[Skip to Content]

Frequently Asked Questions

Expand all

What is the specific focus or goals of the residency program?

The goal of the program is to produce well rounded PM&R clinicians who are able to hit the ground running with experience they've earned throughout the residency.

Physiatrists will need to maintain self-directed learning throughout their careers – the program is designed to support this concept through our education program, journal club organization, participation in quality improvement activities, and expectation for completing one clinical project and developing at least one abstract for submission

Although not a specific focus, we'd like to think that we provide an extraordinary opportunity and exposure in particular to pediatrics and spinal cord injury both in an inpatient and outpatient setting. The VA spinal cord injury unit in Syracuse is one of only 25 centers in the nation.

What changes do you anticipate for this residency program in the next few years?

We are excited to have recently started a SCI fellowship and are looking to expand our faculty in this area. We have also expanded our outpatient facilities to include a new musculoskeletal center in the western suburbs of Syracuse (Township 5) in addition to our existing facility on the eastern side of the city (Bone and Joint Center at Fly Road).

How does being on call work within the department?

All overnight call is taken by pager from home, call is from 6pm-6am. Inpatient rehabilitation units at the Syracuse VA and Upstate University Hospital are covered. On average, each resident will be on call every fourth week.

How often do residents work weekends?

Residents will round on Saturday and Sunday on inpatient units on call weeks only, the remaining weekends are off regardless of the rotation that the resident is on. On average, this works out to three weekends off to every one weekend working.

What is a typical work day like for a resident in the program?

Inpatient rotation: 7am to 5:00pm. Pre-rounding followed by rounds with attending physician in the morning, then making medication changes and calling consults discussed on rounds as well as working on new admissions in the afternoon.

Outpatient MSK rotation: 8am to 4:30pm. Working on improving focused MSK exam skills. Resident has the ability to perform a variety of procedures such as botulinum toxin, nerve blocks, trigger point injections, and joint injections.

Outpatient EMG rotation: 8am to 4:30pm. Working on focused neurologic exam and NCS/EMG skills. Adequate time for performing a complete exam and for learning.

How do residents like living in Syracuse? What types of things do residents do for fun in the Syracuse area?

Syracuse, NY is a very affordable city to live in on a resident’s salary. Syracuse is close by to numerous hiking areas and ski resorts, as well as the Finger Lakes wine trail. Residents enjoy the local farmer’s market, Destiny Mall, and local restaurants and bars.

How much elective time is available throughout training?

Up to five months of elective rotations are available. Residents have completed elective time in research, orthopedics, sports medicine, pain medicine rheumatology, radiology, anatomy, neurology, pediatrics, neurosurgery, orthotics, and prosthetics.

Will I have the opportunity to attend conferences?

All PGY4s have the opportunity to attend AAPMR. PGY3s are able to attend conferences to which they have had a project accepted. Full reimbursement for flight and hotels is provided if accepted to a conference with program director approval.

How much time do the residents spend with each other outside of work?

We have a close-knit community - residents often get together outside of work for both planned and spontaneous activities. The proximity of Syracuse to the Adirondack mountains and other national and state parks allows for easy access to outdoor activities. As the residents in our program have most weekends off, it is easy to plan fun activities to enjoy together as a group. And there is an annual celebration of the residents completing training at the end of the academic year.

What would make an applicant a strong fit for this program?

- Someone who is excited about PM&R and all that it can offer to patients!

- Someone who enjoys a collaborative work environment, is a team player.

- Someone who has already engaged in self-directed learning and is interested in furthering that skill.

What would make an applicant a poor fit for this program?

If you're looking to specialize in a specific subspecialty from day one, this program may not be the best fit for you. The program is designed to provide you with a broad and well-rounded experience in PGY2, to help define or support your choice of specialization – and to prepare you for certification by ABPMR. Beginning PGY3, you will have ample opportunity to focus your learning through electives.  

If you must live in a major US city, unfortunately the program can only do so much to increase the size of Syracuse. However, many major cities are in easy driving distance, and the airport has excellent connections.

What's the overall personality of the residency?

Collaboration and teamwork. Residency is hard enough but made easier when you can rely on your fellow residents