Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Fellowship

The Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Fellowship at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, in conjunction with the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Children’s Hospital Boston and the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), incorporates a breadth of experience for the fellow to advance knowledge in Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine.

The Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital is a 132-bed rehabilitation teaching hospital located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the official teaching hospital for Harvard Medical School’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the main campus of the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network. The hospital is a member of Partners Continuing Care under Partners HealthCare, a non-profit organization that owns several hospitals in Massachusetts.  Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital has been the only hospital in New England to be continuously ranked by the U.S. News and World Report in its Best Hospitals Survey since 1995.

The program is ACGME-accredited.  It offers a broad experience in learning about the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of congenital and childhood onset conditions. The schedule and rotations satisfy the American Board of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation requirements for certification in Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine.

Education is advanced through both inpatient and outpatient exposure, didactic sessions, journal clubs, and grand rounds. There are 150 admissions to the pediatric inpatient unit at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital each year. Consults are done both at Massachusetts General Hospital and Children’s Hospital Boston.

Didactic Curriculum

The Pediatric Rehabilitation fellow will attend indicated clinical orthopedic, morbidity and mortality (M&M) and Cerebral Palsy conferences. Weekly didactic activities offered include the pediatric morning report, topic-specific conferences, the PM&R lecture series and hospital grand rounds. Monthly, the fellow will attend the Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine lecture series. The program also provides seminar days and journal clubs. 

The program uses “Pediatric Rehabilitation Principles & Practice” for guided reading. The fellow will review chapters of selected reading and then meet with faculty to discuss each section once a month.

Topics discussed during the monthly breakfast roundtable discussion include: movement disorders in children, camp opportunities for children with medical conditions, school reintegration considerations as well as many more.

Topics discussed during the monthly lunch & lecture series include but are not limited to: a surface anatomy and normal growth & development series.

Clinical Facilities

The Child and Adolescent Inpatient Unit at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital is a 12 bed CARF- accredited unit. The unit includes therapy gyms, private patient rooms, and a Child Life Program.

The outpatient clinic at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital offers opportunities to collaborate with other specialties and multidisciplinary teams. Clinical evaluations are done by the pediatric physiatry team. Fellows will have the opportunity to attend the prosthetics / orthotics, wheelchair and mobility clinics. Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital houses a Motion Analysis Laboratory, an Assistive Technology Program and NIDILRR Model Systems in TBI, Burns & SCI, as well as numerous other resources. Our adaptive sports program gives patients the ability to participate in active season activities from skiing to sailing.

MGH offers the fellow research opportunities, access to the operating rooms for procedures, participation on the consult service and close collaboration with the medical team at MGH. Occasionally children from Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital inpatient are transferred to MGH due to its close proximity. There is close collaboration between our trainees and pediatric specialists at MGH.

There is also an MGH clinic based at North Shore Medical Center in Salem, Massachusetts. This is a multidisciplinary clinic with therapists, physicians, and an orthotist. The team works with representatives from schools and the community to further the collaboration and coordination of care of each child and family. 

The multidisciplinary clinics at Children’s Hospital Boston and its satellite settings (Lexington & Waltham) include collaboration with orthopedic surgeons, developmental specialists, neurology, physiatry, therapists, social work and orthotists. The attendings at Children’s are world-class and experienced in a variety of different specialties relevant to rehabilitation medicine. The fellows have access to the operating room, including block time for Botox and phenol injections, intrathecal baclofen pump trials and other procedures requiring sedation/anesthesia for children.

Required Qualifications: Completion of a four-year, ACGME–accredited Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation residency program or a five-year, ACGME–accredited combined program in Pediatrics and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

How to Apply: 

Our program accepts application via ERAS. In order to be considered for our program, applicants must register for the NRMP Match.

Applications should include the following: 

3 letters of recommendation (including one from your residency program director)

a personal statement

your curriculum vitae

Dean’s letter or MSPE

medical school transcript

USMLE or COMLEX transcripts

Program Leadership

Donna Nimec, MD – Program Director, Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine

Ross Zafonte, DO – Chair, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation


Katie Blaikie – Coordinator of Academics


Spaulding and the people there gave me the courage, strength, and desire to get my life back. Now I can function and play with my girls and enjoy my husband. Thank you for giving me my life back.

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