Changing Perception: Outcomes from a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Medical Student Interest Fair

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Abstract

Exposure to the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) is limited in the curricula of many medical schools. As a result, many students lack awareness of the field and may therefore ultimately choose different careers. A medical student PM&R career fair was held on October 13th, 2015 at the University of Pittsburgh, and several local medical schools were invited to participate. Seven stations were deployed to highlight various aspects of PM&R careers. A total of 57 medical students attended, representing five different campuses across three states, with 29 of the reported medical students still within their first or second year of medical education. Self-reported interest and understanding of PM&R significantly increased in those attending the fair compared to baseline, with nearly half requesting further opportunities for faculty mentorship. These results indicate that PM&R interest fairs may be a means to further student understanding and awareness of PM&R while providing an opportunity to become more involved in the field.

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