Skip To Main Content University of Washington Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
  Department of Rehabilitation Medicine 
  maximizing potential across the lifespan

Medical Student Education
Electives: Spinal Cord Injury (REHAB 689)

REHAB 689P – Spinal Cord Injury (8 credits)

Offered: AWSpS; 4 weeks based on clinical block schedule
Prerequisites: Completion of MED 665, SURG 665; permission from department for 2017-18 schoolyear
Location: Seattle, WA
Clerkship Site: VA Medical Center – Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) only
Faculty Contacts: Dr. Ny-Ying Lam,; Dr. Mindy Loveless,
Administrative Coordinator:Jong Kim, 206.616.6345;


This is a four-week spinal cord injury clerkship and is intended for those interested in exploring a career in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. This clerkship is available at the VA Medical Center only. Students will see patients with acute injuries and will follow them as they progress through rehabilitation in order to function at a maximal level. Patients will also have chronic injuries with hospitalization for rehabilitation or for management of conditions such as neurogenic bladder, bowel, pressure ulcers, spasticity, pain or other medical conditions. This course is also recommended for students contemplating a career in Urology, Neurosurgery, Plastic Surgery, Orthopedics, or Family Medicine.


Students will be introduced to the diagnosis, management, and rehabilitation of patients who have experienced a spinal cord injury. Students will learn to interact with the rehabilitation team as well as the Spinal Cord Injury sub-specialists in Urology, Neurosurgery, and Plastic Surgery. Performance at sub-intern level is expected.


  1. Patient Care
    • Perform a general and specific physiatric examination, including (as appropriate): mental status evaluation, gait evaluation, manual muscle testing, ASIA exam
    • Diagnose physical, cognitive, and psychosocial impairments and disabilities
    • Formulate a problem list, prioritizing medical and rehabilitation issues
    • Integrate facts and data to make clinical decisions
  2. Medical Knowledge
    • Review laboratory data and imaging data and identify normal and abnormal findings
    • Name expected effects and side effects for commonly used oral or injected medications
    • Generate a differential diagnosis for medical or PM&R problems
    • Integrate and apply knowledge to manage complex medical problems
    • Integrate and apply knowledge to manage complex PM&R problems
  3. Practice Based Learning and Improvement
    • Identify strengths, deficiencies and limits in own knowledge and expertise
    • Use information technology and other resources to optimize learning
    • Attend teaching conferences and rounds
  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, staff/team, and insurers 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.

Level A conformance icon, 
          W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0
Copyright © 2000-2020 University of Washington