Spotlight on the New York Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Rachel Yinfei Xu
Graduation Year: 2016
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
In light of recent conversations, we want to feature more opportunities for residents to become active in their field of PM&R. This month, we have invited Dr. Xu, a resident leader in the New York Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, to discuss resident involvement in state societies. While not all states have one, state societies often have excellent opportunities in networking, leadership, advocacy, and other activities. For more information, you can check out some state society information on aapmr.org.
How does the New York Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation serve physiatrists and PM&R residents in New York?
The New York Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (NYSPMR) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of our field by providing educational, networking, leadership, and legislative opportunities. The society connects individuals across all levels of experience with our membership ranging from medical students to practicing physiatrists. Through the monthly CME-accredited lecture series, accomplished speakers expose young physicians to important topics as well as guide experienced physicians on future directions. Members gather at networking events that immediately follow the lectures.
An interactive experience in a more intimate setting is offered through the workshop series. For example, NYSPM&R recognizes musculoskeletal ultrasound as a valuable tool and the need to teach physiatrists this exciting tool. At the ultrasound workshops, volunteer physicians lead trainees through lectures followed by structured practice modules. Also, to help residents prepare for boards, members can sign up for the mock oral boards. For those not yet ready for boards, they can always practice their PM&R knowledge “game-show style” at the annual Rehab Bowl.
NYSPMR is proud to help serve our community. Current outreach activities by NYSPMR members include volunteering for the Special Olympics among others. The society is also an advocacy platform through which members have the opportunity to affect change at the state level. Multiple times throughout the year, NYSPMR joins the lobbying efforts of the NYS Coalition of Specialty Care Physicians in Albany, NY.
Please visit https://www.nyspmr.org/ if you would like to learn more about the society.
What is your role in the organization and what does that involve?
My role as the clinical education coordinator involves working with the clinical education chair, Dr. Laurentiu Dinescu, pain management attending at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, to implement the annual workshop series. The curriculum is decided upon by the entire NYSPMR board to cover fundamental clinical skills and emerging techniques. This year we have 12 sessions to cover prosthetics, spasticity, osteopathic manipulation, PRP injection, musculoskeletal ultrasound, and more. I invite speakers and instructors to participate in these events, many of whom have been with NYSPMR for years. As always, I appreciate the time that these individuals have volunteered on their weekend mornings to teach.
My goal is to ensure that the attendees have an enjoyable and interactive experience with new skills that they can immediately use. Beyond that, I hope that they walk away with the inspiration to pursue self-directed training.
How did you first become active in your state society?
I was fortunate enough to have been invited into this role by my friend and colleague Dr. Mikiko Murakami, an aspiring and soon-to-be pain management fellow at UCSD. I took an interest in the workshops when she had this role. She believed that I would do a good job filling in her shoes after she left, introduced me to Dr. Dinescu, and I am so glad she did!
What other resident opportunities exist in your state society?
There are many other board positions for residents and fellows to take on leadership roles. All of the events I mentioned are opportunities for residents to learn, teach, volunteer, and connect. Among one of the largest NYSPMR events of the year is the annual Job Fair which brings together many employers and fellowships in the region.
What recommendations do you have for residents that are interested in becoming involved in their state societies?
I think being involved in your state society is rewarding and a great way to network. Although not all states have state societies, I would expect most to be welcoming to nearby states. To become involved, showing genuine interest is key. Attend the events and introduce yourself to others. Be sure to express your interest early on. You never know when you might be talking to the friend of a board member who just happens to be looking for someone to fill an open position.
A note from Dr. Andrew Collins, RPC Secretary….
I hope that Dr. Xu’s information has inspired many of you to reach out to your state organizations to see what opportunities may be available to you. As an active member of the Academy’s Resident Physician Council Board, I encourage you to also become involved in your national organization. The rewards, networking, and knowledge sharing opportunities have been invaluable! To find a volunteer opportunity that matches you within the Academy, click here. To find specific resident opportunities, click here.