Classification: Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
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Physical medicine and rehabilitation, also referred to as rehabilitation medicine, is the medical specialty concerned with diagnosing, evaluating, and treating patients with physical disabilities. These disabilities may arise from conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system such as neck and back pain, sports injuries, or other painful conditions affecting the limbs, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Alternatively, the disabilities may result from neurological trauma or disease such as spinal cord injury, head injury or stroke. A physician certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation is often called a physiatrist. The primary goal of the physiatrist is to achieve maximal restoration of physical, psychological, social and vocational function through comprehensive rehabilitation. Pain management is often an important part of the role of the physiatrist. For diagnosis and evaluation, a physiatrist may include the techniques of electromyography to supplement the standard history, physical, x-ray and laboratory examinations. The physiatrist has expertise in the appropriate use of therapeutic exercise, prosthetics (artificial limbs), orthotics and mechanical and electrical devices.
Source: American Board of Medical Specialties, 2007.
www.abms.org [7/1/2007: definition added, source added; 7/1/2011: modified source]
Additional Resources: American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2007.
American Osteopathic Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2007.
Board certification for Medical Doctors (MDs) is provided by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Board certification for Doctors of Osteopathy (DOs) is provided by the American Osteopathic Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Additional Taxonomy Codes from Physician (Rehabilitation)
Physician (Hospice and Palliative Medicine)
A physical medicine and rehabilitation physician with special knowledge and skills to prevent and relieve the suffering experienced by patients with life-limiting illnesses. This specialist works with an interdisciplinary hospice or palliative care team to maximize quality of life while addressing physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of both patient and family throughout the course of the disease, through the dying process, and beyond for the family. This specialist has expertise in the assessment of patients with advanced disease; the relief of distressing symptoms; the coordination of interdisciplinary patient and family-centered care in diverse venues; the use of specialized care systems including hospice; the management of the imminently dying patient; and legal and ethical decision making in end-of-life care.
A physician who specializes in neuromuscular medicine possesses specialized knowledge in the science, clinical evaluation and management of these disorders. This encompasses the knowledge of the pathology, diagnosis and treatment of these disorders at a level that is significantly beyond the training and knowledge expected of a general neurologist, child neurologist or physiatrist.
Physician (Spinal Cord Injury)
A physician who addresses the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of traumatic spinal cord injury and non-traumatic etiologies of spinal cord dysfunction by working in an interdisciplinary manner. Care is provided to patients of all ages on a lifelong basis and covers related medical, physical, psychological and vocational disabilities and complications.
A physiatrist who utilizes an interdisciplinary approach and addresses the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of congenital and childhood-onset physical impairments including related or secondary medical, physical, functional, psychosocial and vocational limitations or conditions, with an understanding of the life course of disability. This physician is trained in the identification of functional capabilities and selection of the best of rehabilitation intervention strategies, with an understanding of the continuum of care.
Physician (Brain Injury Rehabilitation)
A Brain Injury Medicine physician specializes in disorders of brain function due to injury and disease. These disorders encompass a range of medical, physical, neurologic, cognitive, sensory, and behavioral disorders that result in psychosocial, educational, and vocational consequences.
A physician who provides a high level of care, either as a primary physician or consultant, for patients experiencing problems with acute, chronic or cancer pain in both hospital and ambulatory settings. Patient care needs may also be coordinated with other specialists.
Sports Medicine Physician
A physician who specializes in Sports Medicine is responsible for continuous care related to the enhancement of health and fitness as well as the prevention of injury and illness. The specialist possesses knowledge and experience in the promotion of wellness and the prevention of injury from many areas of medicine such as exercise physiology, biomechanics, nutrition, psychology, physical rehabilitation, epidemiology, physical evaluation and injuries. It is the goal of a Sports Medicine specialist to improve the healthcare of the individual engaged in physical exercise.
Volume numbers are based on primary as well as secondary taxonomy codes of Providers.