AAPM&R National Grand Rounds Series


AAPM&R's free webinar series, National Grand Rounds, connects physiatrists of all specializations, from across the country, for stimulating discourse on topics that represent the intellectual, practical and/or spiritual aspects of the specialty. Under the direction of the Medical Education Committee, this monthly forum will include the presentation of a topic of broad or in-depth focus that serves to bring together physiatrists via a virtual platform.

Examples of topics include telehealth and the evolution of patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of mentorship, how much physiatrists have to offer to cancer patients and survivors and much more.

Upcoming National Grand Rounds

Arts and Medicine

Wednesday, March 9 at 7 - 8 pm (CT)

How do healthcare providers find creativity in their day-to-day work? Medicine can sometimes feel rote and dehumanizing. However, patient care often benefits from seeing things from a humanistic and creative point of view. We may become more empathetic and stronger providers if we can find ways to better reflect on and share our experiences.

This presentation aims to introduce attendees to narrative medicine and “Graphic Medicine”, a new arts movement in which healthcare providers and patients use visual arts and comics to express and share their experiences. A large portion of this presentation will be interactive, as participants will be guided through different “Graphic Medicine” exercises. We will teach participants how to take advantage of many aspects of visual arts and cartooning, including light and shadow, different art styles, color, and humor.
Some examples of the exercises may be:

  • Drawing two cartoon portraits, one of how attendees saw themselves when they first started medical training, and another of how they see themselves today
  • Creating a 3-panel comic strip about a frustrating day
  • Give participants a short, relatively ambiguous prompt (such as “Doctor, your new patient is here”) and have them each illustrate the prompt on their own. Participants then share their drawings (if they are comfortable) to see how differently people interpreted and illustrated the prompt.

Part of this instruction and the exercises is to get participants comfortable drawing regardless of their skill level. Anyone can be an artist. The skills taught in this presentation can then be applied to medical education (as some trainees may enjoy processing their experiences through art), to patient care (as there is a growing number of published “Graphic Medicine” books and websites related to different disorders, which may be shared with patients looking to read about others’ experiences), and personally (as some attendees may continue to create art to reflect on their experiences).

Jason S. Bitterman, MD’s background: I am a physiatrist who, in my spare time, draws comics about working in healthcare. My work challenges the narrative of physicians as all-knowing, calm and collected authorities, usually using humor to illustrate some of the absurdities of medicine. I have also created comics with a more serious tone, such as a comic about opioid addiction which won the AMA Journal of Ethics Arts and Medicine award. Register today! 


Jason S. Bitterman, MD

Moderator: Karen P. Barr, MD



Past National Grand Rounds

You can find recordings of past National Grand Rounds presentations on our Online Learning Portal, formerly known as mē®.

  • Leading without Borders: A Conversation on Ageism - December 8, 2021
    • Ageism is defined as prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age. Ageist stereotypes leave many thinking that certain individuals are not ready to lead. During this session, we will examine how ageism impacts physicians ability to engage in opportunities to lead at every career level. You will hear from physiatric leaders from across all career stages on how ageism impacted their career journeys and opportunities to lead in their communities and the specialty as a whole. You will gain strategies to overcome ageism as you examine future leadership opportunities.
  • Addressing Violence Towards Physicians Treating Chronic Pain - October 13, 2021
    • Those who care for chronic pain patients are at high risk for violence although it may be less than other higher risk specialties such as EM, FP and psychiatry. Patient risk factors for violence appeared highest in the context of opioid management and disability. This sesson, led by faculty member David D. Kim, MD, FAAPMR, provided participants with strategies for managing and predicting violence, which included recognizing warning signs that a patient may be dangerous, and practical safeguards and strategies for protecting patients, staff and self.
  • Teach Everywhere: Changing the Teaching Paradigm - July 14, 2021
    • The COVID pandemic spurred the development and expansion of remote teaching, which has revolutionized access to educational material. Faculty, led by Heakyung Kim, MD, FAAPMR and Kentaro Onishi, DO, FAAPMR, reviewed the need for remote teaching, how to set up the optimal teaching space, and how to best utilize YouTube and Zoom for remote teaching, both live and pre-recorded.
  • The Future is Now, PM&R’s Role with Combating Long COVID - June 9, 2021
    • Leading experts, including Benjamin A. Abramoff, MD, FAAPMR, Co-Chair of AAPM&R's Multidisciplinary PASC Collaborative, discussed PM&R's role in combating Long COVID. Physiatrists are uniquely qualified to help uide the multidisciplary effort required to develop a comprehensive national plan for this crisis.
  • Exploring Function Like a PRO: A Multicenter Collaborative for Cancer Rehabilitation - May 12, 2021
    •  Theresa A. Gillis, MD, FAAPMR and Sean Smith, MD, FAAPMR, Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at University of Michigan, discussed a team effort across multiple programs to develop a patient-reported functional assessment.
  • Disability in Medical Education: Key Conversations on Inclusion and Intersectionality - April 14, 2021
    • Faculty, led by Priya Chandan, MD, PhD, MPH, and guests from several fields of medicine discussed several critical topics in medical education about disability including how physicians think about disability: care vs. cure philosophies, conceptual models of disability and implications for health outcomes; physician's role in defining quality of life, disability and function; and ableism at multiple levels of influence: how physicians contribute to the problem and how they can be a part of the solution.
  • Fibromyalgia: Treating Pain Based on the Underlying Mechanism - March 10, 2021
    • Daniel J. Clauw, MD, Professor of Anesthesiology, Medicine (Rheumatology) and Psychiatry, and Director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan, presents an overview of fibromyalgia and chronic pain and discusses the rationale behind a variety of current research studies into the possible causes of fibromyalgia.
  • Ambulatory Rehab of Patients with COVID-19 - February 3, 2021
    • The esteemed authors of PM&R Journal article, Ambulatory Rehabilitation of Patients Hospitalized with SARS CoV-2 Infections: Early Pandemic Experience in New York City and Boston, describe the experience of developing two physiatry-led telemedicine post-COVID-19 clinics in the early months of the pandemic.
  • These presentations are included in our Online Education Subscription, which offers you 24/7 access to online educational resources through the end of your membership cycle, such as:

    • Instructional videos
    • Podcasts
    • Case studies
    • Focused review courses
    • Webinar recordings
    • And more!
    Learn more.
    We hope you will join us for these thought-provoking sessions, as we advance the specialty together.

    Advancing PM&R Bold Through Training