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  Department of Rehabilitation Medicine 
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Medical Student Education
Electives: Rehabilitation Medicine Clerkship (REHAB 688)

REHAB 688P - Rehabilitation Medicine Clerkship (8 credits)

Offered: AWSpS; 4 weeks based on clinical block schedule
Prerequisites: 3rd year medical student standing; permission from department for 2017-18 schoolyear
Location: Seattle, WA
Clerkship Site: VA Medical Center
Faculty Contacts: Dr. Ny-Ying Lam,; Dr. Mindy Loveless,
Administrative Coordinator:Jong Kim, 206.616.6345;


This four-week inpatient rehabilitation clerkship at the VA Puget Sound Health Care system is intended for those interested in exploring a career in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, but can also be considered for students contemplating a career in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Rheumatology, Geriatrics, Orthopedic Surgery, or Neurosurgery.

This clinical course focuses on providing medical and rehabilitative care to inpatients with a variety of diagnoses and functional limitations including, but not limited to, stroke, amputation, multiple sclerosis and motor neuron disease. Students will have a structured clinical experience on a generalinpatient rehabilitation unit, but will also have opportunities to participate a variety of outpatient rehabilitation clinics. Students will learn to use the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health to structure their assessments and treatment plans and learn to how to function as a lead member of the rehabilitation team.


The goal of this rotation is to learn inpatient PM&R management of patients with disabilities and functional impairments due to disorders such as acquired brain injury, CNS disorders, spinal cord injury, and complex medical conditions. Students will have a structured clinical experience on rehabilitation medicine wards, clinics, or consultation services. Students will learn the differences between acute and chronic medicine, identification of disability problems, and therapeutic techniques for removing disability.


  1. Patient Care
    • Perform a general medical history and physical exam, including a functional evaluation.
    • Produce a differential diagnosis for common medical conditions and order appropriate diagnostic studies.
    • Evaluates general medical problems and initiate treatment.
    • Describes impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions resulting from a variety of health conditions.
    • Prescribe appropriate rehabilitation therapies by discipline based on functional need.
    • Prescribe commonly used orthoses, adaptive devices and mobility aids.
  2. Medical Knowledge
    • Applies basic medical knowledge to provide care for common medical conditions and basic preventive care.
    • Correlate impairments with lesion location in stroke syndromes.
    • Describe prevention and management of secondary conditions and complications of stroke.
    • Identify different levels of upper and lower limb stroke.
    • List the components of commonly used lower limb prostheses.
    • Describe the components of a basic pain history.
    • Identify basic medications, physical modalities, and coping mechanisms for pain.
    • Describe upper motor neuron syndrome.
    • List common symptoms experiences by people with MS and ALS.
  3. Practice Based Learning and Improvement
    • Acknowledge gaps in personal knowledge and skills.
    • Utilize multiple sources of information (textbooks, technology, clinical supervisors, etc.) for learning needs.
    • Formulate clinically relevant questions that guide the search for specific knowledge to inform clinical decisions.
  4. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
    • Present material clearly and accurately to patients using effective verbal and non-verbal skills, utilizing interpreters if needed
    • Utilize effective listening skills
    • Communicate with physicians and staff/team in respectful, responsive manner
    • Complete dictations and chart notes in a timely manner
    • Document clinical findings in accordance with service requirements
    • Use information technology to access and manage patient information
  5. Professionalism
    • Exemplify respect, compassion, reliability, punctuality, integrity and honesty
    • Demonstrate responsiveness to patient needs that supersedes self-interest
    • Accept responsibility for own actions and decisions
    • Maintain patient confidentiality and respect patient autonomy
    • Apply ethical principles in obtaining informed consent
    • Demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to age, culture, disability, race, religion, sexual orientation and gender of patients and colleagues
  6. Systems Based Practice
    • Collaborate with and maintain appropriate professional attitudes and behaviors toward other medical professionals and allied health personnel
    • Assess how own actions affect others
    • Integrate care of patients across settings and ensure appropriate hand off
    • Evaluate risks, benefits, limitations, and costs of patient care
    • Advocate for patients in dealing with system complexities
    • Advocate for quality patient care
    • Work effectively with other services, health care agencies, and case managers
    • Work to improve the system of care


Honors, High Pass, Pass, and Fail. Based on recommendation of preceptor.

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