Outpatient Rotations

UW Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation sees a wide variety of patients in outpatient clinics across the Madison area. Residents participate in patient evaluation and treatment. Close collaboration among members of the team enables the resident to learn the skills and expertise of other disciplines.

General Rehabilitation

Residents acquire knowledge and familiarity with a wide variety of common chronic disorders, their functional consequences, and strategies for prevention and treatment.
Responsibilities and opportunities include:
  • See patients with spinal cord injuries, strokes, traumatic brain injuries, arthritis, amputation, neurological and neuromuscular disorders
  • Rotate in specialty clinics including Geriatrics, Falls Prevention, Osteoporosis, Rheumatology, Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, and Post-Polio Rehabilitation
  • Participate in community experiences including prosthetics and orthotics development and fittings, performing arts and dance medicine, National Seating and Mobility wheelchair fitting, and sheltered workshop observation
  • In multiple rotations, work with physical, occupational, and speech therapists, as well as pediatric and adult patients

Electrodiagnostics (EMG)

Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS) are vital tools for the diagnosis of neurological and neuromuscular disorders. Residents are trained by attending neurologists and physiatrists in the University of Wisconsin’s EMG Laboratory. Upon completion of the rotation, residents are able to design, carry out and interpret complete and appropriate electrodiagnostic examinations.
The PMR program requires that residents participate in at least 200 EMG studies. Residents typically complete sufficient numbers of cases to meet the requirements of the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine (ABEM) and the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPMR). In addition, EMG experience is also included in the consult, pain, musculoskeletal, and community rehabilitation rotations.

Pain Rehabilitation

Residents in the Pain rotation learn the skills necessary to manage patients with chronic (persistent) pain, as well as a working knowledge of managing acute and cancer pain.  This training includes assistance with and performance of diagnositic and therapeutic interventional procedures at the Madison Surgery Center.
Responsibilities and opportunities include:
  • Interview, diagnose, and plan treatment for patients with a broad range of painful disorders
  • Assess and treat pain as part of an interdisciplinary team of nurses, physical therapists and health psychologists
  • Learn appropriate use of pharmacologic, behavioral, and rehabilitative techniques in pain management
  • Learn appropriate use and performance of office-based and fluoroscopically-guided injection procedures for pain diagnosis and treatment
  • Gain additional experience in electrodiagnostics

Community Rehabilitation

This rotation provides experiences in multiple community rehabilitation settings and time in EMG and the Pain Clinic. Community experiences include a weekly musculoskeletal/spine clinic at the VA Hospital, plus brief rotations elsewhere. These may include:
  • Subacute rehabilitation consultation visits at Clearview Brain Injury Center
  • Driving performance evaluations at Meriter Hospital
  • Rehabilitative home care visits
  • Primary care visits with the disabled through the Community Living Alliance.


This rotation focuses on musculoskeletal evaluation, injury management, and orthopedic rehabilitation. Residents work with orthopedic surgery faculty as well as rehabilitation medicine faculty in Sports Medicine Clinic and Spine Clinic. Residents also spend time with the musculoskeletal radiologists reading radiographs, CT, and MRI. There are opportunities to work during sporting events or work with athletic trainers at local high schools for experience in acute injury management. EMG experience is also included.
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