The Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation offers several opportunities for medical students to learn about physiatry including clinical rotations, observerships, School of Medicine/Area of Concentration offerings and PM&R research programs.

Clinical Rotations

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine offers clinical clerkships for medical students providing opportunities to experience the evaluation and management of rehabiliation patients. These rotations are available to 3rd and 4th year Pitt medical students and visiting 4th year medical students. Course options offer experiences in various rehabilitation settings including:
Spinal cord injury
Traumatic Brain Injury, concussion
Pediatric disabilities
Musculoskeletal disorders
Sports Medicine
PM&R Research

Special interests and requests can be accommodated with prior notification.

Course listings and application information are available on the University of Pittsburgh Student Affairs website:


Three day observerships experiences are available by request. Please contact Sara Brown at to check availability.

Medical Student Training

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In addition to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Clerkships there exist many other opportunities for Pitt Med students to acquaint themselves with the PM&R specialty.


Disabilities-prepares students for healthcare careers serving children and adults with disabilities.
For more information contact Dr. Betty Y. Liu ( or visit the AOC/disabilities website.

Integrative Medicine - provides an opportunity for future physicians, regardless of career choice, to explore and train in integrative medicine as well as conduct scholarly review and investigations contributing to evidence based medicine. gain exposure to the team approach our physicians employ in providing various assistive technologies to improve mobility.
For more information contact the directors Dr. Brad Dicianno ( or Dr. Ronald Glick ( or visit the AOC/iamoc website.

Resuscitation -The Resuscitation AOC (ResusAOC) provides students a longitudinal experience in the multi-disciplinary field of acute-care medicine of critical illness beginning at initial patient contact in the Emergency Department, stabilization in the Intensive Care Unit, and rehabilitation to return to pre-morbid ability. The ResusAOC includes clinical experiences, didactic experiences, Student Portfolio, and a Scholarly Work.
For more information contact Dr. Julie Lanphere ( visit the AOC/resuscitation website.

PM&R INTEREST GROUP - allows students interested in the field of physiatry to learn more about this specialty, network with faculty and residents, and attend workshops and social events.
For more information contact Dr. Brad Dicianno (

MEDICAL STUDENT SUMMER CLINICAL EXTERNSHIP (MSSCE) - This eight week summer program, sponsored by the Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP), provides a wide range of inpatient and outpatient clinical exposure allowing students to explore the human side of patient care and the psychosocial environments patients encounter.
For more information visit the MSSCE pages on the AAP website. to top of page


The department is very proud to be ranked among the top programs in NIH research funding to physical medicine and rehabilitation programs. Students at all levels and from a wide range of departments have received valuable instruction from our faculty.

The University of Pittsburgh offers various options for the research-oriented medical student, including a variety of research programs.

Scholarly Projects – Gain exposure to the mechanics of scientific investigation, learn how to develop a hypothesis, and how to collect, analyze, and interpret data to support it.

Dean’s Summer Research Program – Each year, UPSOM alumni sponsor a summer research program for 1st and 2nd year students.

Rehabilitation Research Experience for Medical Students (RREMS) – Sponsored by the Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP) and the Foundation for PM&R, this summer externship offers first year medical students experience in scholarly research within the specialty of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. For more information go to our Research Training page on this website.

Download our Med Student Research Fair booklet for an expanded look at the ongoing investigations by our researchers. to top of page

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Applications are available for
Visiting Students
on the
Med Students Affairs

PM&R Research experts at Pitt's School of Medicine

Dr. Gwen Sowa

Dr. Brad Dicianno

For information about med student training opportunities contact
Sara Brown at