In This Section

Overall Goals and Objectives

Following completion of the training program, the physician should demonstrate:

Medical Knowledge

Residents must demonstrate knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, epidemiological and social-behavioral sciences, as well as the application of this knowledge to patient care.

  • Residents must demonstrate competence in their knowledge of the diagnosis, pathogenesis, treatment, prevention, and rehabilitation of those neuromusculoskeletal, neurobehavioral, and other system disorders common to this specialty in patients of each gender and all ages

  • Residents must demonstrate fundamental knowledge of orthotics and prosthetics, including fitting and manufacturing.
  • Residents must demonstrate knowledge of the principles of pharmacology as they relate to the indications for and complications of drugs utilized in physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Patient Care and Procedural Skills

Residents must be able to provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health.

Residents must demonstrate competence in the evaluation and management of patients with physical and/or cognitive impairments, disabilities, and functional limitations, including:

  • history and physical examination pertinent to physical medicine and rehabilitation
  • assessment of impairment, activity limitation, and participation restrictions
  • review and interpretation of pertinent laboratory and imaging materials for the patient
  • providing prescriptions for orthotics
  • prosthetics, wheelchairs, assistive devices for ambulation, and other durable medical equipment or assistive devices
  • pediatric rehabilitation
  • geriatric rehabilitation
  • application of bioethics principles to decision making in the diagnosis and management of their patients
  • providing prescription of evaluation and treatment by physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech/language pathologists, therapeutic recreational specialists, psychologists, and vocational counselors

Residents must be able to perform all medical, diagnostic, and surgical procedures considered essential for the area of practice.

Residents must demonstrate competence in the:

  • performance, documentation, and interpretation of 200 complete
  • electrodiagnostic evaluations from separate patient encounters
  • performance of therapeutic and diagnostic injections

Systems-Based Practice

Residents must demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care, including the social determinants of health, as well as the ability to call effectively on other resources to provide optimal health care.

Residents must demonstrate competence in:

  • working effectively in various health care delivery settings and systems relevant to their clinical specialty
  • coordinating patient care across the health care continuum and beyond as relevant to their clinical specialty
  • advocating for quality patient care and optimal patient care systems
  • working in interprofessional teams to enhance patient safety and improve patient care quality
  • participating in identifying system errors and implementing potential systems solutions
  • incorporating considerations of value, cost awareness, delivery and payment, and risk benefit analysis in patient and/or population based care as appropriate
  • understanding health care finances and its impact on individual patients’ health decisions
  • demonstrating knowledge of the types of patients served, referral patterns, and services available in the continuum of rehabilitation care in community rehabilitation facilities
  • Residents must learn to advocate for patients within the health care system to achieve the patient's and family's care goals, including, when appropriate, end-of-life goals

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

Residents will demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in the effective exchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families, and health professionals

Residents must demonstrate competence in:

  • communicating effectively with patients, families, and the public, as appropriate, across a broad range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds
  • communicating effectively with physicians, other health professionals, and health-related agencies
  • working effectively as a member or leader of a health care team or other professional group
  • educating patients, families, students, residents, and other health professionals
  • acting in a consultative role to other physicians and health professionals
  • maintaining comprehensive, timely, and legible medical records, if applicable
  • Residents must learn to communicate with patients and families to partner with them to assess their care goals, including, when appropriate, end-of-life goals

Practice Based Learning

Residents must demonstrate the ability to investigate and evaluate their care of patients, to appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and to continuously improve patient care based on constant self-evaluation and lifelong learning.

Residents must demonstrate competence in:

  • Identifying strengths, deficiencies, and limits in one’s knowledge and expertise
  • setting learning and improvement goals
  • identifying and performing appropriate learning activities
  • systematically analyzing practice using quality improvement methods, and implementing changes with the goal of practice improvement
  • incorporating feedback and formative evaluation into daily practice
  • locating, appraising, and assimilating evidence from scientific studies related to their patients’ health problems
  • using information technology to optimize learning


Residents must demonstrate a commitment to professionalism and an adherence to ethical principles.

Residents must demonstrate competence in:

  • compassion, integrity, and respect for others
  • responsiveness to patient needs that supersedes self-interest
  • respect for patient privacy and autonomy accountability to patients, society, and the profession
  • respect and responsiveness to diverse patient populations, including but not limited to diversity in gender, age, culture, race, religion, disabilities, national origin, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation
  • ability to recognize and develop a plan for one’s own personal and professional well-being
  • appropriately disclosing and addressing conflict or duality of interest.