The First Annual Northern California PM&R Expo

by Anne M. Kuwabara MD

Stanford Medicine Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


The first annual “Northern California PM&R Expo” was held at the Stanford School of Medicine February 9, 2019 by the Stanford Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) Interest Group. The leadership team and planning committee included residents (Anne Kuwabara, Anita Lowe, Gary Vargas, Kevin Barrette) and medical students (Jake Mooney and Torsten Rotto). Medical students from Stanford University, University of California-San Francisco, University of California-Davis & Touro University were in attendance.

The purpose of this event was to showcase the specialty and department to medical students in the region and promote collaboration amongst the local Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation community. Physiatrists play a key role in providing musculoskeletal and disability education.[1] Exposure to the field is variable along the medical training pathway. 28 states have Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-approved PM&R residency positions. These types of events give medical students opportunities to explore the field beyond the bounds of their home institution offerings at an early time-point in their career.[2] [3] This allows us to cultivate interest in the field by providing pathways for students to proactively pursue a career in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation by offering opportunities for clinical rotations and research.[4] [5] [6]

Dr. Jeffrey Teraoka speaking to students.


The event began with breakfast and introductory remarks by our current residency program director Dr. Joshua Levin and prior residency program director. Students then rotated through eight different stations.

Station 1: Dr. Kazuko Shem led the wound care management station.
Station 2: Dr. Molly Timmerman and Allergan Representatives (Elizabeth Mackey and Melanie Ward) conducted the Spasticity and Botox Station.
Station 3: Dr. Doug Ota led the spinal cord injury station.
Station 4: Dr. Lisa Huynh (pictured in Station 5), Dr. Kevin “Buzz” Barrette, Dr. Emily Miller, and Dr. Anthony Kenrick, Dr. Anita Lowe led the musculoskeletal ultrasound station.
Station 5: Dr. Joshua Levin, Dr. Patricia Zheng ran the Spine station.
Station 6: Julie Nguyen from Breakey Prosthetics and Julie Mandle from Berke Prosthetics led the prosthetics and orthotics station.
Station 7: Dr. Adam Bartlett led the pediatric rehabilitation station.
Station 8: Kathleen Castillo led the pet therapy station.
The event concluded with a lunch where students could network with participating students, residents, faculty, and staff. It was a happy coincidence that Dr. Charles Odonkor was in town. Dr. Charles Odonkor and Dr. Anne Kuwabara worked together at Johns Hopkins in 2016 to host a similar event for students in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore region.


Our department had a wonderful time hosting the event and thank the faculty, staff, residents, and students who could join us. We plan to continue this event annually to increase exposure to the field, enhance partnership amongst medical institutions in the region and support the pipeline of trainees.

Anne Kuwabara is a rising PGY3 at Stanford Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.


[1] Newcomer, Karen L. MD; Laskowski, Edward R. MD; Grande, Joseph P. MD; Dyrbye, Liselotte N. MD. The Physiatrists’ Crucial Role in the Development and Implementation of a Longitudinal Musculoskeletal Physical Examination Curriculum in a Medical School. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. January 2013. 92(1): 84–89.

[2] Brane, Lucas B. BS, Carson, Ross BS, Susmarski, Adam J. DO, Lewno, Adam J. DO, Dicianno, Brad E. MD. Changing Perception: Outcomes from a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Medical Student Interest Fair. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. May 2017. 96(5): 362–365.

[3] Bender LF, Dijkers M. Medical school effectv on student selection of physical medicine and rehabilitation as a specialty. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. November 1986. 67(11): 783–789.

[4] Faulk, Clinton E. MD; Mali, Jimmy MD; Mendoza, Paola Maria MD; Musick, David PhD; Sembrano, Roderick MD. Impact of a Required Fourth-Year Medical Student Rotation in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. May 2012. 91(5): 442–448.

[5] Perret, Danielle MD; Sunico, Rachel BS; Knowlton, Tiffany JD, MBA; Kezar, Laura MD; Worsowicz, Gregory MD; Whyte, John MD, PhD. State of the States: Growing Physiatry: Association of Academic Physiatrists Position Statement Addressing Academic Physiatry and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Growth. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. December 2018. 97(12): 921–928.

[6] Lamm, Adam G. MD, MA; Babu, Ashwin MD; Zafonte, Ross DO; Iaccarino, Mary Alexis MD. Using a Workshop Format for Physiatry Trainees in the Management of Acute Sports-Related Concussion. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. April 2019. 98(4): 319–324.



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