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Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Program (RMSTP)
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Made possible through funding from:
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Child Health Human Development (NICHD)
National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR)
Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP)

The Need for Physiatric Research

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) as a specialty faces exciting opportunities to contribute to the health and well-being of society. As a specialty that concerns itself not with a specific organ system, but with human performance and function, the field has much to offer in the way of solutions to critical societal issues such as the aging of the population, the saving of individuals with formerly lethal conditions, and the increased societal recognition of the importance of quality of life. Moreover, advances in other scientific arenas offer new and exciting tools that may be applied to problems of human function.

Like all other medical specialties, advances in PM&R are dependent upon research. Real challenges are faced by the field as it is a relatively small specialty, new in comparison to other disciplines, lacks a history of major research involvement, and operates within a highly complex theoretical framework. Moreover, because rehabilitation science concerns itself with analytic levels ranging from molecular to social, appropriate models for advanced research training differ from those that have been successful in more narrowly defined scientific disciplines.

Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Defined
The Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Program (RMSTP) provides research training, mentorship and career development support for those physiatrists committed to developing productive careers in academic medicine and research. The ultimate aim of the RMSTP is to increase the number of rigorously trained, extramurally competitive and scientifically productive faculty members in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) departments, who can contribute to the continued development of physiatric research specifically and rehabilitation science in general.

Resident Participants in the RMSTP will engage in a three-phase process spanning eight years. Prior to entrance into the program, (the pre-application phase), potential candidates will be exposed to essential preparatory activities including early career counseling and scientific mentorship. Phase I of the RMSTP focuses on research and training conducted in the laboratory of a productive senior scientist in the area of interest to the trainee. Phase II consists of the first two years of junior faculty status, where the trainee will transition into a career as an independent investigator. Individuals who are already in junior faculty positions may enter directly into Phase I if they have received adequate preparation previously.

Program Vision
If physiatrists treat problems in human function, then one might define physiatric researchers as scientists of human function. Thus, it becomes obvious that there is no one type of training experience or skill set which is "appropriate" for all physiatric researchers. The goal of the RMSTP, therefore, is to expose physiatrists to tools and knowledge bases that are closely related to the problems of human function that they wish to understand and to help them transform these tools into the building blocks of a physiatric research base.

RMSTP also seeks to expose the trainees to opportunities for ongoing collaboration with investigators in related disciplines who possess a depth of knowledge in their own fields so as to continually enrich the collaborative stream of research and create an environment in which mentorship is consistently present.

Trainees are the essential component of a completed vision of the research-intensive PM&R department, populated by faculty who are experts on human functions of various kinds with the tools and skills necessary to transform concepts into scientific fact.



Program Overview
Info for Residents
Info for Faculty and Fellows
Phase I Application
Current RMSTP Fellows
RMSTP Graduates
RMSTP Advisory Board

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Group HomeParticipants 

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Advisory Board


Many entry level academic faculty are seeking ways to enhance their research career development, and it is difficult for department chairs to support protected research time in the absence of extramural funding. The Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Program (RMSTP), funded by a K12 grant from the NIH, can be an important resource in faculty development.

In the past, the RMSTP has targeted its recruitment primarily to residents, to give sufficient planning time to enter a productive fellowship immediately after residency. However, physiatrists are eligible to apply for RMSTP funding up to 5 years after completing their residency or clinical fellowship. Thus, junior faculty within this time frame can be funded by the RMSTP to enhance their research training under the guidance of a productive mentor.

AAP's Mission

Creating the future of academic physiatry through mentorship, leadership, and discovery.

Contact Us

Association of Academic Physiatrists
10461 Mill Run Circle, Suite 730
Owings Mills, MD 21117
P. 410.654.1000 F. 410.654.1001

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