spine, etc. On interviews, most attendings/residents really liked that I got exposure to TBI, stroke, SCI, outpatient msk, etc.
     
  5. spinaldoc

    spinaldoc Member
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    drvlad2004, could you shed some light on how long the residency will be PM&R. thank you
     
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  6. axm397

    axm397 SDN Moderator
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    PM&R is 4 yrs total. Either 4yrs categorical (stay at one program for 4 yrs) or 1 yr prelim/transitional then 3 yrs PM&R.
     
  7. DrGucciGal

    DrGucciGal Junior Member
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    as far as electives, do most programs that you apply to like for you to do PMR-type electives at their program or do they like for you to just have good letters from other places? I have heard that for some programs that is not necessary to rotate through their program and some might even look down upon it. For those that have matched, do you think that rotating through your eventual match place helped you to land the spot?

    Thanks
     
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  8. axm397

    axm397 SDN Moderator
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    I didn't rotate at the place I matched. However, I have never heard of PDs frowning upon rotating at their program. PM&R is a field which emphasizes lots of teamwork with other allied health professionals and PM&R docs, so I would think PDs would like to see how you get along with others at the program. If you typically don't do well with getting good evals, it may be better not to rotate at your top choices. However, as PM&R gets more competitive, I was asked more than once by PDs why I did not rotate there. Even paying a program a visit - a day or two can count in your favor if you don't want to spend a whole month.
     

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