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 Welcome to Academic Year 2020-2021! 

Welcome to Carolinas Rehabilitation, home of the Department of PM&R at Carolinas Medical Center!! As I settle down to write this annual message, I cannot help but reflect on what a difference life is now in May and what life was in March of 2020. The first new term we were introduced to was “novel” for a virus so aggressive it put fears into our physician warriors on the line. “Unprecedented” was a common message capturing the absolute change in our lifestyle for all of humanity. Through all of the confusions and disruptions, the term “heroes” emerged showing us that even fear cannot stop the heart of a caring physician.


I cry inside for the loss of innocence, the loss of freedom, and the loss of celebrations. My children should not have to fear hanging out with their friends. Cheering on the sideline with other parents over a soccer match may not return. Birthday celebrations by virtual imaging. Cancelled life events such as graduations, weddings, and proms seem to emerge daily. Life has changed for all of us. “New normal” is the resolute term.


I am strengthened and rejuvenated by the resolve of my colleagues to press on; by my residents to help out; and by my family who altered their daily functions to minimize the stress in my life. In this spirit, I want to proudly recall the many things we did to support each other while continuing to provide superior care to our patients.

            All outpatient residents shifted to provide inpatient care support

            All physicians voluntarily cancelled their PTOs for March and April

            System leaders initiated daily email updates and weekly conference calls

            Hospital teams began daily team huddles and incident command discussions

            Residency teams began weekly discussions and “virtual” support using Group Me

            Innovative attendings created virtual care pathways for clinics and inpatient visits

            We cleared out an entire unit in preparation for accepting acute care patients

            Our rehabilitation hospitals created unique “COVID only” units

            We learned how to use Zoom, MS Teams, Agnes stethoscope,, and more


I am amazed by the energy, the creativity, and the dedication of our physicians. I am honored to work beside you. I feel committed to find new ways to reach our patients, teach our learners, and be a better doctor.


As we approach the new academic year, I challenge you to find ways to make a difference in the lives of your family, your colleagues, and your patients. Alumni, please share with us stories of courage in your workplace.


Welcome to 2020 – 2021 Academic Year and may your year be full of creative innovations!!

Vu Q. C. Nguyen, MD, MBA
Vice Chair of Academics
Residency Program Director


Message from Associate Program Director

My path to becoming a Physiatrist was rather circuitous.  As a college student, I began as a nurse’s assistant on a rehabilitation unit for four summers in my small hometown in Ohio.  After college, I taught high school science and mathematics for two years and then attended The Ohio State University for graduate school.  After medical school, I was fortunate to find a prestigious PM&R residency program in Charlotte, North Carolina where I learned invaluable lessons about life, medicine, and myself.  I found a home within PM&R, Carolinas Rehabilitation, and in Charlotte with my wife and our three beautiful children.

As a Medical Director and Associate Program Director, my role includes oversight of the Mt. Holly rehabilitation hospital site as well as acting as a liaison between our industrious residents and talented faculty. Some of my key responsibilities include providing daily patient care with a focus on safety and durable outcomes, helping to guide organizational strategy, and representing our physician team on an administrative level.  Lastly, a highlight of my career and a favorite part of my job is mentoring medical students, residents and junior faculty.

I am very proud of our PM&R team at Carolinas Rehabilitation.  As a nationally renowned residency program, Carolinas Rehabilitation provides exceptional, high quality patient care and a distinguished resident educational training program in an appropriately rigorous but collegial atmosphere.  The vast diversity and quantity of patient encounters is expansive and offers abundant learning opportunities for medical students, resident physicians and faculty members.
Charlotte, Atrium Health, and the superior faculty at Carolinas Rehabilitation afford resident physicians a comprehensive and well-rounded education.  As a graduate of this exemplary program, I am proud to say that I am part of an amazing healthcare organization, an empathetic and esteemed faculty, and a robust residency program.
 Welcome to our home!

Matthew Shall, MD
Associate Program Director