Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Didactic Information

The structured didactic component of the residency program in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Northwestern University includes functional anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and biomechanics, neurosciences, pharmacology, electromyography, physical medicine modalities, sports medicine, psychology of disability, research design, and administrative techniques.

The didactic curriculum combines:

  • Daily lectures by department faculty members from Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and NU
  • Journal club, moderated by an attending physician or AbilityLab scientist
  • Case conferences, presented by an attending physician
  • 42 weeks Musculoskeletal Foundations lecture series that includes didactic teaching as well as hands on anatomy, ultrasound, and physical examination sessions.
  • Electromyography lecture series
  • Weekly Musculoskeletal Medicine Journal Club
  • Weekly Grand rounds, featuring experts from our own faculty and visiting professors
  • Administrative/management educational series

Didactic Curriculum

PGY-2 residents participate in a daily organized didactic curriculum that repeats annually. The content of this didactic curriculum is composed of the major areas that reflect the core information needed for the diversity of physiatric practice.

Core lectures are led by faculty and held daily at noon with didactic lectures on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, Grand Rounds on Wednesday and Journal Club on Thursday.

In addition to the core lecture series, PGY-3 and PGY-4 residents have protected time for a weekly advance lecture series and a weekly sports and spine lecture series.  In addition, residents attend courses in prosthetic and orthotics and the business of medicine.

Main Topics of Didactic Curriculum


  • Stroke Rehabilitation
  • Sports Medicine

  • Musculoskeletal Medicine

  • Brain Injury
  • Pain Management

  • Spine Interventions

  • Neurophysiology
  • Medically Complex Rehabilitation

  • Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

  • Spinal Cord Injury

  • Prosthetics and Orthotics

  • Physical Examination

  • Neuromuscular Disorders

  • Quality Improvement

  • Interdisciplinary Teamwork

  • Pediatric Rehabilitation

  • Disability/Worker’s Compensation

  • Physiatric Therapeutics

  • Electrodiagnostics

  • Women’s Health

  • Psychology of Disability

  • Ethics of Rehabilitation

  • Cancer Rehabilitation

  • Vocational Rehabilitation

  • Therapeutic Recreation