UNTHSC Logo UNT Health Science Center Catalog 2010 - 2011

Physical Medicine

Shrawan Kumar, PhD, DSc, FRSC, Graduate Advisor
Center for BioHealth 431
Phone: 817-735-2312
E-mail: Shrawan.Kumar@unthsc.edu

Graduate Faculty: Bunata, Downey, Gamber, Gryczynski, I., Gryczynski, K., Hodge, Knebl, Kosmopoulos, Kumar, Lichtman, Nana, Patterson, Raven, Reeves, Rubin, Sheedlo, Smith, Wagner, Wordinger

The Physical Medicine graduate program is an interdisciplinary program that offers both MS and PhD degrees. The goal of this program is to provide students with rigorous education and training in biomedical sciences with a specialty in Physical Medicine. The students will receive training through original research, formal classroom education, problem-based learning, seminars, and journal clubs. The program includes faculty members from several departments. Our faculty members are engaged in various aspects of physical medicine research, including low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, temporomandibular joint disorders, whiplash, mid-carpal instability, evaluation of manipulative techniques, osteopathic manipulation and lymph flow, spinal mobilization and manipulation, determination of efficacy of treatments, objective characterization of low back pain and disability, gait, and mechanical properties of tendons and ligaments. The research projects employ state-of-the-art biomechanical, kinematic, electromyographic, and tissue testing techniques.

A major advantage of this program is that the students will have the freedom to choose faculty advisors from any department according to their research interests. In addition, students will be able to utilize the resources and expertise of faculty members with diverse background from several departments. During the first year, the students will acquire sufficient background in the basics of physical medicine. The students will have the opportunity to rotate in research laboratories in any department prior to selecting their thesis advisors. In the second year, the students will take advanced courses. The students will be able to select additional elective courses from any department based on their needs and interests. PhD candidates are admitted to candidacy after successful completion of their preliminary oral qualifying examinations and defense of an NIH-style research grant proposal. MS candidates are expected to graduate in 1.5 to 2 years, whereas PhD candidates may require 4 to 5 years to complete their degree.

The students ideally suited to enter the physical medicine graduate program will come with a degree from any of the following disciplines: medicine, osteopathy, chiropractic, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physiology, anatomy, and kinesiology. In some circumstances applicants from other disciplines may also be considered (e.g. psychology, biomedical engineering). However, a degree in any of the foregoing disciplines will not necessary entitle students for admission, rather render them eligible for consideration. The final decision for acceptance of a student in graduate program will rest on the Graduate Advisory Council of Physical Medicine.

Advancement to Doctoral Candidacy

Qualifying Examination

The qualifying examination is to ensure a doctoral student has sufficient mastery of fundamental principles of physical medicine and biomedical sciences to be successful as a PhD candidate and independent researcher. A list of major topics to be examined will be distributed to the student after the completion of the first year. The student is expected to become knowledgeable in each of these topics through coursework, individual reading, or discussions with faculty members. The qualifying examination will be administered by faculty members of the physical medicine program, and will consist of an oral examination. A student will answer a given set of questions within a given time. The student must demonstrate an ability to discuss and apply concepts of physical medicine. Two attempts to successfully pass the qualifying examination are allowed. Failure of the student to pass the qualifying examination results in dismissal of the student from the doctoral program. In this case, a student may be allowed to complete the requirements for a Master of Science degree.

Grant Writing (BMSC 6310)

This stage of the advancement to doctoral candidacy will evaluate a student's aptitude for independent thought and scientific writing. The student is required to (a) prepare an NIH-style research proposal with/without the assistance of his/her major professor, (b) present the proposal in a public seminar, and (c) address specific questions of an examination committee. The proposal should be based on an original hypothesis that could be related but should be distinct from the major professor's funded research, and should describe specific experimental approaches to address the hypothesis. The student will present this proposal in the form of a public seminar and then privately address specific questions of an examination committee. The examination committee will consist of Physical Medicine faculty (4 members) appointed by the graduate advisor. The chairperson of the committee (appointed by the graduate advisor) will serve as coordinator and will meet with the student at the beginning of the semester to review guidelines and answer relevant procedural questions. The grant proposal and the student's oral presentation and defense will be evaluated on the basis of originality and ability to communicate the proposal content. Upon successful completion of this course, the student is advanced to doctoral candidacy. Two attempts to successfully pass the Grant Writing (BMSC 6310) are allowed. Failure of the student to pass the Grant Writing (BMSC 6310) results in dismissal of the student from the doctoral program. In this case, a student may be allowed to complete the requirements for a Master of Science degree.

This page last modified May 11, 2010