Resident’s Blog: AOCPMR Regional Workshop

On August 22nd AOCPMR hosted its first Northeast Regional Resident Workshop.  The topic was “Advances in the Treatment of Upper Limb Spasticity” presented by Dr. Abraham Alfaro, DO, PHD, Director of Spasticity and Dystonia Clinic at Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation.  It was a full house and those of you who made it to the Workshop would agree that it was a great success. Dr. Alfaro’s mastery of the subject mixed with stories and clinical pearls followed by the hands on injections workshop made the time fly.

Michael Hahn from Allergan proved to be a good sport and volunteered to have needles placed on his arm with accuracy of placement confirmed with EMG. There were also injection simulators on hand to practice and test not only injection skills but also mastery of the anatomy of the upper extremity.

The event was also a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones among residents, attendings and students.  Dr. Gotlin who has been the driving force for getting the students and residents involved with the College was there as well, being as always generous with his time and advice.   As Dr. Gotiln likes to say, “the College has grown by leaps and bounds” in the last couple of years, gaining close to a thousand new members. It is such a formidable feat that AOA asked us how we were able to accomplish such tremendous growth in such a short period of time.  The answer was quite simple and obvious. We were able to achieve this by adding a great deal of value to being a member of the College and applied that to every level of training from students and residents to the most experienced attendings.

The August 22nd lecture is a great example of that.  We are working hard with the Education Committee of the College on organizing more events and will keep all our members informed. By the end of September, it will be much easier to follow noteworthy current events going on with the College and our members as we launch our brand new website.  Make sure to mark your calendars and visit us often there at .

Looking forward to seeing you all at our future events!


Author Bio: Alex Levchenko is a PGY-2 in PM&R residency program at NYU Medical Center. He received his medical degree at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and his bachelor’s degree from New York University.  He has been an active member of AOCPMR since 2008 and served as Vice President of the AOCPMR Student Council in his last year of medical school.


Journal Club- September 2011: Insights into Phantom Limb Pain

Article Download
Review Download

Article title:
Phantom Limb Pain: a case of maladaptive CNS plasticity?

Herta Flor, Lone Nikolajsen, and Troels Staehelin Jensen, Department of Clinical and Cognitive NeuroScience, University of Heidelberg

Nature Reviews, November  2006; Vol.7: 873-881.


Phantom limb pain (PLP) is described as pain in a body part that has been amputated.  Previously this pain has been thought to be psychological in origin or to stem from pathologic changes in the amputation stump.  More recent studies are pointing to PLP being a phenomenon of the CNS that is related to plastic changes in the brain stem, spinal cord, and cortex.  This article discusses the pathophysiologic mechanisms of specific peripheral and central changes that may explain this phenomenon.

Reviewer: Kristin Garlanger, OMS-IV, CCOM, Educational Committee Co-Chair, AOCPMR Student Council