Our PM&R department continues to be very actively involved in teaching medical students here at New Jersey Medical School. In fact, we currently teach within all four years of the medical school curriculum. Within the first and second year courses we teach musculoskeletal physical exam skills. These sessions involve not only lecturing, but also running many hands-on small group workshops where the students learn and practice various musculoskeletal and neurologic physical exam maneuvers. While logistically this is a large undertaking for a relatively small department like ours, we are happy to fill the niche and help train tomorrow's physicians. Also, students greatly appreciate these sessions. Indeed many NJMS students who choose to do residency training in PM&R often comment that their first PM&R exposure/awareness was in these first years’ course. Additionally this year we will be involved in clinical correlation within the cadaver lab for 1st year medical students, bringing portable ultrasound machines to expose the students this technique and how this assists in examination and diagnosis.
For third year medical students, we offer clinical electives. For fourth year students, we have an ever-increasing number of elective rotations that are highly sought after by scores of students from NJMS and around the country. These electives include a variety of both clinical rotations and research rotations.
Meanwhile, for all fourth year NJMS students, we are one of the few medical schools in the US to have a two-week mandatory clinical clerkship in PM&R. The clerkship is intended/geared for students who are NOT entering PM&R, to teach them valuable lessons in caring for patients with acute and chronic disabilities. While our two-week PM&R clerkship has been a mandatory requirement for all NJMS students for decades, we continually work to improve on its successes.
Our department embraces the work required to maintain, improve, and expand our educational contributions for NJMS students. Many thanks are due to those involved. We greatly appreciate the entire faculty throughout the various sites, for their role in precepting these students. The resident physicians and fellows play a huge role, which we formally acknowledge each June at the graduation dinner, where we present the Resident As Teacher award. Even the students themselves deserve credit, especially with the PM&R Student Interest Group, which over the years has been extremely active in running disability-related movie nights, speaker programs, educational workshops, etc.
Thus, in summary, our department’s commitment and involvement in teaching our medical students remains vibrant. We thank all who make this possible, and we look forward to the years ahead.
Steven Kirshblum MD. Professor, Chair and Director of Medical Student Program.
Patrick Foye, M.D., Professor and Co-Director of Medical Student Education in PM&R, NJMS