Program Activities

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Committee Involvement

Committee involvement is encouraged throughout training. Many opportunities exist both locally and nationally for residents to get involved. Locally, there are opportunities for residents to attend and sit on the Medical School’s Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) that addresses topics across all of graduate medical education or the Medical School or Rehabilitation Medicine’s diversity, equity and inclusion committees. On a larger scale, residents have been involved in Minnesota Medical Association, the AMA, and AAPM&R committees in years past.


A lecture is held one half-day each week and residents are excused from site responsibilities. Lecture topics vary from week to week, but center around topics related to physiatry. Not only is this a time to focus on academic learning related to physiatry, the dedicated time every week gives residents a chance to spend time together as a group. Even PGY 1 trainees in their categorical year are excused from their site to attend didactics with their colleagues.

Educator Track

The Educator Track was developed for residents that plan to pursue a career as an academic clinician educator. Residents apply in their PGY 1 year and, if accepted, will complete the track over their three years of PM&R specific training. The Educator Track seeks to address the overarching mission of the program, and the minimal teaching-specific training traditionally available, through an innovative approach to developing clinician educators. Residents pursuing the educator track will invest time and energy honing their teaching, curriculum development and communication skills. These skills will be developed through experiences as both an active teacher and learner throughout residency education.

PRISM (PM&R Residents Interested in Sports Medicine) Track

Two distinct pathways exist within the PRISM Track in an effort to provide all trainees with the opportunity to gain Sports Medicine experience that is in line with their personal and professional goals.

Certification Pathway: this pathway is intended for residents planning to pursue a Sports Medicine fellowship. Residents must be willing to commit three years to PRISM and meet requirements outlined in the PRISM Program Requirements. Entry into the certification pathway is at the beginning of the PGY-2 year.  All PGY-3 and PGY-4 residents who have informally met all PRISM Track requirements since the start of their PGY-2 year, may apply for entry into the certification pathway of the PRISM Track.

Non-certification Pathway: this pathway is intended for residents that would like to increase their skill set related to Sports Medicine for career/fellowship discernment or preparation for other personal and professional interests. Entry into this pathway can be done at any time during residency. Residents in this pathway are not required to complete all aspects of the curriculum. If a resident completes all aspects of the sports coverage, scholastic, scholarly, and extracurricular components outlined in the below requirements, the resident is eligible to be certified upon completion.

PGY2 Bootcamp

Implemented by educator track resident, Matthew Puderbaugh, DO, the PGY2 boot camp continues to be delivered by an educator track resident. This intro to PM&R Residency has consisted of covering rehab basics, ultrasound knobology, program policies, etc. while continuing to get to know fellow PGY2 residents. 

Elective Opportunity

Each resident has an opportunity to create an individualized elective experience during the residency education. Whether it’s to set you up for your career, to be a competitive fellowship applicant, or to delve deeper into a research project - you’ll work with program administration to develop an elective tailored to your learning objectives and goals. 

Leadership Opportunities

Residents have opportunities to get involved in a wide variety of activities to further their leadership skills. Serving as a chief resident, taking part in the year-long Resident Leadership Academy (RLA) organized by the central office of Graduate Medical Education, and teaching medical students both on rotation and in the classroom setting are just a few of the leadership opportunities you’ll find in training.

Journal Club

Journal Club occurs on a monthly basis. PGY 2-4 residents lead one session annually where they choose two journal articles for the entire program to read and then lead the discussion of those articles. Fellow residents and faculty members attend these sessions to add additional input and perspective.

Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Curriculum Longitudinal Experience (MUSCLE)

MUSCLE is a focused longitudinal curriculum offered through the PM&R Residency Program. Residents can apply to take part in MUSCLE and, if selected for this immersive competency-based education track, residents are able to work towards earning a certificate of accomplishment that can help them stand out for future fellowships and/or job opportunities as well as validate future hospital/practice privileges that may be requested.

Resident Seminars

These seminars are completed by each PGY 2-4 resident one time per year. Residents review a PM&R topic of their choosing in depth and present the information to fellow residents and staff. This is a great opportunity to hone presentation skills, learn more about a topic of interest in depth, and take the opportunity to research current literature on the topic. PGY 1 residents also present an abbreviated seminar towards the end of their intern year.

METRO REHAB (a.k.a. Grand Rounds)

Metro Rehab serves as PM&R's grand rounds. These resident presentations occur quarterly and each resident presents one time per year. Residents present cases and lead discussions pertinent to current topics in PM&R. Limited case information is presented, then discussion facilitated to elicit opinions regarding additional evaluation needed, differential diagnosis, intervention options, etc. At the conclusion of the discussion, residents provide a brief summary of the literature relevant to the case.

Quality Improvement Project

Quality improvement is an important aspect of residency education and future clinical practice. Residents will work with their PGY class to develop, implement, and evaluate a quality improvement project - presenting their findings in their PGY 4 year. Residents may also find quality improvement opportunities at their clinical sites throughout training to pursue individually. 

Scholarly Activity

Scholarly activity is an important component of residency education. Residents are supported in their scholarly endeavors by the program, inclusive of: mentorship, collaboration opportunities, protected research time, and continuing medical education funding. At minimum, residents need to complete one scholarly activity project over the course of their training, though more is encouraged and opportunities are readily accessible to residents. The requirement can be met by preparing a chapter or review article for submission to a journal; submission of a manuscript for publication; a research project; a local, regional, or national presentation; a case report or series presented as a poster or platform presentation at a national meeting. 


The SAE is the PM&R in-training exam that is administered annually, typically in January. All PGY-2 to PGY-4 residents are required to take the exam. Results can help both trainees and program administration tailor trainee education to meet the needs on an individualized basis and to better prepare for ABPM&R written board exam.

Additionally, the program hosts Mock Oral Boards annually to provide trainees currently in residency, and recent PM&R graduates, an opportunity to simulate the true oral boards experience and get feedback on their performance in an effort to prepare them to take ABPM&R’s oral boards required for board certification.  

Boards preparation is also addressed at didactics on a monthly basis. Protected time during didactics allows residents and opportunity to take part in an engaging, resident-run, boards preparation curriculum.

Continuity Clinic

Continuity Clinic provides residents an opportunity to delve into an area of clinical interest and to get a feel for varied practice settings and patient populations in an effort to help them determine next steps in their education and/or career. Residents on outpatient rotations have continuity clinic every other Thursday afternoon.  


The program supports residents interested in participating in national organizations, conferences and events nationwide. Additionally, we invite residents to take part in events through the Medical School and our Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, as both have a lot to offer in the way of professional development. On a more local level, we host osteopathic rounds for residents to maintain and develop skills learned in osteopathic medical schools, provide opportunities to develop teaching skills working with the medical students in the classroom and on clinical rotations, and strive to provide an individualized residency experience to meet the needs of each resident and their professional goals and interests.

Community Involvement

Residents have opportunities throughout training to get involved with our surrounding community. As a program, we aim to support this involvement as a team. Past examples include - packaging meals with Second Harvest Heartland, offering sports physicals to a local high school, and raising money and donating medical supplies for communities directly impacted by the community unrest in response to the murder of George Floyd.


Mentorship is important to our residents because it helps them work toward "what's next", no matter what that may look like for each individual. Our peer mentorship program pairs each new incoming resident with a senior resident to help navigate rotations and all the new experiences residency can offer. Additionally, our faculty mentorship program allows incoming residents to choose a faculty mentor based on their personal/professional goals, career trajectory, or other milestones. The process for pairing residents with a faculty mentor is facilitated by program leadership while providing each resident the autonomy to choose their mentor through a short list created with resident and faculty feedback. Program leadership also helps encourage and facilitate meetings between pairs at least quarterly. Both of these avenues exist to help foster relationships with peers, faculty guidance, personal development, goal setting, wellness, academic progress, and in navigating/circumventing challenges.


Resident wellness is important. Our resident wellness committee is made up of one member of each class with the goal of creating opportunities to promote physician well-being, and work closely with residency leadership. The committee takes pride in planning residency wellness retreats twice a year, where all of our residents are excused from clinical duties to participate in team building exercises. Additionally, the committee also orchestrates monthly wellness activities to promote involvement in the wonderful community and environment that Minnesota offers. Call can be stressful and some nights are more challenging than others -- it is our program policy that residents may take a half day to rest if its been one of those nights. The University of Minnesota's GME office also offers many free resources for all residents and fellows, including free confidential professional counseling. Ultimately, it is the program's goal to not just facilitate wellness, but to equip our residents with the tools to carry it forward in their career through targeted speaker topics and workshops during didactics.