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What Is PM&R?

JeffJeff Wonoprabowo -- I have yet to figure out what specialty of medicine I would like to enter. Fortunately, "they" tell me that I have plenty of time as I am just at the beginning of my second year. In an effort to discover the specialty of my dreams, I occasionally attend interest group meetings. The problem is that every time I attend one of these meetings, I pick up on the aspects of the specialty that make it appealing. I mean, what specialist would really come to an interest group meeting and tell you all the negatives?

The most recent interest group meeting I attended was for the specialty of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) where the physiatrist (PM&R specialist) was proud to let us know that the school has one of the five PM&R residency programs in the state of California.

Of course, free lunch was provided. I showed up early and picked up my croissant sandwich, two cookies, and a 20 oz. bottle of root beer. As is my custom, I chose an aisle seat in the back row so that, should the need or desire arise, I could make a quick and easy exit.

PM&R is a specialty that is somewhat difficult to define. The presenter noted that it is sometimes hard to tell people what he actually does because of what PM&R is not.

PM&R is not an organ specific specialty like Nephrology or Cardiology.

PM&R is not a procedure specific specialty like Surgery or Anesthesiology.

PM&R, he said, is more like a general specialty like Family Medicine.

Within the practice, the doctors in PM&R deal with stroke patients, amputees, and athletes. They work with various medical specialists (doctors, physical therapists, etc.) to help patients rehabilitate and regain as much mobility and function as possible.

At the end of the meeting I was still there. And I left with another specialty that looks pretty appealing, too.


If you're interested, you can also check out the website of the American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

October 9, 2008 in Jeff Wonoprabowo | Permalink


PM&R is also known as the "quality of life" specialty.

physiatrists are interested in obtaining the maximum quality of life obtainable for their patients, and are experts in musculoskeletal medicine.

Posted by: George | Oct 14, 2008 6:00:59 PM

Thanks, George. That's absolutely correct and is very similar to what the presenter said at the end to summarize.

Posted by: Jeff W | Oct 15, 2008 10:20:58 PM

PM& R is actually every bodies bisiness is no bodies business
Its aprolong follw up trying to to return the patient to the premorbid state.

Posted by: dr kareem | Apr 15, 2010 6:43:48 PM

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