The Residency Training Program in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Jefferson began in 1969 with John W. Goldschmidt, MD, as its first Director and John F. Ditunno, Jr., MD, as its first Professor and Chairman, one of the youngest in the field at that time. He picked Edward E. Gordon, MD, as Professor and first Director of Research, whose contributions to the literature and qualities as a teacher were unsurpassed. Dr. Ditunno then brought on board a young promising physiatrist and Associate Director from Temple named Gerald Herbison, MD, who was to become one of the leading physicians in rehabilitation medicine and electrodiagnosis and later editor of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the major scientific journal in the field. The first two graduates of the program in 1972 were Francis Naso, MD, who later became Vice Chairman of the Rehabilitation Department and Leon Venier, MD, who still practices in Reading, PA.
An affiliation of primary importance was consummated on October 10, 1975, between Jefferson and Magee Memorial Rehabilitation Center (currently Magee Rehabilitation Hospital) at 6 Franklin Plaza in Philadelphia. This institution was founded through the 1916 bequest of Miss Anna J. Magee. In 1977, William E. Staas, Jr. MD, who served as Director of Resident and Medical Student Education, became the Medical Director and President of Magee. Under Dr. Staas’s tutelage the facility became an important part of the training program for residents, which expanded the program from five positions in 1976 to 20 positions in 1994. Magee continues to serve as an essential part of the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Residency Program in medical student teaching and research, and its cooperative program in pain management, brain injury, and spinal cord injury.
In 1984, the Department had been asked to participate in the training of Jefferson medical students at the junior and senior levels. Although electives had been offered before, this was to be an obligatory rotation. The two-week rotation made Jefferson one of few institutions that exposed ALL medical students to the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. As such, Dr. Herbison has been and continues to be instrumental in training the Jefferson PM&R Residents to not only be the best physiatrists and anatomists, but to effectively impart their rehabilitation medical knowledge to the Jefferson medical students as lecturers during the teaching sessions throughout the academic year. This has influenced many Jefferson Residents to pursue academic teaching and leadership positions in the field of Rehabilitation Medicine.
The Jefferson PM&R Residency Program has seen tremendous growth in the past 40 years. The program has expanded from a local center to a national “center of excellence” in rehabilitation patient care, education, and research, attracting a national pool of highly accomplished applicants each year. The current 24 resident physicians have benefited from the expansion of the program with multiple rotational sites offered at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, A.I. DuPont Institute Children’s Hospital, Moss Rehabilitation Hospital-Einstein, and the Rothman Institute.
While rehabilitation medicine continues to experience considerable change in growth and complexity, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital will continue to expand and evolve its PM&R Residency Program to meet the needs of the changing healthcare environment.
(John AG Villanueva, MD with historical information and excerpts
from Francis Naso, MD and William E. Staas Jr., MD.)
John Melvin, MD, MMSc
Chair, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
Ralph Marino, MD
Director, PM&R Residency
Michael Mallow, MD
Associate Program Director
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitaion
25 S. Ninth Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107
We participated in the National Residency Match Program and utilize the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).
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