Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tell me about PM&R

A few times a month, I get an email from somebody who either reads this blog or more likely saw my post on Mothers in Medicine called PM&R: The Holy Grail? At the end of the article, I offered my email address if anyone had any questions.

The problem is, I wrote that article three years ago. Since then, I have answered the same five questions about PM&R like 200 times. Also, I have an extra child, and I don't have time to be answering these questions over and over again. I don't want to discourage people from entering my field, so I at least make an effort. But usually I end up postponing answering these emails for so long, that I just end up forgetting about them.

Eventually, I created a PM&R FAQ to avoid having to answer the same questions again and again. These days when I get an email, I mostly just refer people to the FAQ. And that satisfies most people.

Last week, I got an email from a person who read my FAQ and had a follow-up question about where I trained. I don't give out that information, and when I said that, the response was, "If you don't actually like to answer questions I am not sure why you posted 'if anyone has other questions about pmr I would be more than happy to answer them comment here or email me'."

So here's the deal:

1) Three years ago, I was happy to answer questions about PM&R.

2) Now I don't have time and/or interest

3) I don't enjoy being bullied into giving out personal information

4) I am willing to make my FAQ better, so I can just refer 99% of people to it and be done with it

So if you'd like to take a look at my FAQ and think of any other common questions, that would be great. And if you'd like to answer the question, that would be even more great.


  1. If your original post is still on MIM, why not just edit out the part that says to email you with questions?

    1. Because that would just make way too much sense.

  2. Or just replace it with a link to your FAQs.

    Or say you've seen the error of your ways and now recommend a dual specialty track- neurosurg and derm.

  3. I would put in something about pain seekers. Do you get a lot of those folks? That would be a serious downside for me if I were thinking about specialities.

  4. Fizzy, I have some ?'s for your FAQs:
    - How litigious of a specialty is PM&R (in the sense of lawsuits from patients)
    - What are some of the more challenging aspects of the field?
    - What is your interaction with other rehab professionals? Do physiatrists essentially coordinate the rehab the others should be doing?
    - What are some of the more "prestigious" residencies?
    - How much gore/nasty do you deal with?

    Thanks in advance!

  5. What is the appropriate out-patient to be referred to PM&R? Is it a patient who has multiple issues, each of which impact his or her ability to move forward to optimum function? Does the PM&R physician take over the role of the Prmary Care Physician, or do you coordinate with the primary and other specialists? TCG

  6. There is a much easier and accurate answer.

    "your question does not relate to the specialty. It seeks personal information which I do not provide."

    Done and done.