The goal of a cancer rehabilitation medicine fellowship year is to become competent in evaluating, diagnosing, and managing impairments and functional disorders associated with cancer and cancer therapy. The bar at the University of Michigan is high, but so are the opportunities. We see a wide variety of tumor types and patient symptoms in an environment offering the most cutting-edge oncology – and rehabilitation – care. Graduates from this program will be able to manage any clinical problem and be comfortable with even the most complicated patients.

Though much learning occurs in the clinical setting, we also have a year-long didactic cycle. Didactics occur Tuesdays, and sometimes Fridays, at lunchtime and include the fellow, the resident on the inpatient cancer rehabilitation rotations (all residents are invited), and therapists. Topics are roughly divided as follows:

  • Thirty lectures on cross-cutting cancer topics (e.g., radiation fibrosis, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, post-mastectomy syndrome) and issues seen in specific diseases, given mainly by Drs. Andrews and Smith, lasting about 30 minutes each
  • Six journal clubs directed by the fellow
  • Twelve interesting case reviews, including imaging review

There is also the opportunity for the fellow to provide education to PM&R residents through the inpatient cancer rehabilitation service and during the Andrews/Smith Thursday afternoon clinics.

The fellow will present PM&R department grand rounds on a topic of their choosing under faculty mentorship. Other opportunities for presentations at conferences and other sites periodically come up as well.