News & Publications

PM&R Resident E-Newsletter


September 2016

From Your Resident Physician Council (RPC)

An Interview with David Binder, MD, MBA: What is a Hackathon?

David Binder, MD, MBA
Director of Innovation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
Medical Director, Spaulding Outpatient Center Cambridge
Vice President, Medical Staff, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital


Marisa Flavin, MD
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, PGY4


Dr. Flavin: So for those of us who are less tech-savvy, what exactly is a hackathon?
Dr. Binder: If you are efficiently trying to solve a problem in any industry, you need people with different skill sets. For example, to solve a problem in health care, you obviously want clinicians, but you may also want an attorney, a designer, a coder, and an engineer. In real life, getting all of these people in the same room is a difficult thing to accomplish. In a hackathon, you invite people with these different skill sets to a single location for a 1-3 day event. The goal is to identify a problem and to start thinking about a potential solution.

Dr. Flavin: Who participated in the hackathon?
Dr. Binder: We had participation from some of the engineers at MIT; we had physicians from a lot of different hospitals here in Boston, residents, physical therapists and occupational therapists, designers, and entrepreneurs. It was a really well-rounded participant pool.

Dr. Flavin: Who were the judges for the hackathon?
Dr. Binder: We had some really great judges from fairly diverse backgrounds. There was Elaine Chen from the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship; Ben Levitan who is on the board of trustees for Spaulding; David Storto, the president of Spaulding Hospital Network; Michael Muehe who is the executive director of the Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities; and Amy Cueva who is the founder of Mad*Pow, a design firm in Boston. Mad*Pow was actually one of the sponsors of the hackathon. They gave us a $10,000 design award, which we gave to the team that was awarded the best design.

Dr. Flavin: So who won the hackathon?
Dr. Binder: We had 3 overall winners. The award for Best Design went to ParkAble, which is an app that allows for the identification of handicapped parking spaces. The Spaulding Innovation Award went to Magic Glove, which is a proprioceptive feedback device to aid in physical therapy. The runner-up prize went to Therapy Connect, which is a way to help facilitate communication between physical therapists and patients.

Dr. Flavin: What is the current status of the winning ideas?
Dr. Binder: All of the teams have continued communicating since the event. The team from ParkAble was actually recently awarded a $60,000 grant from the Attorney Generals Office Access and Opportunity grant program to fund continued development, integration, and implementation of the app.

Dr. Flavin: What are your plans for future hackathons?
Dr. Binder: We have our second annual Spaulding Hackathon set for Friday, October 14 and Saturday October 15, 2016. It’s a couple of weeks before the AAPM&R Annual Assembly. We are really excited because we have been able to secure the Microsoft NERD Center. NERD stands for New England Research and Development. It’s this gorgeous space right in Kendall Square, so we are really excited about that.

Dr. Flavin: That’s awesome. Thanks so much for your time.
Dr. Binder: No problem. Thank you for your interest in the hackathon and Spaulding Innovation!

Join Us for the Resident Quiz Bowl—A Fun Trivia Competition

AAPM&R is proud to present the inaugural Resident Quiz Bowl at #AAPMR2016. Join us for this fun-filled event where PM&R programs from across the nation can compete and test their PM&R knowledge. Will your residency program score a victory as the first champions?

To reserve a spot for your program, email with the subject line “AAPM&R Resident Quiz Bowl Team” by Friday, September 23, 2016. Please include the name of your team captain and the name of your program. The following teams are currently signed up:

  • Rush University Medical Center
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Rusk Rehabilitation at NYU Langone
  • UCLA/VAGLA PM&R Residency Program

Academy News 

2016-2017 RPC Leadership Announced

The RPC includes all AAPM&R resident members, helping them prepare to provide optimal physiatric services to patients and the specialty. The RPC Board's mission is to assume an active role in the function of the Academy—specifically in the areas of membership, medical education, physiatric practice, health care legislation, and awareness—while building an active PM&R resident community. Their mission also includes the enhancement of communication between PM&R residents, the AAPM&R Board of Governors, and other members.

We are proud to announce the 2016-2017 RPC Executive Committee members:

  • President: Gaurav S. Sharma, MD (PGY3—VAGLA/UCLA)
  • Past President: Stephanie Tow, MD (PGY4—University of TX Southwest Medical Center)
  • Vice President: Christina Klein, MD (PGY3—Stanford PM&R)
  • Secretary: Justin Weppner, DO (PGY3—University of VA)

We are proud to announce the 2016-2017 RPC Committee members and liaisons:

  • Membership Committee: Andrew Joyce, MD (PGY3—Harvard - Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital) and Ashley Wong, DO (PGY2—CWRU/MetroHealth Rehabilitation Institute of Ohio)
  • Medical Education Committee: Claire Finkel, MD (PGY3—University of Missouri Columbia) and Nathaniel V. Zuziak, DO (PGY2—Mercy Medical Center)
  • Quality, Practice, Policy, and Research Committee: Ellia Ciammaichella, MD (PGY2—University of Texas at Houston) and Matthew Haas, MD (PGY2—Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago)
  • Residency Program Liaison: Michelle Chi, MD (PGY3—NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital of Columbia and Cornell)
  • AMA-RFS Delegate: Brittany Bickelhaupt, MD (PGY2—University of Texas Health Science Center of San Antonio)

We are proud to announce the 2016-2017 RPC Nominating Committee members:

  • Nominating Committee: Zachary Bailowitz, MD (PGY3—Carolinas Rehabilitation) and Arlene Lazaro, DO (PGY3—Mount Sinai NYC)
Don’t Miss the Discussions on PhyzForum!

Have you checked out the new PhyzForum? This is your destination to receive insights and ideas from fellow physiatrists. There are many active conversations taking place—log in and start engaging. Be sure to add us to your safe sender email list to ensure you’re not missing any discussions.

Don’t forget to upload your profile picture, as your peers want to see you!


Annual Assembly 

Resident Town Hall/Visioning PM&R Bold Meeting

All AAPM&R resident members are invited and encouraged to attend the Resident Town Hall Meeting on Friday, October 21 at 5 pm during AAPM&R's 2016 Annual Assembly. This Town Hall will be moderated by the RPC Board and will include a special discussion to gather resident input for Visioning PM&R Bold. This is your chance to have your voice be heard and Be PM&R Bold!

Don’t Miss the 2016 Resident Program—Better Than Ever Before!

Don’t miss #AAPMR2016, October 20-23! With approximately 500 residents attending each year, the AAPM&R Annual Assembly is the largest annual gathering of PM&R residents. This year’s program will provide job search and medical practice information to help guide resident physicians in securing a position and preparing for physiatric practice.

We have plenty of educational and networking opportunities designed just for you:

See you in New Orleans!

Receive Career Assistance at #AAPMR2016

Be sure to stop by the NEW Career Corner Booth in the PM&R Pavilion (formerly known as the Exhibit Hall) to learn more about the Academy's career development resources and tools as well as volunteer opportunities to enhance your CV and leadership skills. You’ll be able to meet with representatives from various organizations who will be on-hand to conduct CV reviews and offer career advice. Learn more.


SAE-R Study Tools from Your Academy

The AAPM&R self-assessment examination for residents (SAE-R) takes place January 2017 and consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. Are you prepared?

Your Academy has several online resources to help you study. Many of these resources are available on mē® at a discounted rate for residents.

  • Abridged SAE-Rs: Each abridged SAE-R provides a taste of what to expect with January’s exam by featuring questions covering 10-12 clinical areas of PM&R.
  • Self-Assessment Examinations for Practitioners (SAE-Ps): SAE-Ps are a great way to zone in on 1 clinical area and evaluate your knowledge. Plus, some include review articles.
  • Certification Exam Prep Qbank: This online exam study tool covers the 12 PM&R core topics of the specialty through 800+ questions. The Qbank provides immediate feedback with comprehensive commentary and references, and you’ll have access to this resource for 2 years.

Health Policy/Advocacy

CMS Announces "Pick Your Pace" Plan for 2017 Quality Payment Program

On September 8, 2016, Andrew Slavitt, Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced in a blog post that the agency heard concerns expressed by AAPM&R and other physician organizations about the proposed start date for performance reporting by physicians under the new payment systems created by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, or MACRA.

In the post, CMS announced that the final MACRA regulation will exempt physicians from any risk of penalties if they choose 1 of 3 distinct MIPS reporting options in 2017, in addition to the option of participating in an advanced APM. Read more.

AAPM&R President, Gregory Worsowicz, MD, MBA, Testifies at Hearing on Incentivizing Quality Outcomes in Medicare Part A

On Wednesday, September 7, AAPM&R President, Gregory Worsowicz, MD, MBA, testified at the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee's Health Subcommittee hearing on Incentivizing Quality Outcomes in Medicare Part A. His testimony placed an emphasis on improving the quality and efficiency of patient care through payment reform measures and value-based purchasing in the post-acute care (PAC) sector. Learn more.

AAPM&R Submits Comment Letter on Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

AAPM&R sent a comment letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on September 6, 2016 regarding their proposed rule on the Physician Fee Schedule, named “Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2017; Medicare Advantage Pricing Data Release; Medicare Advantage and Part D Medical Low Ratio Data Release; Medicare Advantage Provider Network Requirements; Expansion of Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Model.” Read the full comment letter.

For more health policy/advocacy updates, visit

Resources for You

What’s Coming Next
Look for the next issue of the PM&R Resident in your email inbox in December.

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Missed the last issue? Check it out on the Academy’s website.