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PGY2 Year

1. Outpatient/Research

Residents have the opportunity to work in different care settings at the UC Irvine Medical Center. This rotation is split up into different clinics every half-day and includes musculoskeletal PM&R, general PM&R, electrodiagnostics, musculoskeletal radiology, orthopedic trauma/fracture and orthopedic foot/ankle.

Residents will gain hands-on experience in the management of orthopedic conditions and perform electrodiagnostic studies, as well as palpation- and ultrasound-guided peripheral joint injections. They will manage patients with a variety of rehabilitation needs, including stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury, amputation and many others. The radiology portion allows residents to spend time reading images with musculoskeletal radiology fellows and attendings.

UC Irvine/AAP Badges Project: There are also two half-days allotted for the Badges Research Project, with additional time for those who elect to pursue an optional research track.

During this time, PGY2 residents undergo a comprehensive self-directed educational curriculum called "The UC Irvine/AAP Badges Project."

PGY2 Resident ResearchThe AAP Badges Project was developed by the UCI Department of PM&R in 2011, and quickly gained national attention for its innovative idea.

The curriculum has since been endorsed and approved by Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP), and AAP now encourages all PM&R residents across the United States to use this curriculum as an introduction to clinical and scientific research by PM&R residents.

The three main goals of this curriculum are:

  • To identify the knowledge and skills required for evaluating clinical research
  • Conducting clinical research
  • To get the answers to some of the most commonly encountered questions as PM&R residents undertake individual/mentored research and to plan for the potential to publish their findings

The Badges Project is designed to be completed over a variable amount of time depending on the intricacy of the scholastic activity and the background experience of the individual resident.

Residents with a peer-reviewed first-author publication are exempt from completing the AAP Badges Project. Presenting a research poster or publishing a simple case report may take as little as one to two weeks, while months to years may be required if you are completing badges for more elaborate projects. 

Successful completion of the AAP Badges Project helps residents feel prepared and confident about reading the literature, conducting research and writing publication-quality manuscripts. 

The aim of this early exposure to a structured research experience is to enable residents to have sufficient time to develop an expertise in the topic of their interest and find a mentor for more extensive research projects or future fellowships. The program is led by Vice-Chair for Research Brian Cummings, PhD.

2. Spinal Cord Injury

This PGY2 rotation is offered at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System.

The VA setting allows residents to manage patients who have chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) needs or are dealing with the issues of aging.

During this SCI outpatient rotation, residents have the opportunity to work with attending physiatrists (physicians trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation), kinesiotherapists, physical, occupational, recreational and speech therapists.

Residents become competent at SCI management, via the SCI consult/diagnostic examination, therapy planning, quantified goal setting, medical management and interventional treatments.

Initially, patients are seen as new evaluations, where a review of the patient’s chief complaints and medical history are determined by an interview, followed by a comprehensive and focused physical examination.

This enables residents to formulate a differential diagnosis and treatment plan for the SCI-related diagnosis. Residents will assess patients during annual evaluation appointments, which help residents understand the comprehensive management of patients’ acute and chronic SCI conditions.  Residents participate in various clinics including wheelchair clinic, shoulder pain clinic, wound clinic and spasticity clinic.

3. Outpatient Musculoskeletal & Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation

This rotation takes place at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System.

The VA setting allows residents to manage patients with acute and chronic musculoskeletal rehabilitation needs, including cardiopulmonary and orthopedic rehabilitation needs.

During this rotation, residents have the opportunity to work with attending physiatrists, kinesiotherapists, as well as physical and occupational therapists. Residents become competent at comprehensive outpatient musculoskeletal management, via a specific diagnostic examination, therapy planning, quantified goal setting, medical management and interventional treatments.

Initially, patients are seen as new consultation evaluations, where a review of the patient’s chief complaint and medical history are determined by interview, followed by a comprehensive and focused physical examination. This enables residents to formulate a differential diagnosis and treatment plan for the MSK-related diagnosis.

Residents also participate in cardiac rehabilitation clinic during this rotation. The assigned resident does all cardiac rehab consultations and writes the orders for physical therapy and occupational therapy.

Many patients are managed holistically and many return to clinic for follow-up visits and interventional procedures. Various interventional procedures, including ultrasound-guided procedures, are done in the clinic.

The skills that residents acquire during the musculoskeletal rehabilitation rotation are valuable in understanding the comprehensive management of patients’ acute and chronic MSK conditions.

The resident is supervised by a staff physiatrist interested in cardiac rehabilitation.

4. Inpatient Rehabilitation

uci pm&r residency aru inpatient rotation

This rotation takes place at UC Irvine Medical Center's Acute Rehabilitation Unit.

UCI Medical Center, a designated Level I trauma center with a very active trauma unit, also supports a regional burn center. In addition, the medical center houses comprehensive stroke and cancer centers.

The 14-bed ARU admits over 300 patients per year with a wide range of rehabilitation diagnoses drawn from UC Irvine Medical Center.

The main diagnoses are traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, malignancies, multiple trauma, and amputations.

The PGY2 resident on the ward works closely with the attending physicians, PGY3 resident and the ARU multi-disciplinary team (nursing, therapy services, neuropsychology, nutrition, pharmacy, and case management) to provide quality comprehensive care to inpatients.

The ward resident serves as the primary medical provider for the unit under the supervision and teaching of the attending physiatrist and PGY3 resident. The resident physician also learns and experiences all aspects of leading an active ARU, including team huddles, multidisciplinary team conferences and family meetings.

5. Inpatient Spinal Cord Injury

uc irvine traumatic brain injury residency

This rotation at MemorialCare’s Long Beach Medical Center allows residents to manage patients with spinal cord injury and other medical/neurological/surgical conditions in the inpatient rehabilitative setting.

During this rotation, residents have the opportunity to work with an interdisciplinary team, including physiatrists, neurologists/internists, neuropsychologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, case managers, social workers and nursing staff.

Residents can also use the opportunity to work in other post-acute care settings, including skilled nursing facilities and MemorialCare’s Transitional Rehabilitation Services.

This rotation allows the PGY2 to work with a PGY4 resident, who can supervise and teach the junior resident.