History of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at MCW

The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation was designated as a department in 1951, beginning as a part of the "Division" of Medicine. The Division of Medicine included Dermatology, Neurology and General Medicine, as well as PM&R. In 1959, PM&R was designated as a separate department. At the time, the medical school was part of Marquette University, and the department included Physical Therapy. In 1968, physical therapy was separated from PM&R to become part of the Division of Allied Health at Marquette University.

Ray Piaskoski, MD was named the Director of the newly established department in 1951, and became Department Chair in 1959. Dr. Piaskoski resigned as chair in 1965 due to health issues. Robert W. Boyle, MD was appointed chair of the department at that time and served in the role until he retired in 1973. John L. Melvin, MD was appointed chair in 1973, and served in that role until 1991. Gerda Klingbeil, MD was the chair from 1991 - 1996. John Merritt, MD was the chair from 1996 - 2001, and Martin Hoffman, MD was the acting chair from 2001 - 2003.

Timothy R. Dillingham, MD was appointed Department Chair in April 2003 and served in the role until September 2011. Diane W. Braza, MD was appointed Interim Chair effective October 1, 2011 and Chair in November 2012.

The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is a well established program that has been in existence for over four decades, training more than a hundred and fifty physiatrists. Our current complement of 18 resident slots and six fellowship positions makes us one of the larger training programs in PMR in the United States. We have three strong teaching affiliate hospitals as described above.

The Department of PM&R at the Medical College of Wisconsin has senior researchers with substantial external funding from NIH and NIDRR, creating an exciting academic and research environment that brings the latest rehabilitation advances to the bedside and to resident education. As a clinical department, we are profitable due to our hard-working faculty, efficient operations, and favorable reimbursement environment in Milwaukee. This translates into a vibrant and enjoyable department in which you can be confident that the three years of time spent here will see stability and positive growth.

In summary, we are uniquely situated to train residents in the science and art of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The strength of our department, the strong affiliate hospitals, the robust scientific community of the Medical College, and the commitment of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation faculty ensure that your education will be outstanding.

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