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Clinical training

Mayo Clinic's Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) Residency in Rochester, Minn., features 34 months of required rotations in six broad areas and approximately three months of electives. To further enhance your training experience, you rotate to Mayo Clinic in Florida and/or Mayo Clinic in Arizona for up to three months during this residency.

Your training includes a continuity clinic during the last two years. During all three years, you may also choose to serve as a team physician for a local sports team.

Rotation schedule

This is a typical rotation schedule for the PM&R Residency at Mayo Clinic in Rochester:

Rotation Minimum time
Inpatient rehabilitation services
Brain rehabilitation 5-6 months
Spinal cord rehabilitation 5-6 months
Pediatric rehabilitation services
Inpatient and Outpatient 2 months
Hospital inpatient consultation services
Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus 6 weeks
Clinic outpatient consultation services
Arthritis and general rehabilitation 1 month
Hand rehabilitation 1 month
Amputee rehabilitation 6 weeks
Sports rehabilitation 6 weeks
Spine Center 1 month
Musculoskeletal clinic 1 month
Brain rehabilitation clinic 2 weeks
Spine rehabilitation clinic 2 weeks
Neurology outpatient 1 month
Electromyography Laboratory 6 months
Research 4 weeks
Mayo group practice rotations Up to 3 months
Elective Rotations* Approximately 2 months
Industrial rehabilitation
Pain clinic
Wound care
Lymphedema center

*Other inpatient and outpatient elective rotations are available to meet your career goals.

Rotation descriptions

Inpatient rehabilitation services

During your inpatient rehabilitation rotations, you serve as the primary care physician for rehabilitation patients, conduct patient care conferences with the rehabilitation team and lead clinical discussion groups. A typical patient load includes eight to 10 patients.

Residents assume an increasing level of practice independence as their experience and abilities dictate. There are no consulting staff "private" patients. The residents work side by side with the PM&R staff to care for patients. There are three services in Mayo Clinic's 38-bed rehabilitation unit:

  • One spinal cord rehabilitation service
  • One brain rehabilitation service
  • One pediatric rehabilitation service

The spinal cord injury and brain rehabilitation services each have three residents and one staff physiatrist. While you are assigned to an adult rehabilitation service, you are responsible for approximately seven to 10 patients. The rehab unit admits more than 1,000 patients a year.

Trained allied health personnel perform most ancillary procedures, such as starting intravenous fluids (including blood), performing venipunctures and electrocardiograms, and drawing blood gases.

Pediatric rehabilitation services

Your residency includes two months of pediatric rehabilitation services consisting of inpatient care, consult service and outpatient care. You learn to assess and manage children with developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, and acquired disorders such as trauma to the brain and spinal cord injuries.

You also participate in special pediatric clinics, such as the pediatric pain clinic and spina bifida/cerebral palsy clinics, and community outreach programs for children.

Hospital inpatient consultation services

While assigned to hospital inpatient consultation services, you work with staff physiatrists to provide consultation services and regular follow-up for inpatients. Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus, has programs for neurosurgery, trauma, pediatrics and peripheral vascular disease.

Clinic outpatient consultation services

While on outpatient rotations, you see a wide variety of conditions. You gain experience in arthritis, amputee, spine center and sports rehabilitation. You learn to diagnose and manage occupational arm and hand injuries and work closely with hand specialists in physical medicine and rehabilitation, orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, and occupational therapists.

You gain musculoskeletal examination skills and learn to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal injuries of all types. You also learn important techniques and indications of cardiopulmonary exercise testing.


During the neurology rotation, you learn to diagnose and treat cerebrovascular and seizure disorders, movement disorders, and inherited or acquired central and peripheral nervous system disorders.

Electromyography Laboratory

You gain extensive experience in electromyography during this unique six-month rotation in the Electromyography Laboratory. You perform enough electromyographic studies to qualify for certification by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.


Most residents spend their elective time in the Pain Rehabilitation Center, wound care center, pain clinic and some therapy observation.

Other inpatient and outpatient elective rotations are available to meet your interests and career goals. Your options include electives in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation or in other areas, including the Pain Rehabilitation Center.

Didactic training

Clinical conferences, seminars, small discussion groups, journal clubs and one-on-one instruction are integral parts of Mayo Clinic's PM&R Residency.

Your didactic training includes:

  • Clinical conference and case presentations presented by physical medicine and rehabilitation consultants, residents, or guest faculty. Attendance is required.
  • Weekly conferences in sports and inpatient rehabilitation services. Attendance is required while you are on these specific rotations, otherwise attendance is optional.
  • Journal club meets once a month. You are assigned to approximately one article a year, but journal club attendance is required.
  • A comprehensive introductory curriculum and a research training curriculum.
  • A comprehensive anatomy course with prosected cadavers paired with a musculoskeletal exam course providing hands-on training and observation of joint and spine examination skills.
  • Resident didactic sessions that focus on the biomechanics; pathophysiological basis of tissue healing and repair; the use of different modalities; and disorders of bones, joints, nerves and muscles.
  • A two-month clinical neurophysiology course integrated into the electromyography rotation.
  • Course work in the related specialty fields of neurology, psychiatry, orthopedics and rheumatology.
  • A weeklong prosthetic/orthotic course.

Research training

The research training program includes planning a research project that you complete during your residency. Projects frequently involve joint biomechanical analysis, epidemiology of specific disorders or new rehabilitation interventions. This experience improves your ability to think analytically and critically review literature. Research funding is available for approved projects.

During the residency, you prepare two seminar presentations that represent the introduction and results of your research project.

Clinician-Investigator Program

A Clinician-Investigator Program also is available as part of the PM&R Residency. This opportunity would extend your training approximately 18 to 24 months. The Clinician-Investigator Program at Mayo Clinic is an excellent choice if you are planning a career that would emphasize research in an academic center.

Master's degree program

Through the PM&R Residency, you may also obtain a master's degree in clinical research.

Practice board exams

To prepare for board examinations, you participate in the yearly written self-assessment prepared by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. You also complete mock oral exams twice each year. Conducted by Mayo Clinic's consulting staff, these oral exams prepare you for the second part of the physical medicine and rehabilitation boards.

Teaching opportunities

You have the opportunity to teach Mayo Medical School students, physical therapy students and visiting students from other medical schools through bedside instruction and formal didactic lectures. In addition, residents and fellows from other Mayo Clinic departments occasionally rotate through PM&R.

Regular conferences and seminars

Residents present clinical case conferences to the department once a year during their PGY-3 year. An annual Resident Seminar Day provides a forum for presentation of senior residents' research.

Education conference

PM&R consulting staff members present case presentations covering topics in all subspecialty areas within physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Call frequency

Your call schedule varies by individual rotation. Mayo Clinic follows recommendations of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Generally, you are on call every fourth night and every other weekend while you are assigned to an inpatient rehabilitation service. During the remaining months of your residency, you cover weekend consult service.

Committee assignments

We feel committee participation is an effective way to promote professional development. Residents may participate on committees both at Mayo Clinic and within national organizations.

Off-site rotations

You may complete rotations at Mayo Clinic in Florida and Mayo Clinic in Arizona during the PM&R Residency. These practices offer acute and subacute primary care experiences in a community-based practice.

Mayo Clinic funds your authorized additional costs of travel, housing, automobile rental and licensure fees. Our residents consistently rate these rotations very high.

Moonlighting policy

Moonlighting is permitted for licensed residents at the PGY-2 level or above. Moonlighting activities may be scheduled during those times when you are assigned to consultative or outpatient rotations as long as they do not interfere with your clinical or research-related duties. No moonlighting is allowed while you are assigned to inpatient rotations.

Residency and graduate outcomes

Residents have many career opportunities upon graduation. It is typical for 30 to 50 percent of our graduates to go on to fellowship training in electromyography, sports medicine, the Spine Center, pain management and other areas. Ten to 15 percent of graduates choose careers in academic medicine. The remaining 30 to 40 percent select private practice opportunities for their career.

Board passage rates and average scores

Graduates of our program have a 95 percent pass rate for the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation certifying exam. This is higher than the national pass rate of 86 percent.

Number of residents

Seven residents complete Mayo Clinic's PM&R Residency each year.


The Mayo Clinic PM&R Residency is committed to following the guiding principles as put forth by the ACGME Outcome Project. Residents should expect to be evaluated for progress toward achieving competency in these areas:

  • Medical knowledge
  • Patient care
  • Professionalism
  • Practice-based learning and improvement
  • Communication skills
  • System-based practice

Career development

You meet periodically with various faculty members, administrators and the program director to discuss your career goals. Graduates of the Mayo Clinic PM&R Residency are typically very competitive for entering fellowships or the job market.

Additional training

At the conclusion of your PM&R Residency, you may wish to continue your medical training at Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education.

Clinical fellowships

At Mayo Clinic, clinical fellowships are available in electromyography (Florida, Minnesota or Arizona), the pain clinic (Florida, Minnesota or Arizona), musculoskeletal rehabilitation (Arizona), pediatric rehabilitation medicine (Minnesota) or sports medicine (Minnesota).

Research fellowships

The National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research funds four two-year research fellowship positions each year.

This optional feature of the PM&R Residency includes a two-year training period with an option for a third-year extension in which you can focus on research. Highlights of this option include:

  • Choice of research focus or tracks (neuroepidemiology, pain or biomechanics). The pain track includes both basic science and behavioral research components. All three tracks include didactic courses in statistics and epidemiology.
  • Mentors from departments of neurology, orthopedic surgery, anesthesiology, psychiatry, and physical medicine and rehabilitation.
  • Didactic learning through Mayo Graduate School (statistics, epidemiology, research ethics, clinical research design, animal research experimental surgery and methodology, clinical trial design, computer methods, and questionnaire and survey research design).

Those eligible are physicians with training in PM&R, neurology, orthopedics, anesthesiology, geriatrics, psychiatry or related specialties, as well as Ph.D.s or those with equivalent training in rehabilitation-related fields, such as biomechanical engineering, psychology, speech pathology, physical and occupational therapy, and social work.

Advanced degrees

If you would like to pursue an advanced degree (M.S. or Ph.D.) in the biomedical sciences, Mayo Clinic has a number of programs available that can be customized to your career needs.

Scholarly activities

PM&R residents are encouraged to submit their research work for presentation at national meetings. If accepted, the department pays the costs for attendance at those meetings. In addition, each resident is offered one trip to attend a meeting of his or her choice as an educational and networking opportunity.

  • Dec 5, 2013
  • ART192449