The Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Residency Program at Upstate Medical University is a 3-year advanced program (PGY2-PGY4) of progressive education and responsibility. We also offer a 4-year program through the Match that includes a PGY1 preliminary medicine year with our Upstate Internal Medicine Residency Program. Six preliminary medicine positions are available for individuals matching with our Advanced Match positions. We have 6 residents each year for a total complement of 18.
We provide a range of clinical experience based on faculty practice that collectively spans the scope of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Besides American Board of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (ABPMR) general certification, faculty are ABPMR subspecialty certified in Pain Medicine, Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, Brain Injury Medicine, and Spinal Cord Injury Medicine and certified through the American Board of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine. Resident educational opportunities are further enhanced through the availability of up to 5 elective months for rotation in areas such as Orthopedics, Sports Medicine, Pain Medicine, Rheumatology, Radiology, Anatomy, Neurology, and Neurosurgery. We engage with other training programs and share resources in our individual areas of excellence. For example, our program periodically opens our regular EMG course to residents in other programs, and our residents, in turn, enroll in other courses, such as orthotics and prosthetics, offered at nearby institutions.
Residents participate in medical student education and the scheduled residency didactic program. The scheduled program consists of 4 one-hour dedicated times/week. Educational programs and workshops are scheduled on the Upstate main campus or the VA, with availability of Upstate didactics through videoconferencing for residents off-site. Workshops on ultrasound and electrodiagnostic techniques, and anatomy review with dissection are scheduled within the education program. Residents participate in developing and leading some sessions, usually related to board review activities. They are supported in developing abstracts for submissions to national meetings, and attending meetings with acceptance. At present, the department funds PGY3 residents’ attendance at national board review courses. PGY4 residents routinely attend the American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Annual Assembly.
We have faculty active on national boards, national disability related organizations, journal editorial boards, National Institutes for Health, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. We have ongoing research programs in the areas of health and disability, integrating disability into medical education, neurophysiology, spinal cord injury and electrical stimulation, concussion outcomes, and quality improvement. The program possesses all the elements for excellent training. An indication of our commitment to educational excellence is our long-standing policy of operating some services uncovered by residents, in order to ensure that assignments provide definable educational value. This creates an environment in which the resident has both appropriate clinical experiences and the time necessary for academic study, reflection, and hands-on experience with allied health staff. Our expectation is that at completion of the residency, graduates will be capable and competent to enter clinical practice and/or be highly competitive for their chosen fellowship.
Residents who have completed the Upstate PMR program have chosen many career paths. They practice in academic centers, single specialty and multi-specialty groups, solo practices, and locum tenens. In recent years, residents have successfully sought fellowship positions in ACGME-accredited programs (i.e., Pain Medicine, Sports Medicine, Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, Spinal Cord Injury Medicine, Neuromuscular Medicine) and non-accredited programs in sports and spine. Our graduates are represented across the US.
Our full-time faculty serve as role models, coordinators, guides and mentors. Each resident is assigned a faculty mentor, who develops/reviews/approves education and research plans, supervises the resident's portfolio development and assists with career development needs. As noted, we have faculty active in national academic, professional, and research organizations. Yet faculty members remain actively involved in the care of patients. We believe that this direct involvement enhances the learning environment for residents.
Our inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) provides comprehensive care to patients with very high levels of care acuity and medical need, and includes all ages, pediatric to geriatric. Musculoskeletal medicine is integrated within the IRF and skilled nursing facility rehabilitation experience, as well as in defined outpatient settings on and off campus. The adjacent Syracuse VA is the main site for Veterans in upstate New York needing spinal cord injury care and to have their prosthetic and orthotic care needs met. We have notable strengths in Pediatric Rehabilitation, Spasticity and Tone Management, Concussion Management, Electrodiagnosis, Spinal Cord Injury/Disorders, and Prosthetics.