Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) Residency

Program Specifics


The curriculum of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) Residency Program at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School follows topics delineated in the syllabus published by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Each month a different topic in the area of physical medicine and rehabilitation is addressed in depth. Conferences include weekly lectures with department chairmen and an extensive syllabus review course, Journal Club, anatomy cadaver lab, radiology lecture series, grand rounds, case reviews, department seminars, and lectures given by visiting speakers.

Throughout their training, residents also participate in prosthetics courses, orthotics courses, EMG courses, head injury courses, trach workshop, joint injection workshop, and other training. CME lectures are also part of the residents’ weekly schedule.

Senior residents participate in an extensive board review course, which extends from January through June of the senior year. This course helps prepare seniors for part I of their board-certification examination.

Residents are exposed to a balance of 65/35 inpatient/outpatient clinical experiences. Residents benefit from a 1:1 teaching ratio. This allows for a significant amount of individualized attention to be given to each resident during his/her training.

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Residency ACGME Competency Program

Utilizing the guidelines/toolbox outlined by the ACGME, the competency development committee developed a comprehensive competency program. This program integrates the six general competencies into our existing academic and clinical curriculum.


Our clinical rotations and academic curriculum have historically been centered around the individual AAPM&R syllabus topics (as published in the archives of PM&R).

  • Clinical Component: A clinical rotation is assigned for each topic, with an Attending Physician who is a subject matter expert
  • Academic Component: A full month of blocked time lectures including review of syllabus material
Clinical Component Syllabus Academic Component (One topic assigned per month)
PGY 2 Inpatient Traumatic Brain Injury Congenital & Acquired Brain Injury & Stroke Disorder
Inpatient Cardiac/Pulmonary Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation
Inpatient Neuromuscular/Stroke Neuromuscular Rehabilitation
Inpatient Spinal Cord Injury Spinal Cord Injury
PGY 3 Inpatient & Outpatient EMG Electro diagnostic Medicine
Pediatrics Pediatric Rehabilitation
Outpatient Spasticity Spasticity Management
Acute Care Inpatient Consults Medicare (Billing & Coding Module) & Systems Based Protocol
PGY 4 Outpatient & Inpatient Prosthetics & Orthotics Prosthetics, Orthotics, & Assistive Devices & Rehabilitation in Limb Deficiency
Outpatient Musculoskeletal Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
Acute Care Inpatient Rehabilitation of Orthopedic & Rheumatologic Disorders
Consults and Subacute Physiatric Therapeutics and Geriatric Rehabilitation

For each rotation, the Attending, who is a subject matter expert, participated in several meetings to assist with the development of competency materials specific to that rotation.

Rehab Residents SAE Topic Schedule


Month SAE Topic SAE Presentation Attending
July Nerve and Muscle PGY 3 Lin
August EMG PGY 4 Lin
September Stroke PGY 4 Cuccurullo
October Spinal Cord Injury PGY 4 Escaldi
November Pain PGY 4 Parikh
December Brain Injury PGY 3 Malone
January Pediatric Rehab PGY 2 Rossi
February Industrial Medicine/ Musculoskeletal Medicine PGY 3 Brown
March Prosthetics and Orthotics PGY 3 Uustal
April Cardiac/Pulmonary/Cancer/Geriatrics PGY 2 Jafri
May Sports/Performance PGY 2 Brown
June Rheumatology/Ortho/Physical Therapeutics PGY 2 Urs


Sample Academic Calendar

Rehabilitation Resident Didactics

PM&R Resident Rotations

View our PM&R Resident Rotations

Residents have the opportunity to rotate through all areas of the JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in central New Jersey, including:

  • The Center for Head Injuries and its Brain Trauma Unit
  • The Cognitive Rehabilitation Department and Extended Recovery Unit
  • The Pediatric Rehabilitation Department
  • The JFK Hartwyck Subacute Rehabilitation Centers
  • The Inpatient Rehabilitation Service
  • The Acute Care Therapy Service
  • The Outpatient Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy Department
  • JFK Medical Center’s Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Programs
  • The Spasticity Program
  • The Electro-diagnostic Service
  • The Spinal Cord Injury Service
  • The Industrial Rehabilitation Program
  • The Prosthetics and Orthotics Clinic
  • The Pain Management Service including interventional procedures
  • The Wheelchair Evaluation Program
  • The Wound Care Clinic at SPUH
  • The Speech Pathology and Audiology Department
  • JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute’s Independence Square, a safe, therapeutic area where patients can regain their ability to perform daily living skills

Residents also care for patients within a variety of other on-site and off-site health care settings, including various inpatient and outpatient units at JFK Medical Center; the JFK Hartwyck Nursing, Convalescent and Rehabilitation Centers in Edison, NJ; and Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside, NJ. We have consult and EMG services in Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and St. Peter’s Medical Center in New Brunswick, NJ.

Schedule of Rotations


  • Inpatient Brain Injury Unit/Spasticity
  • Inpatient Cardiac/Pulmonary Service
  • Inpatient Neuromuscular Rehab/General
  • Inpatient Spinal Cord Injury/General


  • Outpatient/Spasticity
  • JFK Consult Service
  • EMG
  • Pediatrics/Musculoskeletal-Sports Medicine/Spinal Cord Injury


  • Elective
  • University Hospital/St. Peter’s Consult Service/Interventional Pain Medicine
  • Prosthetics/Orthotics/SAR/Pain Management
  • Industrial Medicine/Musculoskeletal/EMG

Competency Program for Each Area of PM&R Residency

  • History and Physical Exam Checklist: Developed for the major diagnostic groups encountered within each clinical rotation.
  • Multiple Chart Simulated Oral Exams (Oral Case Studies): Developed for the major diagnostic groups encountered to assess each resident’s integration of academic knowledge into clinical practice.  Case studies include differential diagnosis, treatment plan and prescription writing.
  • Technical Skills Assessment: Developed for pertinent skill assessment
    • Joint injection
    • Tracheotomy management
    • EMG
  • Globally for the program several other competency tools were developed:
    • 360-degree global rating survey
    • Patient survey
    • Procedure logbook

Resident Annual Courses

Tracheostomy Workshop JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute/Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson  Medical School
Anatomy Cadaver Course Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Anatomy Cadaver Course Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
MSK Joint Injection Workshop JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute
Practice Management Course AAPM&R Course
Orthotics Course Temple University
Electrodiagnosis and Clinical Neurophysiology Jefferson Medical College
New Jersey Society Resident Seminar JFK Johnson Rehab Institute/Kessler
Prosthetics Course University of Pennsylvania Health System
Chief Resident Seminar Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School


Program AIMS

As part of the ACGME Program Self-Study, JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute faculty, residents and program leadership developed Program AIMS that align with our vision, goals and expectations for the PM&R Residency Program.  They include:

  • Resident and Faculty Wellness:
    • “Educate Resident and Faculty Physicians in wellness with the need to focus on health and well-being of themselves.”
  • Resident Competency:
    • “Produce Excellent Independent PM&R Practitioners who will exhibit the highest level of clinical and medical competence to “Advance what’s possible.”
  • Ultrasound:
    • “Train residents in the knowledge and proficiency of diagnostic and interventional musculoskeletal ultrasound.”
  • Transition of Care:
    • “To educate residents in transitions of care for patients from the acute inpatient rehabilitation setting, to subacute and outpatient rehabilitation settings.”

Contact Us:

Sara Cuccurullo, M.D.
Residency Program Director
732-321-7000 ext. 62133, 62780

Leslie Bagay, M.D.
Assistant Residency Program Director
732-321-7000 ext. 68244

Beverly Bolger, PM&R
Residency Program Coordinator
732-321-7000 ext. 62133

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