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Implementing a Global Integrative Rehabilitation Medicine Rotation: A Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency Program’s Experience

Kosasih, Judith B. MD; Jurisic, Daniela H. MD; Gandini, Cristiano MD; Sauter, Carley N. MD; Braza, Diane W. MD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: June 2013 - Volume 92 - Issue 6 - p 533–541
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e31827d66c0
Education & Administration

ABSTRACT An innovative international rotation in integrative rehabilitation medicine was implemented as part of the physical medicine and rehabilitation residency program at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Rotation objectives were to introduce medical knowledge of integrative medicine treatments into physical medicine and rehabilitation practice and to initiate collaboration with international academic partners. Residents were approved based on their academic record, completion of prerequisites, and personal statement. During a 4-wk rotation located in Italy, residents developed an integrative treatment strategy for each patient using conventional medical care and other therapeutic options, including acupuncture, biofeedback, aquatic therapy, yoga, and others. Postrotation assessment included evaluations by Italian team and patients, residents’ evidence-based presentations, and postrotation self-reflection. Participating residents reported high achievement in clinical performance, improved application of integrative medicine, broader appreciation of cultural diversity in patient care, and increased personal and professional development. This reciprocal program model serves as an example for other programs interested in implementing similar international rotations.

From the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (JBK, CNS, DWB); Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (JBK); Association of Active Integrative Medicine, Pavia, Italy (DHJ, CG); and Fondazione IRCC Ca’Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy (CG).

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to: Judith B. Kosasih, MD, Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, 5000 W National Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53295.

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.

Presented in abstract format at the Central Group on Educational Affairs 2012 Spring Meeting, St Louis, MO.

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins