Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
The medical specialty that is specifically devoted to the evaluation, treatment and management of disability and disabling conditions is called Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. This field of medicine provides comprehensive specialty services and selective primary care to the large spectrum of individuals with disabilities and limiting physical conditions.
The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Medical College of Wisconsin, comprised of 26 faculty members, along with approximately 20 residents, fellows and graduate students, is one of the largest medical rehabilitation programs in the country. There is a broad range of clinical, educational and research services available, providing comprehensive care for the disabled. Rehabilitation physicians, residents, fellows, and medical students, together with predoctoral and postdoctoral graduate students, contribute to the activities of the department. The department collaborates its skills and activities with many other affiliated medical and surgical specialties, as well as with rehabilitation teams consisting of rehabilitation nurses; speech, occupational, physical, and vocational therapists; neuropsychologists; bio-engineers; social services and case managers. Rehabilitation medicine utilizes a team approach to the treatment of disabilities. The team coordinates their skills to restore optimal physical function, to minimize psychological, vocational and social effects, to prevent physical complications, and to enhance the quality of life of those with disabilities.
Clinical and research learning opportunities are available in spinal cord injury rehabilitation, brain injury and stroke rehabilitation, pediatric rehabilitation, neurological and musculoskeletal rehabilitation, medical-legal evaluations, sports medicine, geriatric rehabilitation, electrodiagnostic medicine, exercise physiology, biomedical engineering, clinical outcomes management, and primary care of disabled individuals.
Learning experiences include inpatient and outpatient settings, specialty and primary care clinics, and clinical research laboratories. These hands-on learning encounters are reinforced by lectures, discussions, seminars, journal clubs, grand rounds, and structured readings. Students, residents and fellows focus on developing practical skills in solving common and unusual problems in order to enhance the function and quality of life of individuals with physically limiting conditions, and in collectively contributing to the advancement of the science underlying those solutions.