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Resident Education & Scholarly Activities



Boss Povieng and Elsa George wasting no time during Inpatient Rotations!

Formal Didactics  (Wednesday from 8am to 10:30am, 3rd & 4th Monday from 4pm - 6pm as needed)
The formal didactic educational curriculum is organized monthly with each month dedicated to a specific rehabilitation topic (e.g. August is Stroke month) with all faculty participating periodically throughout the year based upon their clinical interest and specialty.  Rather than a traditional ‘lecture,’ we have taken a cue from our Medical College and transitioned our education into a Flipped Classroom Model with Case-Based Small Group Learning Sessions (i.e. PBL/EBL) lead by our faculty.  Residents are required to read the assigned reading materials to prepare for a discussion group within their PGY class and/or the entire residency.   At the conclusion of each month, residents are given a quiz with questions written by the faculty participants for the month as a means for residents to monitor their educational process in addition to helping the practice answering test questions for written boards.

Safety Rounds (2nd Mondays at 4pm)

Each month, the medical transfers and safety events from the past month are reviewed and discussed using root-cause analysis.  The teaching points are used to create new protocols to reduce future events in addition to sparking Quality Improvement projects for resident physicians.  Each month, a resident volunteers to give a 10 minute presentation using evidence-based medicine to expand upon a teaching point from the previous month (e.g. management of acute respiratory distress in acute rehabilitation).

Dugan Rounds (1st Mondays at 4pm) - Research, Health Equity, Disability Advocacy, and Professional Development

Monthly rounds conducted by our Chairperson, Dr. Sheila Dugan, that has sessions focused on:

  • Research Principles (co-run by Karla Wente, our department’s research assistant): sessions are geared to help residents conduct their own research project.  Future sessions will entail how to use “Slicer Dicer” program in EPIC, how to submit an IRB, how to structure a research program, etc.
  • Disability Advocacy (co-run by Dr. Ravi Kasi): interactive sessions on a variety of Disability Topics
  • Health Equity
  • Professional Development: alumni are invited to speak to the residents regarding post-graduation plans including fellowship, job search, etc.

Best way to learn Ultrasound is to ultrasound yourself (with the guidance of your Senior Residents, of course)!

Ultrasound and EMG Curriculum: Twice a month during Formal Didactics (i.e. protected time), faculty members will lead a seminar on an Ultrasound and/or EMG topic followed by a hands-on workshop.

Board Preparation (Written & Oral Boards)

Each Spring, the program coordinates a Mock Oral Boards (Part II) with faculty proctors for the current PGY4 and the recently graduated residents who are preparing for Mock Oral Boards. Mock Orals are also including during the monthly lecture series.  Written boards (Part I) education is integrated into the didactic learning - see above. The program also purchases online Board Review Question Bank (PMR Recap), Video Lecture Series, and Textbooks for each resident.

Grand Rounds:

Residents are required to give a Grand Rounds presentation each year to an audience of our core and associated faculty in addition to the entire interdisciplinary rehabilitation team (PM&R, PT, OT, SLP, Psychology, etc) from the Chicago Medical District (RUSH, University of Illinois, and Cook County Hospital). Residents are given support via their Mentors and are encouraged to pick topics of their clinical interest particularly if they are thinking of pursuing a fellowship in that field.

Extracurricular Activities

  • See separate page regarding community outreach
  • Residents are typically active providing coverage for local sporting events including:
    • Sideline coverage for High School Sporting Events
    • Race Medicine Coverage in the Chicagoland Area (Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, Chicago Marathon, Hustle Up the Hancock, Soldier Field 10 Mile Race)
    • Adaptive Sports via GLASA
  • Pre-participation Physicals (NCAA D-1 sports and High school)

Scholarly Activity 

Quality Improvement Project

All residents are required to be a part of Quality Improvement Projects.  Historically, the specific project has varied from topics related to clinical interest (e.g. spinal injections, sports medicine clinic) to improving the educational curriculum to ideas sparked from Safety Rounds.  Junior Residents are required to a join an ongoing project with a Senior Resident to learn about how to do a QI project.  As they become Seniors, residents have the option of continuing the project they did the previous year or starting a new project themselves.

Current QI Research Projects for 2023-2024:

  • Improving Quality of Resident Education with specific focus on improving EMG / Ultrasound Curriculum
  • Accessibility of care for patients with chronic lower back pain during Covid Pandemic
  • Evaluating factors that contribute to patients being discharged to SNF from AIR at RUSH (Research Study with Grant) 
  • Evaluating resident’s comfort and competency with MSK US following new program initiatives 
  • Evaluating the correlation between Perception of Disability and incidence of Post-stroke Depression (Research Study with Grant) 

Previously Completed Projects

  • Improving Patient Satisfaction in Outpatient MSK/Spine Clinics by improving efficiency of procedures getting done on time
  • Investigating the intersection between chronic lower back pain and socioeconomic status
  • Health Equity Education for Students participating in MSK Community Health Clinic

Research / Scholarly Activity

The best part of being intimately connected with the Medical Center is the fact that our residents have innumerable opportunities to do research with other departments (e.g neurosurgery, neurology) and/or find institutional support to completing one’s own projects.  Our faculty and residents have been involved with multiple projects:

  • Case report presentation at National Conferences 
  • Psychogenic Movement Disorders: Outcomes with Early Intervention with Inpatient Rehabilitation
  • Functional Outcomes following Stem Cell Implantation in Complete Traumatic Cervical Spinal Cord Injury
  • NIH supported Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN Study) a longitudinal epidemiological study of midlife women
  • WISHFIT study, a behavioral intervention for Black and White midlife women on Chicago’s Southside to reduce the menopause related increase in visceral fat and its negative metabolic consequences
  • NIH sponsored Abundant Living in Vibrant Energy (ALIVE) pilot project using a bible study to improve diet