PM&R Chief Resident, Dr. Amanda Day, spearheaded a fun initiative for the community to get to know our residents. The PM&R resident spotlight is on PGY3, Dr. Joe Benert. 

Where did you go to medical school? 
Loyola University in Chicago 

What drew you to the field of PM&R? 
I found the focus on working with patients to address their goals related to function and quality of life really connected with what drew me to medicine in a way I didn't find in other specialties. Add in my background interests in the neurologic and musculoskeletal systems and dislike of the OR, and the decision was easy.

Why the University of Minnesota for your PM&R training? 
I felt like completing my training at the University of Minnesota would provide me the desired flexibility to shape the four years to match with my interests. Dr. Tonkin is a highly supportive program director who seemed willing to provide the resources and freedom to pursue any ideas I had along the way. By rotating through six different systems in the Twin Cities, I figured I would be able to figure out what I like and don't like as I thought about my future practice setting. My wife and I are both from the Twin Cities, so the ability to return home and be around family also influenced the decision.

What advice would you give a current applicant hoping to match PM&R? 
Enjoy the application process. You've worked hard to get to this point, and you have a lot of great accomplishments along that journey. There will be many programs out there that want you, so try not to stress during the application process.

What’s your favorite thing(s) about the Twin Cities and/or Minnesota? 
The outdoor opportunities in the Twin Cities/Minnesota are a great part of living here, and I really enjoy taking advantage of them through all four seasons. Depending on the time of year, you may find me paddleboarding one of the many lakes, biking the trails of Minneapolis (one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country), seeing the fall colors while hiking around northern Minnesota, or ice skating at one of the local rinks. 

What are your interests within PM&R? (clinical, research, teaching, etc) 
I will be applying for a sports medicine fellowship next fall. I have a particular interest in pediatric sports medicine, including concussion management. 

Collage of Dr. Benert's new puppy and him paddle-boarding.

What are some fun facts about yourself? 

  • I played in two Hockey Day Minnesota games in high school.
  • My wife and I are trying to visit every national park; Glacier is our favorite so far. 
  • We got a Shih Tzu puppy, Piper, this last summer.

Follow the PM&R residency program's Instagram account for more social interactions!

PM&R Instagram