Medical Student Summer Clinical Externship in PM&R: a student’s experience

  • Alvin H. Ip Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dept. of Medicine, University of British Columbia


Physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R), also known as physiatry, is a medical specialty that is lesser-known to medical students. One reason that medical students have a lack of knowledge about PM&R may be due to its limited exposure during medical school. The dual purposes of this elective report are to increase student exposure to PM&R and to highlight a clinical training opportunity for medical students. PM&R is a medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of patients with neurological and musculoskeletal conditions, with a focus on restoring function and quality of life. The Medical Student Summer Clinical Externship (MSSCE) is a program offered by the Association of Academic Physiatrists for medical students with a strong desire to work with patients in the field of PM&R. I took part in the MSSCE at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in the summer of 2014. Participating in this program and gaining clinical exposure to PM&R was an important and valuable stepping-stone for me, and I would highly recommend the MSSCE to medical students who are interested in the field of PM&R.