Wyatt Kupperman, DO is a PGY-4 in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of Chicago/ Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital. An AAP member since 2017, Wyatt also serves as the Medical Student Affairs Representative on the AAP’s Resident/Fellow Council. Discover his path to PM&R and his plans for future leadership!
I wanted to pursue a career of substance and service that incorporated my love of the sciences. Medicine certainly fits this, but, while following a multiple sclerosis patient before medical school, I was equally interested in understanding her treatment and how we could help her dance at an upcoming wedding. I quickly learned about the vast field of PM&R. I was fortunate while in medical school to have a great PM&R interest group, and a dean who was a physiatrist. This field is very dynamic with varying practice settings and scopes, which may be difficult for medical students early on to appreciate. It’s been a privilege being part of a team that helps people experience life by improving function.
I’m still early on in my PM&R career, and I’ve already experienced many rewarding moments. All of these moments remind me of the satisfaction I receive in caring for a diverse patient population from all over Chicago, which can be challenging at times given difficulties in accessing care.
I joined the Resident/Fellow Council in February 2018. My hope is to continue building the medical student/ resident mentorship program to provide an avenue for interested students. We also continue to encourage and empower students to develop their own PM&R interest groups at their home institutions. Watching passionate and motivated people work to propel our field and grow our community has energized me to pursue my own interests, and the relationships I am building in the AAP have given me the proper guidance.
After residency, I will be completing a one-year spine medicine fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic. With my training, I have attempted to place myself in programs and institutions that provide a variety of clinical settings to care for a broad patient population. Once fellowship is completed, my goal is to work in a multi-disciplinary group setting. I also thoroughly enjoy the collegial teaching atmosphere, so I’m not ruling out academic medicine.
For medical students and incoming residents, I recommend keeping your head on a swivel for opportunities, even if they are outside of your comfort zone. Find a mentor for guidance while you navigate your journey.