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Residency Training Program Curriculum


The curriculum is divided into didactic and clinical activities. The resident and medical student didactics are currently held on Wednesdays from 3-7 PM. The didactic curriculum (in content module format) is designed to repeat every 18 months, so that each resident has the opportunity to see topics at least twice during their residency; ten modules make up the 18-month didactic curriculum. The clinical curriculum consists of the objectives assigned to the various clinical rotations.

To learn more about our Residency Training Program curriculum, please review the information below:

Formal Teaching (Didactics)

Introductory Summer Lecture Series

Grand Round / Regular Core Curriculum
All lectures are held on Wednesday 3-7pm. They include the topics and events seen below.

    • Grand Rounds (1-2x/month)
    • Resident Seminar (1x/month)
    • Journal Club (1x/month)
    • M&M (quarterly)

Physical Medicine Series

    • Anatomy
    • Kinesiology
    • Physical Exam Competency
    • Radiology
    • Electrodiagnostics
    • Regional Pain
    • Research

Core Modules

    • Pediatrics
    • Spinal Cord Injury
    • Traumatic Brain Injury
    • Occupational Medicine
    • Orthoses and Prostheses
    • Progressive Neurologic Disorders
    • Chronic Pain
    • Rheumatologic Disorders
    • Therapeutic Exercise and Modalities
    • Trauma
    • Geriatrics and Cancer


    • Manual Muscle Testing
    • Americans with Disability Act
    • Visiting Professors
    • Gersten Day- Research and Graduation Day

Rotation Schedule

Anschutz Medical Campus

Our residents have the unique opportunity to train at the brand-new, state-of-the-art Anschutz Medical Campus (AMC) at the former Fitzsimons Army Base. The AMC campus in Aurora, Colorado, currently houses the University of Colorado Hospital and its Anschutz Center for Advanced Medicine (inpatient facility, outpatient clinics and centers) as well as two research towers. The Children's Hospital and the University of Colorado Hospital are constructing additions. The Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center is plannig to move to the campus with contruction of a new hospital and free-standing splanel cord injury hospital.

Core Hospitals
Like most major academic medical centers, the faculty and training programs for University of Colorado Denver are housed in four major hospitals:

    • University of Colorado Hospital and Clinics (9 months)
    • The Children's Hospital (3 months)
    • Denver Health Medical Center (6 months)
    • Denver VA Medical Center (9 months)

Affiliated Hospitals
Clinical faculty and rotations are located at the following sites:

    • Craig Hospital (3 months)
    • Swedish Medical Center (3 months).


General Rehabilitation Service at University of Colorado Hospital
This rotation includes coverage of a 10-bed inpatient rehabilitation unit at the University Hospital. Unique patient populations covered include burn, transplant, joint replacement, stroke, and brain tumor rehabilitation. Residents are involved in the management of all aspects of the patient's medical and rehabilitation care. Residents lead weekly conferences with the rehabilitation team. During this rotation, residents also participate in two half-day outpatient clinics on general rehabilitation patients. Supervising faculty include Drs. Leslie Harrington and Heather Ene (Baer), Matthew Godleski, and Victor Chang.

Trauma Rehabilitation at Denver Health Medical Center
This rotation is located at the only Level 1 academic trauma center in the state of Colorado. Therefore, this rotation involves the care of patients with polytrauma, polyfracture, and traumatic brain injury. A 12-14 bed inpatient unit serves as the base of care. Residents are also encouraged to participate in electrodiagnostics which fall under the purview of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation doctors. Supervising faculty include Drs. Mike Blei, Amit Jha, and Susan O'Brien.

General Rehabilitation Service at the Denver VA Medical Center
This rotation includes coverage of an inpatient rehabilitation service and numerous clinics. An organized teaching schedule is provided by associate professors within the CU Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Residents are exposed to both the acute and chronic needs of the disabled. Residents care for a bevy of diagnoses, including inpatient and outpatient care of amputees. Supervising faculty include Drs. Donna Blake, Dan Scott, and Sam Fortman.

Community Rehabilitation Service at Swedish Medical Center
This rotation serves as a community experience covering "bread and butter" rehabilitation diagnoses. This service incorporates post-joint replacement patients, strokes, and amputee patients. Residents work closely with community-based physiatrists in developing rehabilitation treatment plans using community resources. Supervising clinical faculty include Drs. Elena Draznin and Karen Theriot.


Pediatric Rehabilitation at The Children's Hospital
This rotation provides both an inpatient and outpatient exposure to Pediatric Physiatry. Residents see a plethora of diagnoses including spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and neuromuscular diseases. The rotation is staffed by four pediatric physiatrists (Drs. Dennis Matthews, Joyce Oleszek, Pamela Wilson, Susan Gallagher) as well as a pediatric rehabilitation fellow. This rotation has been consistently rated as one of the highlight experiences for residents.

Outpatient Clinics, Consults, and General Rehabilitation at Denver VA Medical Center
This rotation is a predominantly outpatient rotation focusing on the outpatient care of individuals with disabilities. Residents also provide coverage for a limited number of inpatient rehabilitation patients. Consults are staffed with Dr. Roper.

Consults, Outpatient Clinics and Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation at University of Colorado Hospital
This rotation involves providing a consultation service at University of Colorado Hospital. Residents are also expected to be involved with two - three half day clinics with the spine and sports service. The last week of the rotation is designated for an experience in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. Supervising faculty member is Dr. Ene (formerly Baer).


Spine and Sports Rotation at The Spine Center at University of Colorado Hospital
This outpatient rotation provides resident experience in the care of musculoskeletal conditions. Residents are also exposed to spinal interventional procedures as well as electrodiagnostic tests. A monthly peripheral nerve injury clinic rounds out the resident experience. Supervising faculty include Drs. Venu Akuthota, Deborah Saint-Phard, William Sullivan and Rachel Brakke. The last month of this rotation may be used as an elective month.

Electrodiagnostic Rotation at Denver VA Medical Center
This rotation provides the bulk of the resident EMG experience. A variety of neurologic diagnoses are encountered at the EMG lab. Formal competency in electrodiagnostics is assessed. Supervising faculty include Dr. Dan Scott.

Consult and Electrodiagnostic Rotation at Denver Health Medical Center
This rotation is a primarily outpatient rotation. The rotation has changed to incorporate more exposure to electrodiagnostic testing. Residents round with the trauma team and provide a consultation service. Supervising faculty include Drs. Michael Blei and Amit Jha.

Spinal Cord Injury at Craig Hospital
This rotation is located at a Center of Excellence for the care of the spinal cord-injured. Residents are exposed to the acute, inpatient, and chronic care of these patients. Craig Hospital is nationally recognized as a leader in the rehabilitative needs for spinal cord and traumatic brain-injured patients. Supervising faculty include Drs. Indira Lanig, Daniel Lammertse, Gary Maerz, Mark Johansen, and Thomas Balazy.

Senior (PGY-4) residents may take one month of elective time during their University of Colorado Hospital Outpatient Musculoskeletal Rotation. This elective must be submitted to the Residency Program Director for approval one month prior to the start of the rotation. Electives need to be within the University of Colorado Denver system.

Elective, Research Requirement, Procedural Training, & Call Schedule

Senior (PGY-4) residents may take one month of elective time during their University of Colorado Hospital Outpatient Musculoskeletal Rotation. This elective must be submitted to the residency program director for approval one month prior to the start of the rotation. Electives need to be within the University of Colorado Denver system.

Research Requirement
Each resident must be involved in a research project during their residency. A formal research curriculum module is taught every year, beginning in January. Completion of an on-line tutorial and workshop is required to participate in research involving human subjects. The resident will learn, through didactics and mentorship, how to select a topic, formulate a research question, and design appropriate methods. Senior residents are required to present their research on Gersten Day. If a resident's paper is accepted for presentation at a national meeting, the residency program will make every effort to pay for their expenses. Faculty and labs within the department are available for resident research.

Procedural Training
Residents are expected to perform 250-300 electrodiagnostic examinations during their residency. In addition, residents are exposed to botulinum injections to both adults and children. Spinal injection training is incorporated into the PGY-4 spine and sports rotation.

Call Schedule
There is no in-house call required for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residents. Residents are responsible for "core call," covering University of Colorado, Veteran Affairs and Denver Health hospitals. This involves rounding and home call on the assigned weeks, which works out to be five - seven weekends per year. Residents are also responsible fro "Swedish Call," where residents are required to round on assigned Saturdays (three - six per year).