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Medical Students

The Harvard Medical School Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital hosts two advanced clinical elective clerkships for medical students.

Both clerkships are open to Harvard Medical School students as well as visiting students. 

Completion of core clinical clerkships is a pre-requisite for enrollment in either PM&R clerkship.

  • Introduction to Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (ME553M.27)

    Clerkship Director: Dorothy Tolchin, MD, EdM

    This four-week introductory clerkship provides exposure to the scope of services PM&R physicians provide through time spent on inpatient and outpatient services. Medical students follow patients through all aspects of rehabilitation and meet with residents, fellows, and attendings throughout the month for interactive didactics, guidance, and clinical supervision.Students are expected to develop skills in teamwork, interdisciplinary communication, and disability sensitivity and advocacy; and to gain exposure to the range of modalities and equipment patients in rehabilitation may utilize. Students will also learn to compile and present a short case-based, rehab-focused presentation.


  • Pediatric Rehabilitation (PD532M.27)

    Clerkship Director: Donna Nimec, MD

    This four-week provides experienceworking with children who have special needs. The primary objectives include working with families, understanding the pathophysiology of a variety of disabling conditions, and evaluating options for treatment within a family centered care model. The student will see patients on the inpatient unit, in outpatient clinics, and also participate in procedures in the operating room. At the end of the course, the students will be asked to give a presentation on a topic of his or her choice related to children with disabilities. There will also be a mid-term exam presentation. The final history and physical exam presentation will also require a treatment plan.