Implementing a global integrative rehabilitation medicine rotation: a physical medicine and rehabilitation residency program's experience

Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Jun;92(6):533-41. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e31827d66c0.


An innovative international rotation in integrative rehabilitation medicine was implemented as part of the physical medicine and rehabilitation residency program at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Rotation objectives were to introduce medical knowledge of integrative medicine treatments into physical medicine and rehabilitation practice and to initiate collaboration with international academic partners. Residents were approved based on their academic record, completion of prerequisites, and personal statement. During a 4-wk rotation located in Italy, residents developed an integrative treatment strategy for each patient using conventional medical care and other therapeutic options, including acupuncture, biofeedback, aquatic therapy, yoga, and others. Postrotation assessment included evaluations by Italian team and patients, residents' evidence-based presentations, and postrotation self-reflection. Participating residents reported high achievement in clinical performance, improved application of integrative medicine, broader appreciation of cultural diversity in patient care, and increased personal and professional development. This reciprocal program model serves as an example for other programs interested in implementing similar international rotations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / organization & administration
  • Educational Measurement
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Integrative Medicine / organization & administration*
  • International Educational Exchange*
  • Internship and Residency / organization & administration*
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine / education*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Wisconsin