Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Medical Student Programs

The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation offers a variety of medical student educational opportunities including a clerkship, elective rotations, and a summer externship. All programs are based at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.

I. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Clerkship

Students at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine complete a two week clerkship in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as part of the senior curriculum. The clerkship is housed at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, part of the McGaw Medical Center. While the rotation is primarily inpatient, students have the opportunity to participate in clinics, attend therapies with patients, and observe electrodiagnostic testing. Prior to the onset of the rotation, students may express their preference for working on one of the specialty services (brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, general rehabilitation, pediatrics, orthopedics), and such requests will be honored whenever possible. The teaching on service is a mixture of bedside, lecture, and student-directed learning. The clerkship has specific clinical objectives.

II. PM&R Elective Rotations

Senior students may participate in four week elective rotations in inpatient rehabilitation, clinical management of chronic pain, musculoskeletal rehabilitation, research, or individual study. Students interested in research or individual study need to identify and obtain approval from a faculty supervisor prior to application. There are a variety of elective rotation options. Feinberg students can apply for electives through the standard process through the registrar.

III. Summer Externship

Students between the 1st and 2nd years of medical school may participate in an eight week externship at the the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. This is a combined clinical, didactic, and research experience. Students from all medical schools are invited to apply.

For administrative information regarding medical student programs, contact the Medical Education Office at (312)-238-2870. E-mail inquiries may be sent to Diane Ross at

Program Contact

For inquiries about the content of medical students programs, please contact:

Leslie Rydberg, MD

Leslie K. Rydberg, MD
Assistant Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Henry and Monika Betts
Medical Student Education Chair
Phone: (312)-238-1000