The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Married in Medicine

Dr. Amanda Price and Dr. Aditya Verma give advice for how to do well in rotations and share their experiences having a spouse in medicine.

  • [02:25] Why Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation?
  • [04:05] Learning from Audition Rotations
  • [06:13] Pursuing a Career in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
  • [09:22] When to Refer to a Physiatrist
  • [12:01] How to Stand Out During PM&R Rotations
  • [14:52] PM&R Specialization: Osteopathic VS Allopathic Training
  • [16:39] Dr. Verma’s and Dr. Price’s Love Story
  • [17:59] Would You Work in the Same Facility as Your Spouse?
  • [20:14] Dr. Verma & Dr. Price’s Advice to Pre-Meds and Medical Students

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen chats with Dr. Amanda Price and Dr. Aditya Verma. Both of them are practicing physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) physicians, a specialty also called ‘physiatry’. They share tips for how to do well in rotations and how to specialize in physiatry.

Why Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation?

Initially, Dr. Price was not aware of the field of physical medicine & rehabilitation. After attending a panel, she was convinced that PM&R was a good fit for her. As she gained shadowing experiences, her interest in the field only intensified. She is especially fascinated by how neurological disorders overlap with musculoskeletal conditions.

As a DO medical student, Dr. Verma was already exposed to musculoskeletal medicine. He had an interest in the field but was unsure. Following the advice of his preceptors, Dr. Verma did audition rotations for PM&R. He thoroughly enjoyed his experience and was further enamored at the diversity of physiatry.

Learning from Audition Rotations

In addition to a hands-on experience, audition rotations provide insight into a residency’s work culture. Students should determine if their chosen setting is conducive to learning. There is a standardized quality of training for all rotations but the environments will be different from each other. Consider the lifestyle and culture that you would like be a part of. Choose carefully because you will be fully immersed in your chosen clinic or hospital for several years.

Pursuing a Career in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Physiatrists help improve the function of patients who have inborn conditions or traumatic injuries. A PM&R fellowship is not necessary to be able to see a wide range of cases. But if you would like to, there are several options to choose from such as pediatrics, cancer, rehabilitation, sports medicine, and more. Sub specialties are also more varied now.

When to Refer to a Physiatrist

Typically, you refer to a physical medicine & rehabilitation doctor for disorders that do not self-limit. For specific conditions, you may consult with a physiatrist that sub specializes in your area of concern. PM&R physicians take a multidisciplinary approach to functional recovery. They work closely with therapy teams to make that happen. It’s best to see a physiatrist to ensure that mobility problems will be resolved holistically.

How to Stand Out During PM&R Rotations

It’s always impressive to see a student who shows initiative. Do some self-studying on concepts you find difficult. You can also ask residents for more learning resources. Show that you’ve thoroughly examined a patient’s case by asking specific questions. Know the nuanced reasoning behind certain medical decisions. Be fully present and show genuine interest.

Difference between MD and DO training for PM&R

DO medical students take an additional osteopathic manipulative treatment class as compared to their MD counterparts. They are taught how to conduct physical tests and how to analyze gait, among other things. Dr. Verma finds that students of osteopathy are more comfortable being hands-on with patients because of their familiarity with manual medicine.

Advice to Pre-Meds and Medical Students

Give your full effort in everything you do. Even if you fail, don’t allow setbacks to discourage you from trying. There will always be opportunities to make up for your shortcomings. Stick to your goals and work hard to achieve them.

As students, it’s easy to forget that other qualities and skills matter too. Studying is important but you are more than your grades or test results. Embrace your uniqueness, hone your skills, and cultivate your interests.

Learn more about the field of physiatry by visiting www.aapmr.org.

Erkeda DeRouen

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen is a graduate of Hampton University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, followed by completing medical school at the Boston University School of Medicine. She then completed residency at The University of Maryland Family and Community Medicine Program. After that, she worked at an underserved community health center, and currently is an Associate Medical Director of a telemedicine company. She recently became one of the first 1,000 lifestyle medicine certified physicians in the world! Her areas of interest include: health equity and eliminating health disparities, service of underserved populations, HIV management, transgender care, mentorship, and lifestyle medicine.

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