Health Care and Higher Education

Hospital develops residency program

June 2, 2016
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Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital staff and patient
Staffers at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital talk with a patient. Courtesy Mary Free Bed

A local hospital is rolling out a residency program for physicians interested in becoming board certified in physical medicine — or as a physiatrist.

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital of Grand Rapids said last month that it’s introducing its Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, or PM&R, residency program.

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education recently approved the program.

The residency program is structured to offer four positions a year, with all rotations based at Mary Free Bed. The first class of residents will begin the program on July 1, 2017.

The three-year program will encompass clinical, educational and research opportunities in all areas of PM&R, including spinal cord injury, brain injury, amputee care, pediatric rehabilitation and cancer rehabilitation.

Residents will have opportunities to work in a wide variety of clinical areas, including Mary Free Bed’s movement analysis laboratory, prosthetics and orthotics, assistive technology and one of the largest wheelchair adaptive sports programs in the country.

Dr. Michael Jakubowski, Mary Free Bed’s chief medical officer, said Mary Free Bed’s “extensive” rehabilitation services and research program make the organization “ideal” for a PM&R residency.

Mary Free Bed provides acute, sub-acute and outpatient rehabilitation and home health care.

“We believe our residents, patients, staff, hospital, community and our medical specialty will all benefit from this valuable endeavor,” Jakubowski said.

Dr. Daniel Fechtner will serve as Mary Free Bed’s residency program director. He's been with Mary Free Bed since 2013 as a full-time physiatrist.

Fechtner was previously at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York. He's a graduate of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

The Mary Free Bed Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation residency program is accepting applications on a rolling basis. 

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