Photo by Matthias Zomer from Pexels

by Shariq Khan, MS IV

Still a newly minted third year med student, I was mentally rehearsing the next encounter with a patient outside their room. She was a ninety-something year old black woman there for rehabilitation after a recent stroke. Visions paraded past my eyes about how much she’d seen with her own: the end of the second world war, the civil rights movement, the digital age, all the while with the contractures she’d developed from being wheelchair-bound since childhood. I imagined myself in her shoes: never having played soccer, never skipping down the street, discrimination, excluded from society…


Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Joie de Vivre

by Renee Rosati, DO

The French expression Joie de Vivre means a “delight in being alive, carefree enjoyment of living.” For many, the Joie de Vivre comes from spending time with loved ones, the thrill of competing in a sport, expressing oneself through art, and a myriad of other pursuits. When faced with new functional impairments, some patients may temporarily lose sight of the Joie de Vivre.

Painting has become a newfound passion of mine. As a painter, the way I visualize and interpret the environment has changed; trees aren’t just sap green, they’re hues of cadmium yellow and thalo…


Photo by Tim Mossholder from Pexels

by David Underhill, MS IV

As the crane lifted Stonewall Jackson’s newly detached iron figure from his statue base, a light drizzle began to fall over Richmond’s Monument Avenue. A surrounding crowd cheered as one of the peculiar vestiges of Confederate enshrinement was plucked from its formerly esteemed position, no longer towering over one of the city’s main thoroughfares. A few moments after the statue was removed, a thunderclap bellowed as if signaling a powerful message to the world of this moral rectification.

As a medical student at Virginia Commonwealth University, I regularly passed Monument Avenue during my four years…


Andrea Wakim, MS3

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

Pain experienced in a limb or tissue following amputation or nerve injury is known as phantom limb pain and is experienced by 60–80% of those with an amputation.1 This pain may be short-lived or chronic, and it has been described as burning and shooting to aching and throbbing.2 Though not fully understood, phantom limb pain is thought to be neurologic in origin from disruptions in the spinothalamic tract, dorsal root ganglion, peripheral nerves, and neurotransmitters and maladaptive plasticity/cortical reorganization.1,3,4,5,6 Given these proposed mechanisms and patients’ symptoms, chronic and neuropathic pain is a common treatment target.

Treatments for…


By Luke Brane, MD

This is the second part of a three-part series on Aerospace Medicine.

The four members of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 flight are seen seated in the Crew Dragon spacecraft during training. From left to right are NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, and Mike Hopkins, and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi. Credit: SpaceX

We have looked at the broad overview regarding the recent trajectory of human space exploration and its implications for health effects on the astronaut. From a physical medicine and rehabilitation standpoint, we have also explored some of the issues which cross over nicely into the PM&R wheelhouse and discussed how an approach informed by the function-based concepts in PM&R can be utilized to preserve the health of those living and working in space. In this third article, we will explore more of the future…


Louis Nikolis, MS3

Photo by Andrew McMurtrie from Pexels

I could feel the energy. It was the same energy I felt when my mom signed me up for a basketball team when I was 7 years old. It was the same energy I felt as a senior in high school when I walked onto the court with my teammates. It was the same energy that I still feel when the ball rolls off my fingertips and falls through the net. Basketball just has a certain energy, and as I walked into the gym at the Second City Showdown Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, I felt it.

The “energy”…


By Margaret Beckwith, MD

Photo from Ott Maidre

Remember how the formidable athletes in high school had the suave jock swagger? They’d roll up in groups to class or the cafeteria in their hoodies and sweatpants with their shoulders squared up and retracted, sprightly pep in their step and ear-to-ear grins from their exercise induced endorphins. On game day they’d do a little fancy foot work sideway sashay into the classroom and bring a small dose of bouncy, playful energy to the sleepy class.

Regretfully, jock swagger is outdated these days. All the cool kids are sporting the trendier, hyperbolic iHunch swagger. Have you…


by Sudeep Mehta, MD

The chemical structure of hydrocodone.

The recent opioid epidemic has left physicians in a state of anxiety. The introduction of the STOP Act has led physicians to be cautious when prescribing opiates due to the fear of inducing long-term opiate addiction and dependence. It is imperative as physiatrists for us to still address pain management with a holistic and evidence-based approach, with a confident approach to ultimately achieve optimal return of function to their pre-morbid state.

An article in the JAMA Network journal in April, 2019 entitled “Association Between Opioid Dose Variability and Opioid Overdose Among Adults Prescribed Long-term Opioid Therapy,”


by Chiamaka Ukoha, MS IV

Photo by Cliff Booth from Pexels

Before reading this, I want you to take 3 of the deepest breaths you have taken all day in through your nose and out through your mouth then reflect on how you feel. Believe it or not, you just engaged in one of the most essential techniques of the practice of yoga, breathing. Breathing is something we do involuntarily every day, but by bringing it to our consciousness, it gives a person a sense of control and awareness over their body. …


By Roshani Patel, OMS-IV

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

It’s my final year of medical school. Ordinarily around this time, students embrace the nomadic nature of the fourth year, traveling to new cities and hospitals of residency programs across the nation. Except it’s 2020. Things have changed, to put it lightly, and it’s become the metaphorical wild, wild west. There are no rules, no precedents of what the world of medical education must do during these times.

After most of our carefully planned rotations cancelled, a myriad of virtual rotations emerge in response. The hunt begins, but also the inequities widen. Students who have shunned…

Resident Fellow Council, AAP

Resident and Fellow Council of the Association of Academic Physiatry (@AssocAcademicPhysiatry)

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