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11/7/2014 » 11/11/2014
Learn Serve Lead 2014: The AAMC Annual Meeting

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Medical Student Summer Clinical Externship (MSSCE)

The Medical Student Summer Clinical Externship (MSSCE) program has been developed for medical students with a strong desire for clinical experience in the field of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) and who are eagerly seeking opportunities to see patients. This eight-week summer program aims to provide a wide range of inpatient and outpatient clinical exposure and to allow students to explore the human side of patient care and the psychosocial environments their patients face.

Applicants: We are seeking applicants from all American allopathic and osteopathic medical schools. Applicants should submit their grades, MCAT scores, an essay and a letter of recommendation to the selection committee. Applications will be accepted for Summer 2014 starting in January 2014. For more information on the application process.

Sites: PM&R departments with strong educational programs for students, residents and fellows, and which show dedication to teaching endeavors are encouraged to apply. Each site will be required to designate a clinician-educator to serve as mentor/site director. The site must be able to provide excellent inpatient and outpatient clinical experiences for one or two students each summer. Applications to sponsor a student will be accepted for Summer 2014 starting in November 2013. For more information on the application process.

Didactics: The program will develop a web-based curriculum, using the educational software, BlackboardTM, which will post relevant articles or chapters. Students will be required to read this material and review it with their site mentor weekly. The student will also receive hands-on training in clinical interviewing and physical exam skills.

Clinical Experiences: Each site will provide the student with a range of clinical experiences, to be approximately 50% inpatient and 50% outpatient. This could be set up by inpatient or outpatient months, or by mixing the experiences on a daily or weekly basis. The student should not only shadow PM&R physicians during this time, but also be given at least one inpatient and one outpatient to follow on a longitudinal basis during the eight weeks. The student should be expected to see that patient in each therapy discipline (PT, OT, SLP, psychology), and to interact with the patient’s family as well. The student should be given some choice in the subspecialty clinical area(s) in which s/he is to rotate, but should be exposed to at least two or three different subspecialties (e.g., pediatric rehab, stroke, spinal cord, chronic pain.)

Simulation exercise: Each student will be required to spend a day in a wheelchair, or a similar simulated disability. The student will experience the physical and psychosocial barriers associated with this.

Mentorship: This program will foster a close relationship between the student and the site mentor. The mentor will be required to meet with the student 1:1 at least one hour each week. During this meeting, the mentor will de-brief the student on his/her clinical activities that week, and try to put those experiences in context. The mentor will also review the weekly readings from the website. Most importantly, the mentor will serve as a role model, emphasizing the professionalism that permeates the physiatric community.

Journal: Each student will be required to submit a journal at the end of the externship, which will detail their experiences. More importantly, it will serve as a conduit in which to distill how those experiences will influence their future careers.



There is an ongoing and growing shortage of physicians who specialize in the care of people with disabilities. This summer clerkship aims to address this situation by providing an exposure to the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation early in future physicians' careers (the summer between first and second years of medical school.) The AAP hopes to provide excellent role models in the field of PM&R to the participating students in this program.

This eight week experience will take place in July and August between the first and second year of medical school. MSSCE woud like to attract students who hunger for clinical exposure and opportunities to examine patients.

MSSCE will allow young, upcoming physicians to personally experience the excellence and importance of PM&R. By participating in the MSSCE program, students will learn the basic skills, attitudes, and behaviors required in a clinical setting and will have the opportunity to develop familiarity with the special needs of the physiatrist, both as an introduction to those disciplines and as a means of developing the skills necessary to recognize, treat and/or refer patients who present with conditions requiring the expertise of PM&R physicians.

MSSCE will also serve to enhance the visibility of the specialty of Physiatry in medical schools and potentially attract top students to the field of PM&R.

MSSCE is designed to be a mutually beneficial experience for both the medical student and the hosting site institution. The site institutions, in return for sponsoring a medical student, are provided the opportunity to establish relationships with highly motivated medical students who may be candidates for future residency programs or additional leadership training pathways.

The MSSCE program will entail an eight-week summer externship following the first year of medical school with an attached stipend of $4,000. Students will then submit an application for the externship detailing their top three site selections, desire to develop clinical skills in the field of PM&R and interest in participating in the program. Each student is expected to submit a case report for presentation at the next AAP Annual Meeting. The contribution by the hosting PM&R Department would be to agree to support the travel and registration of the trainee to the AAP Annual Meeting to allow students to present their case report, observe scientific paper presentations, network with residents and leaders in the field of PM&R, and to meet additional mentors.

Evaluation and feedback would be achieved through: 1) a completed case report during the externship; 2) a written evaluation by the hosting PM&R Department; and 3) a completed questionnaire by the student detailing the experience. Each student would be expected to submit a case report for presentation at the AAP Annual Meeting. Medical students participating in MSSCE would be followed to determine if they chose PM&R for residency and how their careers develop.

This program is generously supported by the the Roosevelt Warm Springs Foundation, Please see the application forms for specific rules and requirements. We look forward to receiving your applications.

Info for Site Sponsors
Info for Medical Students
Current Participants
Past Participants
Site Sponsors


 2013 MSSCE Participants at AAP Annual Meeting in Nashville

The 2013 MSSCE participants presented posters based on their work in the program at the 2014 AAP Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN.







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