What is PMR?
Physical medicine and rehabilitation is a unique medical specialty which is concerned with the restoration of function, so that persons can perform to the fullest of their physical, emotional, social, and vocational potential. The specialty was founded in 1938 by a small group of physicians, led by Frank H. Krusen, MD. Dr. Krusen also coined the term “PHYSIATRY,” (fiz-e-at’-re), which is used interchangeably with PM&R.
Physical medicine deals with the diagnosis and treatment of physical disorders. Emphasis is placed on treating the individual patient in a holistic manner, with the adjunctive use of physical modalities, and electrodiagnostics. Rehabilitation medicine is based on a patient-centered plan which addresses the cause and secondary effects of illness. Many different patient care strategies and interventions are used in conjunction to benefit the patient. Patient goals are derived through an interdisciplinary process, and are aimed towards improving a patient’s personal potential, as well as produce outcomes that demonstrate reduction in impairments, disabilities, and handicaps.
Physiatrists are board-certified via a two-step process through the American Board of PM&R after successful completion of an accredited residency program. Part I of the boards consists of a written exam which is taken upon graduation from residency. Part II is an oral examination which is taken after one year of private practice.
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