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PMR Residency


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.


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.



  • 6 residents each year for a total complement of 18
  • A range of clinical experience based on faculty practice that spans the full scope of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Up to 5 available elective months for rotation in areas such as Orthopedics, Sports Medicine, Pain Medicine, Rheumatology, Radiology, Anatomy, Neurology, Neurosurgery and Research; an international elective to China can be considered, but is dependent on schedules
  • Opportunities to engage with other upstate New York PMR residencies to participate in focused short programs, such as electrodiagnosis (supported by Upstate PMR) or orthotics and prosthetics
  • Participation in medical student education through the PMR Student Interest Club workshops and shadowing, the summer medical student program, and student electives
  • Scheduled residency didactic program, typically consisting of 4 one-hour dedicated times/week (sometimes modified for workshops)
  • 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.
  • Each academic year begins with focused lectures on common on-call issues and documentation requirements.
  • Scheduled education programs include workshops on injection, ultrasound, electrodiagnostic techniques; intrathecal baclofen pump interrogation and refills; and anatomy review with dissection.
  • Allied health professionals regularly lead topics related to therapy and counseling interventions.
  • Journal Club discusses methods, biostatistics, and scientific quality of articles, as well as applicability of results.
  • Residents participate in developing and leading some sessions, usually related to board review activities.
  • Available additional resources
  • Basic research skills are discussed through Journal Club, and residents have opportunities to engage in literature searches, development of data collection protocols, and IRB submissions.
  • Upstate Medical University owns and operates the Central New York Biotech Accelerator (https://www.cnybac.com/), a local support for biotech start-ups.
  • The Department has contacts with Syracuse University programs to support research interests.
  • All residents participate in Quality Improvement Projects.
  • Residents are supported in developing abstracts for submissions to national meetings, and attending meetings with acceptance.
  • Residents participate in the Annual Program Evaluation using a nominative group process to identify areas needing reconsideration. The process results in program modifications to enhance the learning of residents participating in the program.
  • 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.
  • Feedback is provided to residents through rotation evaluations (formative and summative), every 6-month faculty evaluations with discussion with the Program Director, regular contact with your mentor.
  • The Department supports Chinese scholar physicians in Rehabilitation Medicine for 3-12 month observations with faculty and resident participation.
  • Fellowships available at Upstate: Spinal Cord Injury Medicine (combined Upstate/VA) and Pain Medicine (PMR is a collaborating department).


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-ACGME accredited programs in sports and spine. To date, all residents match with or are accepted into fellowship programs of their choice. 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. All faculty are available for specific mentoring areas.


Faculty Certification:

  • American Board of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (ABPMR) general certification
  • ABPMR subspecialty certification in Pain Medicine, Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, Brain Injury Medicine, and Spinal Cord Injury Medicine
  • American Board of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine certification
  • Additional certifications in acupuncture and ultrasound

Faculty are active on national boards, national and regional disability related organizations, journal editorial boards, National Institutes for Health review and safety boards, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention programs. There is active involvement in national academic, professional, and research organizations. Recent involvement with Special Olympics has afforded opportunities for sports medicine experiences related to people with intellectual disability.


Faculty participate in ongoing research programs in the areas of:

  • Health and disability
  • Integrating disability into medical education
  • Neurophysiology
  • Spinal cord injury and electrical stimulation
  • Concussion prognosis and outcomes
  • Quality improvement
  • MSK intervention outcomes

Faculty members are actively involved in the care of patients - we believe that this direct involvement enhances the learning environment for residents.


Clinical Sites

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 the Upstate campus. New outpatient programs are opening in 2019 and 2020, focused on MSK, neuro-rehabilitation and complex care for people with disability.


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. Our musculoskeletal and pain management programs are presently undergoing expansion.